Full Tilt Poker has long held the reputation as the room which tries to sign every pro poker player available probably due to the fact that so many pro players have a large ownership stake in the company. PokerStars, meanwhile, took a different approach which included giving away numerous WSOP Main Event seats and touting its winners over the years as the ultimate “get rich quick” stories. Stars owes much of its success to Chris Moneymaker, Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer, and Peter Eastgate.
However, despite the success of its previous business model, PokerStars has decided to branch out further and into a new realm for poker. PokerStars proved with its signings of Nelly, Jason Alexander, and Jordan Farmar that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to increase their business - including the signing of celebrity players.
And I’d definitely say that PokerStars strategy worked out well since both Alexander and Farmar made solid runs in the Main Event before being knocked out just before the money. And Nelly was a big hit at the Main Event too since he not only played, but also put on a performance afterwards. Seeing as how these celebrities signings were all a success in one way or another, don’t be surprised to see PokerStars signing lots of other people like this in the future.
Having a bunch of celebrities on their side is only going to increase the membership base of what PokerStars already has. In my opinion, the only thing that can stop this room is if another UIGEA-type sanction gets imposed - like when Party Poker fell off afterwards.