Late last week John Duthie announced his departure from the PokerStars roster after his contract reached its conclusion. With it went the European Poker Tour CEO place and it made for quite the New Year’s Eve. The printing presses were barely done when the former PokerStar made it onto TwoPlusTwo to state: “Time to move on and to leave the EPT in the capable hands of the existing management team.
“It has been a fascinating and challenging seven years and I have watched the EPT grow phenomenally in that time, thanks to the support of the players and the professionalism of a great team on the ground.
“There are going to be some amazing opportunities coming up in 2012/13 as the US market prepares to open up for business once again and I want to be available to take on new challenges and to cement new relationships moving forward.”
On first look the departure just looks like a pro player upping sticks to find solace elsewhere. Poker players get ants in their pants every so often and like any profession they move on. There’s a lot more behind the Duthie departure than meets the eye though.
Many in and around the gaming industry will see this as a defection and when Duthie washing up at another poker site they’ll be vindicated. That’s far away from what actually went on here. You only have to look at the fact they let his contract run down to notice that Stars are starting to change tack with their strategy.
Slowly creeping out of the door is the poker aspiration model that has for so long been a staple of the pro player. The recreational one that people are slowly coming round to is replacing the model they’ve profited from for so long. One that rewards a players skill and not the one that can sit at as many tables at a time.