Why Are Big Streaming Names Leaving PokerStars?

3 years ago
Why Are Big Streaming Names Leaving PokerStars?
10 Feb

Two of the most popular poker Twitch streamers and YouTubers, Jeff Gross and Jaime Staples, both left Team PokerStars within 24 hours of each other. 

Both players will continue streaming and described the split as amicable, thanking PokerStars and the people behind the scenes. This just made it even more confusing. 

Players leaving PokerStars is nothing new, however, they usually have a clear and pressing motive to leave the industry leader behind. Many players like Ike Haxton, Elky and Vicky Cohen left because they disagreed with the direction the site was taking, while others like Vanessa Selbst left because they were ready to leave professional poker behind

Jeff and Jaime’s case is even rarer, considering they’re not just professional poker players but poker content creators. Making money producing content online is hard enough, especially when the content is about adult subject matters like gambling, so why would they reject the biggest sponsor in poker?

Well, being a PokerStars pro may not be all that’s cracked up to be. While the money is likely great, but it comes with heavy restrictions for content creators.

  • PokerStars streamers can only stream on PokerStars. So if partypoker or HighStakes has an amazing sunday tournament they can’t even bring it up.
  • PokerStars streamers can only say nice things about PokerStars. So you can’t even acknowledge any misgivings you or your fellow players may have.
  • PokerStars streamers have to play along with every new PokerStars marketing gimmick. They may not feel like playing Unfold or any of the other flash in the pan variant.

Jeff and Jaime are likely looking for avenues to make money from streaming poker, without having to attach their brand to someone else’s whims and promises. If Daniel Negreanu’s story has taught us anything is that any damage to the PokerStars brand might irreparably damage the personal brand of individual Team pros. 

That’s my theory anyway, at the time of press nothing has been confirmed by any of the involved parties. What do you think? What Jeff and Jaime going to stream?  Let us know in the comments.

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