Twitch streaming poker professionals Jeff Gross and Jaime Staples have announced, in back-to-back days, that they have parted ways with their mutual sponsor, PokerStars.
Gross and Staples were sponsored members of Team PokerStars thanks in large part to their dedication to streaming poker on their respective Twitch channels, as well as their wide-reaching online presence on YouTube and other social media outlets.
Jeff Gross Steps Down
On Monday, Jeff Gross released a video announcing that he “will no longer be working with or representing PokerStars” after the two sides could not come to an agreement to move forward.
Gross was signed as an ambassador for the world’s largest online poker site at the start of the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2017. Gross is the host of his own Twitch channel show dubbed “The Poker Flow Show” and is also known as a consistent vlogger with videos posted on his YouTube Channel of over 25K subscribers.
In addition to his inclusion on Team PokerStars, Gross was also named a member of Jason Somerville’s Team Run It Up. Somerville is a member of Team PokerStars and his Run It Up stable of streamers is a partner of PokerStars. Gross, in his statement, admits that the future of his relationship with Run It Up is uncertain.
“It’s unclear where that will go with me and how that will work, whether we’ll still be working together or not.”
Gross insisted that while it may be the end of his PokerStars deal, this is just the beginning for him when it comes to his poker ambitions.
“Is this it for you in poker? The answer is ‘no’,” Gross stated in his announcement. “If anything, we are just getting locked in, just getting strapped in and it’s seriously about to turn up.”
Staples Hopes For ‘Something Bigger’
One day later, former fellow Team Pokerstars Online Pro Jaime Stapes followed suit.
“As of today, PokerStars and I are no longer continuing our relationship,” Staples announced in a video posted to his YouTube channel.
Staples, the former “friend of PokerStars” who was elevated to a full-fledged member of Team PokerStars Online in December 2016, called it a “happy breakup.” He indicated that the decision was his to make and it was in favor of pursuing other opportunities.
“I felt as if I might have an opportunity to do something bigger with my career in poker,” Staples said in his departure announcement. “It was a risk and I thought about it a lot and I decided to go on my own.”
Staples rose to popularity by streaming poker on Twitch from his mother’s basement. He worked his way into becoming one of the premier stars of the medium with over 9.3 million channel views.
“This is an opportunity to do something different. It’s still going to be poker at the end of the day but it’s a new direction. It’s a scary one. It’s a risky one. But I couldn’t be more excited.”
Staples took to streaming poker immediately after his announcement, playing on both PokerStars and partypoker. The title of his Twitch stream was “Free Agent Plays Poker”.
Staples and Gross have more than their involvement with PokerStars in common. Both served as a two-person committee to help businessman Bill Perkins select The Thirst Lounge 10, the next batch of hosts for the expansion of Perkins’ own Twitch channel.