PokerStars PS Live Staff Fired After Sochi 400k Euro Overlay

2 years ago
PokerStars PS Live Staff Fired After Sochi 400k Euro Overlay
28 Jun


The tough times for PokerStars Live continue, the site’s recent Championship event in Sochi suffering so badly from missing players that two big-name staff members have been apparently ‘dismissed’ in light of an estimated €400k overlay. The fallout from the poorly-attended event has seen both Edgar Stuchly (President of PokerStars-Live) and Vadim Soloveychik (Director of Global Poker) removed from their posts.

Although PokerStars have not given a reason for the departure of the two high profile members of their team, it is widely acknowledged that poor numbers at the new Panama, Macau and Sochi stops are behind the decision, PokerStars this week appointing David Carrion as interim Director of Live Events, as well as Director of Marketing for PokerStars.

Late last year the site announced it was discontinuing its hugely popular EPT brand and replacing it with new ‘Championship’ and ‘Festival’ tours, Stuchly being a key figure in the EPT from 2011 until its ‘retirement’, with Prague EPT 2016 the last of its kind.


The Numbers Game

Numbers for the replacement Championships have been generally dire, one poster at 2+2, dhubermex, doing the number-crunching for the recent Sochi debacle:

"The Sochi Main Event had a ₽ (Russian rouble) 150 million guarantee and got 387 entries to pay the ₽318,000 buy-in. So roughly ₽123 million contributed by players and ₽27 million short of guarantee. Approximately $450k USD or €400k EUR overlay going by today's Google conversions."

The German site also claims the numbers for the Pokerstars Live Main Events were far from being close to working financially:

"Panama drew only 366 players, Macau 536 players. For Sochi PokerStars guaranteed a prize money of 2.35 million euros, but drew only 387 players - clearly behind the necessary number of players and so paid an overlay of almost 500,000 euros."


Bad timing? Bad management?

PokerStars had claimed last year that:

"The new Championship events would take place in major cities, organised by the most prestigious casinos across the globe, and are designed to deliver the best poker experience on the planet for players of all levels.”

The decision to run Sochi at the same time as the WSOP however always looked like a serious misjudgement, dhubermex again doing the maths according to PokerStars own blog reports and finding that:

"83% of the entire field came from Russia. Hardly any of the touring live pros made the trip."

Others have commented that the ‘20% of the field’ payout structure was also unattractive, while there was more discussion on, Sect7G posting that:

"The name change was an error imo, but Live events will continue to suffer as long as Stars syphons disposable online money towards other verticals which used to be spent on sats to live mtts."

According to Pokerfirma again:

"Under Edgar Stuchly, the stops in Barcelona and Prague experienced considerable heights and attracted thousands of players every year. Last August, the main event of the EPT-Barcelona with 1785 players and over €8.6 million euro prize set a new record and in December the main event in Prague attracted another 1192 players."

Stuchly has apparently stated that “he could not and would not say anything” about his departure at this point in time, while PokerStars stated only that they ‘would like to thank both Soloveychik and Stuchly for their dedicated service and wishes them well in their future endeavors.'


The Future?

Next up for the PokerStars Live Championship circuit is Barcelona from August 15-27, with their Festival series visiting Korea and France simultaneously next month. If the numbers, particularly in Barcelona, again fail to meet expectations, PokerStars staff may be left wondering who is next for the chop?

Articles 1714

Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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