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Former Dutch field hockey player and Olympic Gold Medalist, Fatima Moreira de Melo had ended her decade-long partnership with the Red Spade. For the first time in more than a decade, there is no sports ambassador on the PokerStars pro team roster that at one time featured superstars like Rafael Nadal, Ronaldo Fenômeno, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Marcus Hellner, Gualter Salles, and Boris Becker.
Speculations surrounding her departure starting doing the rounds since the end of January when her name disappeared from the PokerStars Team Pro web page. Putting a rest to all the rumors, de Melo confirmed the news of the end of her ten-year-long partnership with online poker giant in a tweet at 9:30 PM yesterday. She tweeted, “After a beautiful decade, the relationship with Pokerstars ends. It’s a farewell to this fantastic team, but certainly not to this wonderful game! We will see you soon at the tables.”
|POKER| after a beautiful decade with pokerstars our journey together has ended. Farewell to a great company, but by no means goodbye to this beautiful game! See you at the tables ♥️♣️♦️♠️ #poker https://t.co/TaroaDtbl3
— Fatima MoreiraDeMelo (@Fatimademelo) February 4, 2020
According to a note issued by PokerStars representative: “We can confirm that Fatima’s contract with us has ended. […] Her Olympic medal is just one achievement among many, during her time at PokerStars she signed impressive results while playing all that is great in poker. Fun and competitive, she encouraged everyone to try their hand at poker.”
The PokerStars spokesperson added: “We look forward to following her next chapter closely and are sure that it will be as successful as the ones before.”
Fatima de Melo is the second member of the PokerStars pro team to depart this year after Run It Up founder Jason Somerville.
In the last ten months, many prominent pros like Daniel Negreanu, Maria Konnikova, Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov, Leo Fernandez, and the first Indian PokerStars ambassador Aditya Agarwal, have parted ways with the online poker giant.
The current PokerStars Pro Team lineup comprises of Chris Moneymaker, Andre Akkari, Celina Lin, Muskan Sethi, Ramon Colillas, Jen Shahade, and Kalidou Sow. Team Online Pros include Lex Veldhuis, Fintan Hand, and Ben Spragg.