PokerStars and Full Tilt parting with their pros

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There has been a recent trend with online poker sites parting ways with their sponsored pros. Just within the past couple of months, PokerStars announced it had canceled the sponsorship contracts with Latin American players Humberto Brenes, Angel Guillen and Jose “Nacho” Barbero.

Now comes word three more high profile pros have been released: two-time World Series of Poker bracelet-winner and 2009 WSOP main event champion Joe Cada, the “Flying Dutchman” Marcel Luske and Alex Kravchenko.

Cada tweeted the following shortly after the announcement was made: “If everyone is wondering what happened with PokerStars and myself, it’s pretty simple. I asked for 100 percent rake back; they said no.”

Full Tilt Poker made similar announcements regarding its online sponsored pros dubbed the Professionals. In a major move, online superstars Gus Hansen and Victor “Isildur1” Blom were released.

Full Tilt said it made the decision to “move away from the pro-centric advertising to focus on the experiences and stories of the vast majority of our players.”

This announcement comes on the heels of the announcement that Tom “Durrr” Dwan had decided not to continue his relationship with the Professionals.

EVERLEAF EXECS ARRESTED: Everleaf Gaming, which is no longer in business, was one of the online sites that kept servicing and accepting funds from U.S. players after Black Friday on April 15, 2011. It wasn’t until February 2012 that Everleaf stopped accepting U.S. deposits when the feds seized around $27K from one of its online payment processors.

In the past several months, two of the site’s executives have been arrested in Malta for misappropriation of player funds. The most recent arrest being Everleaf director Jean Pavili, charged with misappropriating about $1 million from players and failing to pay fees of close to $125K.
Pavili was released on bail and personal guarantees of almost $25K, plus more than $1.1 million of his assets in Malta and other countries have been frozen until the outcome of his trial.

A couple of months earlier another Everleaf director, Michael Zwi Oros, was arrested on charges similar to that of Pavili. He also posted bail and is awaiting trial.

ULTIMATE POKER: The fledgling online poker site, which was the nation’s first legally regulated real-money site and began in Nevada, has folded after just 19 months for lack of profitability. Station Casinos was the majority owner and Ultimate Poker also had a marketing partnership with Ultimate Fighting Championship. Ultimate’s closure leaves Nevada with two online sites WSOP.com and Real Gaming.

— Email Joel Gatlin at editor@anteupmagazine.com.