Poker sponsorships took shape in the years of the poker boom. When Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event from a low-buy-in online poker satellite at PokerStars, PokerStars signed him as an ambassador for the online poker brand. It made complete sense to team up to promote poker. The ability to play on PokerStars and turn a small investment into life-changing money was real.

There were some online poker operators through the years that overdid it. Full Tilt Poker was a prime example of hiring so many pros at different levels of sponsorship that it seemed as if every player was an FTP Red Pro. PokerStars also hired teams of pros for different purposes, with celebrities and sports stars in separate categories from live poker pros and online pros.

The sponsorship world was sometimes out of control but proved somewhat effective.

After Black Friday, poker pro sponsorships became much rarer. Various markets required players who lived in those areas. In addition, players needed to bring something else to the table to obtain a sponsorship deal. They needed to stream poker online or travel the world for live events – or both.

Some live poker rooms did partner with poker pros as ambassadors, but those deals were somewhat rare. Arguably, one of the most well-known of said deals was Maria Ho representing WinStar Casino in Oklahoma.

Now, the two largest live poker operators in the world have reached out to people who can represent their brands. It is relatively new territory. But one tour seems to have figured out how to work effectively with their ambassadors, while the other struggles to connect its ambassador to the poker audience. WPT Ambassador Launch

The World Poker Tour kicked off its 20 th anniversary year in 2022 with a unique ambassador. They signed with world-renowned deejay and music producer Steve Aoki. He was mostly a casual poker player but suddenly signed on to represent the second-longest running poker tour in the world.

The partnership began to take shape with a contest for players to win a seat at a private game at Aoki’s house, next to stars of […]

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