A partnership between PokerStars and one of most famous South American poker players in history could yield more fans across poker and eSports.
André Akkari, who for years has been associated with PokerStars, the world’s most popular poker site, has cashed for over $2.67 million in live tournaments alone and currently ranks as the 629th most successful player in poker history. That’s only at the live felt, however, with Akkari’s online reach creating plenty more cashes along the way.
With some of that money, he became an investor for the eSports team Furia back in August of 2017 when the team was formed by Akkari and fellow Brazilians Jaime ‘raizen’ Pádua and Crisitan Guedes.
Furia, who will be playing in the forthcoming BLAST Premier Fall regular season, are a United States-based team and after a successful period playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) have joined forces with PokerStars, who are excited about the partnership.
“The team at Furia work very hard, lead by example, and are always looking to improve and evolve,” said Rebecca McAdam Willetts, Associate Director of Public Relations at ‘Stars. “This approach, as well as their general ethos, sits extremely well with what we aim for at PokerStars. It will be exciting for us to see what we can bring our community and how we can engage new audiences by working together with such a passionate team.”
Well put. Akkari himself, as CEO of Team Furia and a passionate PokerStars Ambassador said, “Poker plays a natural part in Furia’s DNA. It’s all about making optimal decisions in the moment for long-term results. The partnership is a natural step for expansion as we look to move beyond eSports.”
Poker and eSports go together very naturally, and it will be interesting to see how fast the crossover appeal takes, with poker players and eSports players having lots of transferabe skills. With Akkari likely to lead the streaming team in poker tournaments, alongside Lali Tournier, a top Latin American female poker professional with live poker cashes in major tournaments across the globe, the future looks bright for both Furia and PokerStars.
We wait to see what the future holds for the partnership and Akkari, who we remember most for a famous hand in the recent past where Niall ‘Firaldo’ Farrell was behind the Brazilian’s cowboys right up until the river card which he called out of the air.