Long-time Team PokerStars Pro Vicky Coren-Mitchell has decided to leave PokerStars after nearly a decade with the company.
Coren-Mitchell said on her personal blog the split was amicable but she was uncomfortable with the company moving into the online casino market.
Despite her departure from the company Coren-Mitchell said she still believed PokerStars was the best place to play poker at this point.
First Two-Time Winner on the EPT
Coren-Mitchell was one of the most prominent members of Team PokerStars and blazed new paths for female poker players when she became the first woman to win an EPT in 2006.
Earlier this year Coren-Mitchell became the first player in history to win two EPT titles, when she won EPT San Remo for $660,947.
Coren-Mitchell has accumulated over $2.4 million in live tournament earnings over her career. She's also a celebrated columnist for the Guardian in the UK and the host of the Only Connect television game show.
Her full statement can be found on her website (although it was down earlier today because of the amount of traffic). Excerpts below:
On Friday night, PokerStars.com announced that it will be rolling out online casino gaming alongside its internet poker. As a result, on Saturday morning, I terminated my endorsement contract with them.
Their news was very sudden, so I didn’t have much time to consider my position, but I knew I had to act quickly before I could think better of it. Obviously this is a scary and sad decision for me to make.
I have been with PokerStars since 2007 and Team Pro has been a core part of my identity. Obviously I will miss the money and am nervous of managing without it. Also, ironically enough, my plan for the next year or two had been to travel less and play more online.
But I can’t hang around, sleep on it, have meetings and talk myself into staying, when my gut tells me that the right thing is to walk away. This is no criticism of PokerStars itself: business is business, they are providing a new service that people want, and I know they intend to abide by some key principles of responsible gaming.
It’s not anti-casino either; I spend a lot of time in casinos, and I have been known to indulge in live table gaming. But I cannot professionally and publicly endorse it, even passively by silence with my name still over the shop...
I will watch from the outside to see what the new site looks like, how safe and responsible it seems, how the advertising feels and the direction the company takes. Maybe in the future I will be able to work with PokerStars again on something which is pure poker. I don’t know, but certainly there are no hard feelings between me and that company which has done so much for the beautiful game over the last decade. They have been gracious and understanding about my decision.
Many of the people there are good friends of mine and I’ll miss working with them. The EPT and UKIPT are great tours which I will continue to play, if a little less often. I have had seven wonderful years as a proud member of Team Pro and I wish it wasn’t over. This is a very sad and regretful day for me. I still believe that PokerStars is, at time of writing, the best place to play online poker ...