During the WSOP Main Event players are approached by poker sites with instant sponsorship or endorsement deals. The reason this is possible is that no sponsorship deal signed overseas has any legal power at the WSOP.
In the past players have qualified to the Main Event through one online poker site only to job to another richer money ship the moment they get a decent offer.
Peter Eastgate – who this year honoured his one off sponsorship deal with Betfair (perhaps because he did not get far enough or now has a poker reputation to keep) – qualified to the Main Event he won through Ladbrokes Poker. Link worth reading for a good old fashioned laugh out loud!
PokerStars came sniffing around when he got near the end and that is how come Peter Eastgate was another of those poker players who won the Main Event and happened to be sponsored by PokerStars.
In the glory days for online poker – when Full Tilt and PokerStars were competing to be the big boy on the block – players could play them off against each other to get the best deal. Now you have to sort of take what you are offered, although if you are lucky enough to all ready have a sponsorship deal with a site you can perhaps use it as leverage to improve your current deal.
There was even talk that Full Tilt had bought a small poker site to get around the introduced ruling that you could only have so many sponsored players on the Main Event Final Table. How it would have worked is anyone visiting that site would have had many offers to redirect them to the proper Full Tilt site.
What will be happening to those final 27 players? Will some except deals they may live to regret if they become an October 9? Will some of them take a short term deal as its money in the hand now and you never know what bad beats or bad plays you could make today? Will others be sensible and put in a renegotiation clause if they make the October 8?
One of the most interesting issue is the sponsorship deals for the last 2 females remaining.
Elisabeth Hille has been wearing a Betfair Poker top throughout the whole tournament. Surely Betfair are big enough to ward off any potential suitors?
Gaëlle Baumann is French which means a poker regulated market nightmare for any potential poker site leeches who wish to sponsor her. Gaelle Baumann is heavily involved with winamax.fr and Baumann is one of the Team Winamax Les Pros. So although many poker sites employees would like to get their hands on her final 27 assets it may be a hands off scenario this time.
Which ever poker site sponsors the chip leader will get coverage but all male and some female poker players eyes will be on Elisabeth Hille amd Gaelle Baumann.