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Just a few days after Jeff Gross and Jaime Stables announced the end of their contracts with PokerStars, the company has signed Ramon Colillas, the winner of the PokerStars Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship, as their new brand ambassador. The poker star took the online poker industry by surprise when he emerged victorious at the $25,000 PSPC last month which saw him walk away with a whopping $5.1 million.

Ramon who is a former fitness trainer was one of the 320 lucky poker players who received a $30,000 Platinum Pass which included a $25,000 seat into the PSPC. He was handed the Platinum Pass after he topped the leaderboard at the Campeonato de España de Poker (CEP), a lie tour that also happened to be sponsored by PokerStars – the live tour is scheduled to take place in 2019 as well after the success of the 2018 event.

According to Eric Hollreiser, the Director of Poker Marketing at PokerStars, Colillas represents the next generation of poker players. He also described the poker player’s journey as “stuff of legends” which references the fact that he managed to beat a whopping 1,039 entrants at the inaugural PSPC. The next event he will be participating in will be a €1,010 High Roller Casino Barcelona event in which he will be wearing the PokerStars patch for the very first time as he defends his CEP Leaderboard title. This will be followed by the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) in Sochi, then the EPT Monte Carlo, the EPT Open Madrid, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and finally the EPT Barcelona.

Controversial Choice?

Prior to winning the $25,000 PSPC, Ramon Colillas had only $12,000 in career tournament winnings and therefore it was quite surprising that with just win huge win he was already receiving an ambassadorship contract from PokerStars, which is considered to be one of the largest online poker sites on the planet.

More Pros Exiting

While PokerStars still boasts of the star power of accomplished poker pros like Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, and Jason Sommerville, there has been a significant number of other big names in the industry ditching the online poker site. While  Jaime Staples and Jeff Gross, the stars that have left most recently, have pointed out that their departures did not involve any “hard feelings” with the company, there are a few that do not agree.

Poker players Ike Haxton and “ElkY” who left PokerStars for PartyPoker expressed their dissatisfaction with the site’s decisions which included the elimination of popular rewards programs. So far, this is the biggest complaint that PokerStars’ ex-brand ambassadors have – it may be justifiable especially considering the rake increases and changes to loyalty programs that the company has been implementing of late.