PokerStars Ambassadors, Jaime Staples and Jeff Gross, have announced the end of their PokerStars contracts two days apart.
PokerStars is light in the ambassadorial department after Jeff Gross and Jaime Staples walked away from the largest online poker room in the world, high heels in hand, looking towards the horizon, hoping for something better to come along.
As is standard at times like these, PokerStars left it to the pros to break the news via social media, and the first to throw his patch into the dirt was Jeff Gross.
Gross joined PokerStars ahead of the 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP) at a time it looked like his Poker Flow Show was heading to 888Poker.
Gross told his legion of fans not to worry about the split; he would not be taking a back row seat.
“It’s just the beginning, it’s not the end of Jeff Gross Poker,” Gross told his fans before continuing. “Is this it for you in poker? No. We are just getting locked in; we’re just getting strapped in. Lots of cool things to come.”
Gross then went on to thank pretty much everyone who works at PokerStars, including a shout out to all the ambassadors, with a special kind of love heralded on Daniel Negreanu, Andre Akkari and Chris Moneymaker.
Gross recently got hitched, and is expecting a baby, so leaving PokerStars will seem like a piece of cake.
Jaime Staples: The Ultimate ‘Didn’t See That Coming.’
A day after Gross announced his departure, Jaime Staples shocked the poker world in announcing that his contract was heading into the incinerator along with that of Gross.
Staples became a pioneer when PokerStars signed him in April 2015 because it was the first time that someone that wasn’t even a Deputy got to wear the Sheriff’s badge.
With all the talk of whether the poker dream is still alive, Staples proved that it was.
“I recognise how lucky of a person I am to be in the right place at the right time, with Twitch Poker starting, and they gave me a real chance – streaming out of my parent’s basement – to prove myself, and I will forever be grateful for that,” Staples said in a short video.
Staples was the first streamer to join the PokerStars Twitch revolution after Jason Somerville broke the thermometer on that one. Living in Canada was a big plus, and over his four-year love affair with Stars, Staples attracted close to 120,000 followers, many of whom would have chosen Stars as their virtual home.
We will always remember Staples for his Herculean prop bet with Bill Perkins, after Jaime and his brother Matt, won $150,000 after the pair weighed an equal 188 pounds, one year after Matt weighed 134 and Jaime bounced in at 304.
Unfortunately, it seems $50,000 will return to the fat bank account of Perkins after The Ultimate Sweat #2 (the Staples brothers bid to reach 9.9% body fat within a year) seems to be lying in the gutter with flies swarming around it.
What next for Staples?
“I had to decide whether I wanted to continue down the path I was going down or take a risk, and try another avenue of promoting this game and making it as accessible to the masses as I can, and after a lot of consideration, I decided to take that route going forward.
“I am excited about the future. It’s a little bit scary. But at the same time I know if I continue to work hard and stay true to what I believe is going to make this game great everything is going to work out in the long run.”
Is a more long-term hook up with Bill Perkins on the cards?
Will another online poker room swoop in and snatch him?
I guess we will find out in the coming weeks.