PokerStars announced six new ambassadors yesterday. The more established of the new additions are Parker “tonkaaaaP” Talbot, Sam Grafton, and Andre Coimbra. Up-and-comers Lasse “WisternJL” Jagd Lauritsen, Keith “AccidentalGrenade” Becker, and Mark “naigo1” Foresta joined at the same time. PokerStars timed the announcement to arrive in conjunction with the start of SCOOP.
The PokerStars presser draws a distinction between the first three as poker pros, and the latter three as streamers. However, in practice, the two groups overlap significantly. Both Talbot and Coimbra have notable Twitch channels, and the streamers all play poker.
This is in line with the idea that the industry’s marketing departments have decided that content creators are better — and, one suspects, cheaper — alternatives to successful big-name players. No one’s going to devalue superstars like Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu. On the other hand, followers seem to count for more than bracelets in today’s economy.
It is notable that PokerStars’s Blog only supplies Twitch links for all the new ambassador’s biographies. Streaming has become a key learning tool for players new to the game. It is also a powerful marketing tool for bringing new players into the game for harvesting.
Meet the crew
“We are proud to expand our team and welcome these brilliant ambassadors for the game to PokerStars,” said Scott Goodall. Goodall serves as Associate Director of Communities and Partnerships at PokerStars. He went on to say that “the cornerstones of our strategy are supporting poker players and poker streamers. In particular, new talents who have tons of potential and drive to grow. Alongside creating a fun and welcoming environment for our community on Twitch and in other spaces. We’re excited to bring on board our new ambassadors. […] Welcome all!”
A short video welcomed the new members into the fold. In the video, the current ambassadors, Benjamin “Spraggy” Spragg and Lex Veldhuis, bid the newbies welcome.
Spraggy noticeably snubbed Talbot. The pair have been playing at being enemies, mocking the high-profile grudges that have taken over the poker world lately. In response, Talbot tweeted that “Spraggy’s a terrible little man.”
Grafton said: “I’m really excited to join the team. And I was really excited when I heard tonkaaaaP was coming on board at the same time. I’ve really enjoyed working with PokerStars over the last year, and now I’m contractually obliged to turn up anytime Joe Stapleton requests a commentary buddy.”
Becker tweeted back at PokerStars with a Brooklyn Nine-Nine gif and the caption “SO excited to join the team!”
Other team members also announced their new gigs on Twitter. Coimbra posted a picture of him with the Stars patch and the line “It’s official,” in Portuguese.
The new team will be streaming with the PokerStars logo from today.
Featured image source: Twitter