What are "team pros"?

Emily Trott

Emily Trott

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I hear people mentioning them but really have no idea of what they are so I'm finally going to ask. Are they people who pool their funds to bankroll a player who is the team pro? Or are there actually teams of professional poker players out there?
 
Phoenix Wright

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Good question. I'm actually not certain myself, so I'm following this thread to learn a little. I've seen "team pros" on tv before as representing a country sort of like with the olympics. I'm pretty sure I saw Daniel Negreanu wearing a "Team Pro" badge on his shirt with the canada Flag. I suspect that "team pros" are just regular pros in international poker events, but I'm not 100% sure on this one.

Curious to see how others define "team pro" though and similarly how to become one :D Not to say I'm interested myself, but more just curious on what the requirements would be. Can anyone just say they represent x-country, or are there some qualifications needed?
 
mtl mile end

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Hmmm, this is the kind of situation that requires lots of links to historical articles about online poker - I ain't got that.

Back when the Poker Boom was booming, the big online sites would sponsor the top professional players to represent their site. Full Tilt was probably the "best" at this with a roster of all the most marketable faces of the time. They had everybody - Howard Lederer, Annie Duke (Lederer's Sister), Chris Ferguson, Phil Ivey, Jen Harmon, John Juanda, Phil Gordon, Cloney Gowan, Gus Hansen, etc, etc. A virtual Who's Who of the best known pros at the time.

Other sites (and really, the only other major player at the time was pokerstars) struggled to keep up. These players were given privileges (read; MONEY) to play on the site and wore badges sewn onto their clothing for televised events to represent "their" sites.

This was also a time for pros to start their own sites, or to become the "Big Name" at smaller sites.

This all shook out as anything from a complete and utter disaster to a sort of "surviving with career intact" scenario.

Nowadays, the level of sponsorship ranges from some pros being the advertising face of the site (like Chris Moneymaker at WPN (I'm sure he's actually paid a fee)) to pros who bring in players and are paid a share of rake or have a different arrangement (like the recently "let go" from GGPoker Vanessa Kade - IN YOUR FACE BILZERIAN!!)

The whole "Team Pro" concept is more oriented to sites that are completely legit and aboveboard (the kind of sites that don't allow US players). partypoker has a "Team Pro" of professional players that represent the site, for example. I regularly receive emails from John Duthie on behalf of PartyPoker. I'm sure they all have their individual sponsorship deals in place.

Not part of "Team Pro", but I knew a guy who was grinding the middle stakes of PokerStars in the early 2000's who was a "Supernova" player who generated tons of rake ($25K annually, I think). He was treated to a VIP weekend every year (at home, in Montreal) with dinners at great restaurants and lots of praise. The last time I talked to him (maybe 8-9 years ago), he said the perks had evaporated and it just wasn't the same.

So to sum it all up, the "Team Pro" players are, in some way, sponsored by the sites that they play on. I have seen many Team Pro types in tourneys that I have played - always the larger buy-ins, they tend not to play freerolls. :D

They are nothing to be afraid of, they usually play pretty solid poker.
 
Newzooozooo

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Hi.
I believe that such an investment system is quite risky, and therefore I think it is better to try to achieve professionalism, through your own patience and perseverance.
 
Phoenix Wright

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Hmmm, this is the kind of situation that requires lots of links to historical articles about online poker - I ain't got that.

Back when the Poker Boom was booming, the big online sites would sponsor the top professional players to represent their site. Full Tilt was probably the "best" at this with a roster of all the most marketable faces of the time. They had everybody - Howard Lederer, Annie Duke (Lederer's Sister), Chris Ferguson, Phil Ivey, Jen Harmon, John Juanda, Phil Gordon, Cloney Gowan, Gus Hansen, etc, etc. A virtual Who's Who of the best known pros at the time.

Other sites (and really, the only other major player at the time was PokerStars) struggled to keep up. These players were given privileges (read; MONEY) to play on the site and wore badges sewn onto their clothing for televised events to represent "their" sites.

This was also a time for pros to start their own sites, or to become the "Big Name" at smaller sites.

This all shook out as anything from a complete and utter disaster to a sort of "surviving with career intact" scenario.

Nowadays, the level of sponsorship ranges from some pros being the advertising face of the site (like Chris Moneymaker at WPN (I'm sure he's actually paid a fee)) to pros who bring in players and are paid a share of rake or have a different arrangement (like the recently "let go" from GGPoker Vanessa Kade - IN YOUR FACE BILZERIAN!!)

The whole "Team Pro" concept is more oriented to sites that are completely legit and aboveboard (the kind of sites that don't allow US players). PartyPoker has a "Team Pro" of professional players that represent the site, for example. I regularly receive emails from John Duthie on behalf of PartyPoker. I'm sure they all have their individual sponsorship deals in place.

Not part of "Team Pro", but I knew a guy who was grinding the middle stakes of PokerStars in the early 2000's who was a "Supernova" player who generated tons of rake ($25K annually, I think). He was treated to a VIP weekend every year (at home, in Montreal) with dinners at great restaurants and lots of praise. The last time I talked to him (maybe 8-9 years ago), he said the perks had evaporated and it just wasn't the same.

So to sum it all up, the "Team Pro" players are, in some way, sponsored by the sites that they play on. I have seen many Team Pro types in tourneys that I have played - always the larger buy-ins, they tend not to play freerolls. :D

They are nothing to be afraid of, they usually play pretty solid poker.

Yes, very interesting; thanks for sharing. I'm still a bit curious how representing a specific country falls into this, but it might also be the case that "anyone" might call themselves a "team pro." Just speculation, but if you have got a bunch of sites and companies "sponsoring" you with their brand names on clothing, then it isn't too far off for the player to just sew a patch of their country flag next to them all and then call themselves a "team pro."

I could be completely wrong here, but it is a possibility that "team pro" doesn't actually mean anything "officially" and that is why finding articles or sources on it is difficult... :rolleyes:
 
frank174

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I always thought they were pro players that made sponsorship deals with the respective sites and would wear the sites swag and take part in different promotions
 
Emily Trott

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Back when the Poker Boom was booming, the big online sites would sponsor the top professional players to represent their site. Full Tilt was probably the "best" at this with a roster of all the most marketable faces of the time. They had everybody - Howard Lederer, Annie Duke (Lederer's Sister), Chris Ferguson, Phil Ivey, Jen Harmon, John Juanda, Phil Gordon, Cloney Gowan, Gus Hansen, etc, etc. A virtual Who's Who of the best known pros at the time.
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lengthy, and informative post. :) It sounds like they are basically sponsored in some way or another like auto racing, skiing, golf, and other "individual" sports rather than actually being on a team. Makes sense. :)
 
Emily Trott

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Good question. I'm actually not certain myself, so I'm following this thread to learn a little. I've seen "team pros" on tv before as representing a country sort of like with the olympics.
That would be really cool. :)
 
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