June 13 2014, by Alexandre Dreyfus

Blog Alex Dreyfus : Thanks Isai, Mark and  David (#PokerstarsAcquiredbyAmaya)

Today is a big day, the Rational Group is being acquired by Amaya Gaming. It means that Pokerstars and FullTilt are being sold for $4.9 billion to Amaya. I could spend hours and days to talk about that, but I think the most important is actually to thanks the people behind this deal. We, collectively, the poker stakeholder, should thanks Isai and Mark Scheinberg for their gift to the poker industry. They did develop a strong market in 14 years, build it almost from scratch, had the right vision, the right execution and a proper ethic management. Theses guys lived for poker. Their baseline is “We are poker”. They are poker.

I believe that they deserved this great opportunity to give their baby to another, young and genius entrepreneur David Baazov (CEO and founder of Amaya). We probably couldn’t have any other better leader to run this operation. Pokerstars hasen’t been sold to a big corporation but eventually to a small vehicle that will keep the excellent legacy of the soul of Pokerstars. David will bring it to another level,  with its online casino expertise and develop new verticals for the customer’s database.  It will gives the opportunity for Pokerstars and Fulltilt to claim a strong position, at least a chance, in the US Market (subject to regulation) that will consolidate its position – and same time develop the poker segment/category in globally. Poker needed that. Competitors will be upset, and I respect that. It will force them to build bigger conglomerates and think differently. There is a lot of questions marks, but for the good of poker, this is a great deal. Coming from a Family-run business to a public-listed corporate company, will change the way Pokerstars is managed. I believe the expertise and talent of Rafi Ashkenazi (COO) with his background  at Playtech and his deep knowledge of managing Pokerstars during the last 18 months  will make a explosive duo with David.

For those, who doesn’t see yet the best of it, is that now, in 45 days, Isai will be able to play on pokerstars.com and hopefully, after its DOJ settlement, on the live circuit. I hope it will gives him a chance to add some flags to his HendonMob profile and improve its GPI ranking.

See you on the tables, Isai and Mark, and thanks for everything.

Alexandre Dreyfus.


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About the author

Alexandre is the founder and CEO of Zokay Entertainment, a company dedicated to manage different projects, including the Global Poker Index, a ranking system for live poker players. the GPI recently lauched the Fantasy Poker Manager, a Facebook application where the users can draft a team of poker pros and compete against their friends during a major event. Alexandre Dreyfus is the founder and CEO of Chiligaming, amongst other projects, whose technology was recently sold to Bally Technologies. email: Alex@zokay.com twitter: @Alex_Dreyfus