A nod to Brian Saslavchik over at Card Player Latin America who brought to our attention (via our Facebook page!) that the recent news that Humberto “The Shark” Brenes has parted ways with the newly acquired online giant PokerStars is not the only Latin American pro to lose his sponsorship. There were a pair of other pros who were not retained at roughly the same time.
Jose “Nacho” Barbero, the two-time Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) champion and EPT London High Roller champ will no longer be sporting the PokerStars patch.
As reported in Card Player Latin America last week (and translated via Chrome), Barbero’s non-contract renewal came on the heels of another sponsorship ending the relationship with poker pro Angel Guillen.
The translation of the article’s quote effectively said that Juan Carreño, PokerStars Regional Manager has indicated that there is a shift in policy when it comes to the region of Latin America and according to him, this is by no means because of new management. It’s a matter of budget cuts and PokerStars cannot support multiple Team Pros in Argentina and Mexico.
He also indicated, according to the translation (which could be wrong…technology), that this isn’t limited to just Latin America and that there may be a reduction of pros in regions where there are more than one.
This is happening all over the world. You can not be two Team Pro by country. [translated]
If this is the case and the translation is correct, the dismissal of Nacho, Angel and The Shark may be the first wave of poker pros victimized by “budget cuts” of a new regime at PokerStars.
In fact, it’s been a vicious week for the poker employed. In addition to PokerStars trimming their roster, Ultimate Poker cut their stable of “Team U” pros in half this week.