PokerStars Loses Another as Daniel Negreanu Moves in New Directions

May 27th, 2019 | by Jason Reynolds

The PokerStars exodus claimed another victim on May 23 as long-serving pro Daniel Negreanu said his goodbyes.

Daniel Negreanu PokerStars

Daniel Negreanu has parted ways with PokerStars after starting a new chapter in his life. (Image: PokerStars)

Announcing the next “chapter” in his life via Twitter (see video below), Kid Poker said he’s planning to move in a new direction.

Although he remained coy about his exact plans, the Canadian said his recent marriage to Amanda Leatherman was a major turning point.

New Start for Negreanu

As well as spending more time with his wife, Negreanu mentioned that children may be on the horizon. With new commitments, he’s decided to end his 12-year relationship with PokerStars.

Despite the split, the former ambassador said he remains on good terms with the company. However, with a number of high-profile pros leaving PokerStars in recent months, it raises certain questions.

Since Amaya purchased PokerStars for $4.9 billion in 2014, the site has gradually shifted its focus. Although it remains the go-to site for pros, its hold has weakened as innovations aimed at recreational players have come to the fore.

In 2016, Isaac Haxton parted ways with the online poker operator after branding loyalty scheme changes as “unethical.” Spending time as a free agent, the high stakes pro eventually signed with Partypoker in 2018.

This move signaled the start of a trend that’s seen a host of PokerStars ambassadors cross over to Partypoker. Following Haxton in recent months are Bertrand Grospellier, Jeff Gross and Jaime Staples.

PokerStars Under Increasing Pressure

While each player will have their own reasons for making the move, they all add to the heat fire between the two brands.

By hosting the largest ever online MTT at the close of 2018, Partypoker proved it can challenge the industry leader. Since then, the sites have engaged in a back-and-forth battle for supremacy.

At this stage, there is no indication that Negreanu is going to sign for another poker brand. However, losing one of the game’s biggest names will come as a blow to PokerStars.

Indeed, with its main rival rolling out more innovations, the operator will want to bolster its star power with another big-name player as soon as possible.


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