European Poker Tour founder steps down as CEO

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jan 05, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

When we first heard the news earlier this week that John Duthie would no longer be a member of Team PokerStars Pro, we wondered aloud what implications this might have for his relationship with the PokerStars controlled European Poker Tour (EPT) where Duthie –the founder of the EPT—still acted as the CEO. On Wednesday we found out, as Duthie announced he would be resigning from his CEO position.

Once again the news came via the 2+2 Poker Forums (where Duthie explained his decision to leave Team PokerStars Pro just days before) and it seems that the man who took a fledgling poker tour and turned it into one of the most prestigious and recognizable brands in the poker world is not simply going to sit idly by counting his money.

According to Duthie’s statement on 2+2 (posted via a surrogate but later confirmed by Duthie himself) he will be looking at the upcoming opportunities in the US market, which Duthie apparently feels will be “opening up in 2012/2013” and he doesn’t want to miss out on these opportunities by being handcuffed to the EPT. Here is a look at the entire statement from the thread from 2+2:

‘It is time to move on and to leave the EPT in the capable hands of the existing management team.’ Duthie said, ‘ It has been a fascinating and challenging seven years and I have watched the EPT grow phenomenally in that time, thanks to the support of the players and the professionalism of a great team on the ground.’

‘There are going to be some amazing opportunities coming up in 2012/13 as the US market prepares to open up for business once again and I want to be available to take on new challenges and to cement new relationships moving forward.’

‘PokerStars have been an interesting partner from the outset and have always proved challenging and dynamic. Currently they are the largest online poker site in the world and their dominance of the European Market is in many ways thanks to the success of the European Poker Tour and the resultant massive exposure on European TV channels.’

‘The secondary International Tours that spawned from the EPT also gave PokerStars a strong foothold in many other markets.’

‘I feel very proud to have been part of this growth and look forward to utilising the knowledge I have gained elsewhere. I wish the new President of the company, Mr Edgar Stuchly, the best of luck in his position and trust that he will oversee the continued growth of the largest poker tour in the world’

The decision to leave the EPT was similar to Duthie’s decision to not renew (or try to renew) his Team PokerStars Pro contract in that both contracts apparently expired on December 31, 2011. I’ll posit a little speculation here and assume that Mr. Duthie already has another gig lined-up at this point.

The new CEO, Edgar Stuchly, was promoted from within, having been named EPT President in August 2011. Stuchly is a former Poker Staff Person of the Year according to PokerNews.com, and has over a decade’s worth of experience running card-rooms in Austria.

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