January 16, 2012
Cleaning house or abandoning ship at legally troubled online poker corp?
PokerStars may be without a CEO for the time being, as Gabi Campos, who assumed the chief executive position in 2010, reportedly is no longer big boss of the largest real-money online poker site in the world. While it’s not quite clear who told whom to eff off (and Stars has yet to put out a press release insisting all is hunky-dory) … if confirmed, Campos’ ouster/skeedaddling marks the fourth major executive departure at PokerStars since Black Friday.
First to be disappeared (amid some controversy) was veteran EPT Tournament Director Thomas Kremser in May; then last month, EPT founder John Duthie left. And now supposedly Jeffrey Haas, top dog at Global Poker Tours Limited (parent company for PokerStars live events) has been, er … moved on. (Haas’s LinkedIn page lists GPTL as “Past” … and “Director of New Platforms, Mobile & Social Gaming for Pokerstars.com” as current — sounds like “big-money suit demoted to glorified blogger” to me, but hey!)
UPDATE: Interestingly, Campos’ LinkedIn-from-Israel doesn’t list PokerStars as a past or present employer … says he his now working for 888-subsidiary Dragonfish, which we know, of course, in 2010 became an online partner to the WSOP.
What if anything might be behind this extended shakeup on the international live tournament poker scene is hard to say. Read Wendeen Eolis’ report in Poker Player Newspaper here.
Despite Black Friday, PokerStars has maintained its position as the world’s biggest, arguably most important, and possibly most highly regulated and therefore internationally legitimate online poker site. (And they set a Guinness World Record to boot!)
The US Department of Justice, meanwhile, maintains that PokerStars’ success was built on the ill-gotten gains of an illegal enterprise with ties to organized crime … and their founder is still, according to the DOJ, the #1 most wanted online poker criminal.