Fatima Moreira de Melo Parts Ways with PokerStars4 months ago
Fatima Moreira de Melo has become the last of PokerStars sporting icon pros to part company with the site, announcing on Twitter that her decade with the company has come to an end...
The 41-year old former Dutch field hockey player and Olympic Gold Medalist was signed up for Team Sportstars as part of a drive to make PokerStars appeal to mass sporting audiences.
Tennis legend Boris Becker, NHL player Mats Sundin and Swedish cross-country skier Marcus Hellner were also among the early signings, with the past decade also seeing Rafa Nadal, Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, and Brazilian football stars Ronaldo and Neymar pass through the PokerStars books.
PokerStars have yet to formally announce Moreira de Melo’s departure, but PokerIndustryPRO picked up on her absence from the Team PokerStars website lineup.
The industry site contacted Stars, who stated:
“We can confirm that Fatima’s contract with us as an ambassador has ended. Olympic hockey champion is only one of her many achievements and in her time with PokerStars she has notched up a string of impressive results while embodying everything great about poker—a fun, competitive spirit that encourages everyone to give the game a try.”
The spokesperson added:
“We look forward to following her next chapter closely and are sure that it will be as successful as the ones before.”
PokerStars focus for so many years was part of an ill-fated attempt to ‘sportify’ the game of poker, which included the short-lived Global Poker League.
Moreira de Melo was one of the few sporting signings who could actually play poker well, winning more than $570,000 in her live tournament poker career, including a $95,750 second place payout in the UKIPT Isle of Man Main Event in 2013, her biggest score to date.
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