EPT founder John Duthie parts ways PokerStars

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jan 03, 2012 Posted in EPT News, Poker Room News | No Comments »

Yet another player has been removed from the Team PokerStars Pro roster as European Poker Tour founder John Duthie confirmed he had parted ways with his longtime sponsor PokerStars on the 2+2 Poker Forum. In addition to founding the EPT, Duthie is also an accomplished poker player in his own right, with over $2.7 million in career tournament earnings according to thehendonmob.com.

Duthie posted in the thread on 2+2 after speculation had him leaving Team PokerStars Pro over the new VPP structure (a bad joke that somehow caught traction on the forum) apparently the real reason for the split is far less glamorous, as Duthie explains he just didn’t feel like renewing his contract with the site when it expired on December 31st, 2011.

“Hey Guys….I’m afraid this decision had nothing to do with the VPP situation or the ‘Sit-Out’; it was quite simply that I didn’t want to renew my contract which expired 31st December. There was also no Tweet to this effect. All very self-centred to be honest.

“Love the idea of being ‘Tribune of the people’ but sadly this is not the case.”

So, despite what you might read on the poker forums, Duthie did not part ways with PokerStars over the company’s new rake policies or because they asked him to quit smoking (yes this was also brought up as a reason!), the real reason is far less conspiratorial.

Under Duthie’s leadership the European Poker Tour (which was first launched in 2004) grew to become one of the top poker tours in the world, and with Duthie’s background in production he was able to negotiate broadcasting deals across Europe, which led to the EPT’s quick rise to prominence.

The break from PokerStars will not affect the company’s relationship with the European Poker Tour as PokerStars purchased (some?) the company from Duthie several years ago. There is no word yet if Duthie will remain an executive with the EPT, a role he has served for several years, or whether or not he still owns a significant piece of the company.

PokerStars has not made an official announcement regarding the split with Duthie (sometimes the site offers a press release in these circumstances and sometimes it doesn’t) but Duthie’s picture and profile no longer appear on the Team PokerStars Pro page.

Duthie’s largest cash at the poker tables (nothing will compare to the payday he received for the EPT itself) came in 2000 when he won the Poker Million, winning £1,000,000. Duthie has also won the popular series Late Night Poker in 2010, finished 12th in the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, and nearly captured a World Series of Poker bracelet in 2009 when he made the finals of the $10,000 NLHE Heads-Up Championship (eventually losing to Leo Wolpert).

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