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Poker Pros Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov Part Ways With PokerStars

The Duo's Departure Is The Latest In A Growing Trend With The Company


One of poker’s premier power couples has ended their business relationship with PokerStars after many years as sponsored pros with the company.

High-stakes pros Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov, who have been dating for several years and teamed up to win the $10,000 tag team championship at the 2017 _World Series of Poker, announced the split from the company on Twitter Wednesday.

Boeree, who has $3.85 million in live tournament earnings, was with the company since 2010. Kurganov, who plays some of the biggest buy-in tournaments on the planet and has more than $18.4 million in earnings, signed on as a team pro in 2017.

The move indicates the continued shift in the marketing strategy of PokerStars. Since the company was sold to Amaya in 2014 for $4.9 billion, it has opted to discontinue deals with many established poker pros and shifted its sponsorship deals to popular Twitch streamers and celebrities.

Earlier this year, Daniel Negreanu, arguably the face of PokerStars, split ways with the company as well, ending a 12-year relationship. Jason Mercier, Barry Greenstein, Isaac Haxton, Vanessa Selbst, Bertrand Grospellier, Randy Lew, Victor Ramdin, and Jeff Gross were also among the high-profile pros that have cut ties with the company in the last several years.

In a follow-up tweet, Boeree noted that she has been playing very little poker over the last 12 months and is looking forward to putting more effort into her content career and will be working more on her YouTube channel in the immediate future.

Kurganov didn’t mention any future plans, but will likely continue to grind the highest-stakes tournament he can find.

The marketing shift isn’t surprising. An August report showed that PokerStars relies less on poker and more on sports betting and casino games for the bulk of their revenue. The company has less of an incentive to use poker pros as a tool to grow their business.