The World Series of Poker Main Event 2010 champion, Jonathan Duhamel, has parted ways with his longtime sponsor, PokerStars. The reason for the split is as yet unknown.
The lone statement given to PokerNews by PokerStars’ HQ following the removal of Duhamel from its pro roster was that they “won’t be working together in the future.” Whether this implies that there was some disagreement between the two parties or not is up for debate, but a quick glimpse at Duhamel’s Twitter feed doesn’t reveal any obvious grievances.
A similar search on his public Facebook page doesn’t show any issues; however, it does include photos of Duhamel at a recent event in Florida without a PokerStars’ patch. Despite his profile picture still showing his affiliation with the online poker site, the latest image from the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, dated April 15, shows him grinding as a free agent.
Since becoming one of PokerStars’ pros, the Canadian was featured prominently in numerous ad campaigns, but it could be his lack of online exposure that has damaged his stock with gaming giant. In recent months, PokerStars has made it clear that its priorities now center on gaining mainstream exposure through channels such as Twitch.
The signing of stream stars such as Jason Somerville and Jamie Staples serve as evidence that those with a strong online following and the ability to reach new markets are now being highly valued by online operators.
In fact, in terms of pure earnings, Duhamel has scooped almost three times more than Somerville in the live arena, but with PokerStars currently bidding for a place in the New Jersey Internet market (supposedly imminent), the value of American pros is currently at an all-time high.
Of course, the parting of ways could have simply been the expiration and non-renewal of Duhamel’s contract or, possibly, something more. PokerStars is notoriously frugal with the information it gives out regarding player contracts, so it may be the case that we never find out the real reason for the recent departure.
Not Duhamel’s Worst Breakup
Duhamel is certainly no stranger to adversity and has survived more arduous breakups than this one.
Back in 2011, he was famously the victim of an attack and subsequent burglary in his home in Canada.
Orchestrated by his former girlfriend and carried out by two male accomplices, the incident left the poker pro with a black eye, and without a stack of cash and his WSOP winner’s bracelet.
Fortunately, the majority of valuables, including the bracelet, were later recovered, and his ex-partner, Bianca Rojas-Latraverse, was convicted of robbery.