Streamers and Ukrainian Players Earn Poker Sponsorships
Less than three months into 2022, there have already been substantive changes to online poker sponsorship deals. The most recent changes spear to be new ambassadorships and deals for poker streamers. The faces of poker sites have been changing, and the latest round of signings clearly indicate that new direction.
Comings and Goings
Prior to this update, we noted a number of changes to team rosters at the beginning of 2022. This is probably not an exhaustive list but close to it.
-888poker: Sofia Lovgren left; Chris Eubank Jr joined.
-GGPoker: Dan Bilzerian disappeared.
-Partypoker: Isaac Haxton, Louise Butler, Joni Jouhkimainen left, Mikita Badziakouski, Joao Simao, and Day Kotoviezy left.
-World Poker Tour: Steve Aoki joined.
888poker Adds Streamers
Earlier this month, 888poker announced two new additions to its Stream Team. 888poker launched the team last summer with Nick “eastyyy22” Eastwood of the UK, Ricardo “Mat3usPT” Mateus of Portugal, Josh “JoshManleyPoker” Manley of the UK, Adam “iamEklo” Tocholke of Canada, and Dave “New_Dave” Gibson of the UK.
The latest additions are Rene “renemastermix” Majed of Germany and Andrei “andreicoz” Cosmin of Romania. And it is notable that Majed celebrated by going to EPT Prague and winning an EPT trophy.
— 888poker (@888poker) March 11, 2022
GGPoker Axes Russia and Adds Ukraine
Just last week, we reported that GGPoker still showed Team Russia on its list of pro teams. Anatoly Filatov, Mikhail Shalamov, and Mikhail Semin were the team members. Two of them had recently posted on Instagram.
In the week since, GGpoker removed the entire Team Russia and added Team Ukraine. The page’s tagline is “big country, big players.” The page then reads: “Ukraine is one of Europe’s biggest countries, and its impressive size is only matched by the beauty of its landscapes, the majesty of its seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the achievements of its poker players. Each member of Team Ukraine represents the very best their country has to offer!”
The two team members are Denys “SantaZzz” Chufarin and Iegor “BigGOGi” Zarev. Neither of them appears to have posted anything to their Instagram accounts yet, and neither have current Twitter accounts.
The latest of the changes to the partypoker roster happened under the radar. Courtney Gee is no longer listed on the site, and her only mention of anything resembling a departure is that she needed a break from streaming on Twitch.
Just a heads up to my Twitch followers so that you don't wonder where I've gone: I'm taking a break from streaming for a couple months! I haven't had a vacation in 3 years and I really need some time off. I also have to get my impacted wisdom teeth removed 😭
— Courtney Gee (@courtiebee) February 28, 2022
Monika Zukowicz also disappeared from the partypoker Twitch team roster. She hasn’t posted on Twitter at all in 2022, so it is unclear when that happened.
Jeffrey “MaximusBlack” Johnston appeared on the Twitch team. He has been a streamer online for about a decade, much of which was dedicated to video games and esports. There doesn’t seem to have been an official announcement of the deal, only more mentions of partypoker and Johnston collaborations in late February.
— MaximusBlack (@LAGTVMB) February 25, 2022
PokerStars Adds Streamer
This happened at the EPT Prague just last week. Current member of Team PokerStars Sam Grafton put a patch on the arm of Sebastian Huber. As a relatively new online poker streamer, he garnered a following on Twitch and racked up some wins on PokerStars. In 2021, he won the Dare2Stream competition for a PSPC Platinum Pass. Now, he is a member of Team PokerStars Pro Online.
Twitch Poker Tribune:
— PokerStars Blog (@PokerStarsBlog) March 10, 2022
Unibet Loses Simpson, Renews Chip Race
After five years as a Unibet Poker ambassador, Ian Simpson announced at the end of February that he would not longer stream for the company. He had nothing negative to say about Unibet and his years with them. He touted the opportunity to work with some “fantastic poker players (and David Lappin)” and learn a lot about the game.
A new chapter is about to start. I’ll have an update for you all in the near future. For now just know that my days of streaming and playing poker are far from over. Watch this space. (5/5)
— Ian Simpson (@IanSimpsonPoker) February 26, 2022
Soon after, David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney announced that Unibet Poker signed them each to another 15 months of sponsorship. Both continue in their roles as brand ambassadors. Along with that, Unibet signed their Chip Race podcast to another 15-month deal, which will deliver 25 episodes of the podcast and Lock-In and 15 strategy videos.
I’m really proud to have the opportunity to represent @UnibetPoker for another year as a Global Brand Ambassador.
Their sponsorship and support of @thechiprace and all its spin-offs has been unwavering down the years.
I am excited for what the next 15 months will bring.
— 🃏 David Lappin 🃏 (@dklappin) March 2, 2022
Delighted to announce that I have agreed a 15 month extension as global ambassador for @UnibetPoker
That means at least 15 more months of Chip Races, Lock Ins and listening to @dklappin waffle on endlessly about how handsome he looks on the poster.
Hmmm, on second thoughts… pic.twitter.com/Qbzk4ggOy8
— Dara O'Kearney (@daraokearney) March 2, 2022