Celina Lin Leaves PokerStars
The ongoing global pandemic has greatly impacted all facets of gambling. Poker has been hard hit by the changes. However, change has also brought about innovations, such as the WSOP Online. However, it has caused some companies to change their marketing focus. Recently, PokerStars pro Celina Lin became the latest PokerStars Pro to leave the site.
The Australian poker pro has been unable to play live poker since the pandemic started, and due to the current Australian gambling laws, she cannot play online. Lin’s exit however continues the trend of pros leaving PokerStars.
Celina Lin Leaves PokerStars
Earlier this week, news broke that Australian poker pro Celina Lin has left PokerStars. Lin was part of Team Asia and was the last of that team still sponsored by the site. She had been sponsored by PokerStars for the last 11 years.
Lin joined PokerStars back in 2007 and since then has been traveling the world playing poker. The Australian pro was snatched up by PokerStars after cashing in the 2007 Asia Pacific Poker Tour Macau Main Event and later making an APPT Sydney final table.
I will start by saying 👋 to @pokerstars & all the amazing ppl I have met & worked with over the years. I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to travel the 🌏, play 🃏🃏 & call it work.
2021 let’s hope for more freedom, more adventures & more quality time with our ♥️ ones pic.twitter.com/WBnn1r7wUq
— Celina Lin (@CelinaLin) January 6, 2021
As a member of Team PokerStars, Lin has many accomplishments. First, she won the 2009 PokerStars Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event. Later in 2013, she took down the APPT Asia Championship of Poker held in Macau. She won the event again in 2016, making poker history as the first player to do so.
Lin is the wife popular poker pro Randy Lew, aka “nanonoko.” Lin gave birth to a baby girl back in October 2019 and decided to live in Australia. Normally, this would not be a big deal as Lin mostly played live poker tournaments. However, after the pandemic hit, she was unable to travel the world.
Ultimately, this helped bring about the decision to leave. However, one has to wonder if the decision was entirely hers considering the number of poker players to recently exit the company.
Lin’s Departure Continues Exodus of Poker Players
Lin is just the latest in a long line of poker pros to leave PokerStars, the last couple of weeks has seen several pros leave the stable. The most shocking departure of those leaving the site was Chris Moneymaker. The 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion announced his departure on the last day of 2020 after a 17-year run.
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) December 31, 2020
Other pros leaving the company include Mikhail Shalamov, Kalidou Sow, and the OP-Poker team of James Mackenzie, Eva Reberc, and Nick Walsh. This only leaves about 10 players on the standard Team PokerStars stable. Lex Veldhuis is perhaps the most well-known name remaining. Most of the remaining team is largely unknown unless you’re a hardcore poker follower.
PokerStars Exploring Alternative Partnerships
Like any company with longevity, PokerStars has evolved. Originally just an online poker site, the company now offers online casino gambling services to many regions of the world. In addition to online poker, players can play online pokies, blackjack, and other casino games.
The changes in company structure have also forced the company to go in different directions for marketing. Recently, the company signed new sponsors but none are traditional poker pros. Retired footballer David Ginola was signed by PokerStars France back in October. YouTube star True Geordie is also now a partner with the site.
As PokerStars and parent company Flutter Entertainment branch out in other gambling areas, the company has to make their products appealing to a wide audience. This can’t be done by using traditional poker pros alone. Today’s sponsors have to be able to connect with a global audience and PokerStars now appears focused on signing pros that have global appeal.
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