UK-Based online poker site PKR has announced that they will not be extending the contracts of their current roster of Team Pros as the company gets ready for a change.PKR is about to have a makeover. We are not talking about slapping on some lipstick. We are talking full on plastic surgery.
Writing on the PKR blog PKR_Danski stated that PKR is ‘entering a period of seismic change.’ Seismic – that’s a word you are more likely to see related to an earthquake. Unfortunately, you are going to have to wait until the New Year to learn what those changes will be.
What we do know – thanks to PKR_Danski – is the ambassadorial model known as PKR Team Pro will fall through the cracks of that seismic change.
“It does not feature in our new business strategy,” wrote PKR_Danski.
I don’t play on PKR anymore, and yet the news that PKR are changing tact saddens me a great deal. Out of all of the online poker companies that are doing business today, they get it. They always coveted community. They never over extended their values to attract more grinders.
What I loved about PKR the most was the way they rewarded their faithful, and successful, with positions in the PKR Team Pro set up. Yes, they have signed a few prominent players in the past (Jake Cody the most obvious mention), but in general, they promoted from within, and I love that kind of incestuousness.
PKR has produced, and nurtured, some quality players throughout their time in the business. James “James666” Sudworth was one of the first local boys done good. He was released by PKR a few years ago. Vladimir “Beyne” Geshkenbein won a European Poker Tour (EPT) title wearing a PKR patch. They picked up Cody when nobody else was taking a punt on him. And Sofia Lovgren was an enormous success before moving on to 888Poker.
The change in emphasis means Eleanor Gudger and Dan O’Callaghan are a little shorter in the pocket. Gudger won the World Poker Tour (WPT) 500 at Dusk Till Dawn (DTD) during her time with PKR; O’Callaghan didn’t even have time to stretch his wings. The former PKR Live winner joined the site in the springtime.
PKR_Danski’s eulogy was full of authenticity and gratitude. He wrote:
“To the inevitable (and accurate) responses to this news, I say that yes, in recent years Team Pros weren’t supported or utilised enough and that’s my bad.
“They are fantastic people, talented poker players and long-term supporters of PKR.”
In response to all the well wishes, Gudger wrote:
“I’ve really enjoyed my time as part of PKR Team Pro. It is something I never imagined would be possible when I first joined PKR back in 2007; not even realising you couldn’t later change your screen name at will (yes I was that clueless about online poker!)”
“Had a great time as a PKR Pro but all good things must come to an end. Maybe one day we’ll have a second soiree, but as for now I’m happy it happened more that I’m sad that it’s over.
It’s sad news, but PKR will manage just fine without the concept I am sure. As the site goes under the knife, it will be interesting to see what new image will emerge.