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POKER STARS CEO GABI CAMPOS IS OFF THE GRID

By Wendeen H. Eolis
Poker Player Newspaper

The initial report was provided last Friday during the PokerStars Carribean Adventure and corroborated on the other side of the pond later the same day by another well-informed insider.
Both sources said the departure is a fait accompli. “The handwriting was on the wall for months—on both sides– say the two parties who know the upper echelon of Poker Stars management well. Speculation by others queried is divided as to whose handwriting surfaced in the exit talks. .

If Mr. Campos’ departure is a reality– and the smart money is betting big on the substantive veracity of the adios conversation– then he is one more person in an expanding list of curious personnel changes. In recent months Poker Stars live event management has become a fast-paced band playing musical chairs with increasing visibility to live tournament players.

First there was Thomas Kremser, EPT’s longtime Tournament Director. He issued a press release, rather than direct notice to the Company, of his disinclination to continue contract talks for an eighth season.  Along with the departure of Kremser came an end to the seasoned and collaborative dealer and floor staff team under the umbrella of TK Poker Events.

Next, at the end of 2011 John Duthie, the founder of the Euro Poker Tour, parted ways with Poker Stars. Mr. Duthie had been responsible for developing and executing with flair, the concept for a prestigious poker tour in Europe–one that would allow an online company massive exposure through sponsorship of televised live events.  Noting his desire to insure the news went around, Mr. Duthie posted on a popular poker forum his decision not to renew his contract.

During the PCA there was proof of yet another seismic shift in the management of live tournament fare. Jeffrey Haas, the managing director of Global Poker Tours Limited since its beginnings (this is the Poker Stars-related company in charge of live events), welcomed the huge crowd of players that descended on Paradise Island for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. His welcome message ended with his name and the GPTL company name, but without any title associated with Mr. Haas.

According to two colleagues,  Mr. Haas has enjoyed a last hurrah at the PCA, as part of GPTL, but they noted that Mr. Campos had revised Mr. Haas’ responsibilities months earlier–taking him away from GPTL to concentrate on the development of social media initiatives.

As for Gabi Campos, his reign at PokerStars seems to be over –all but for the proverbial fat lady singing her song. Poker Stars and Gabi Campos were called separately for comment.  Both sides remained silent.