PokerStars CEO Steps Down Amid Insider Trading Accuastions


Poker Stars is far and large, the largest online poker brand. They have a choke hold on the market, and have been doing so for years. Some may say they helped create the poker boom back in the early part of this century when Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer won the WSOP Main Events in consecutive years. Both eventual champions won their seat into the Main Event playing satellites on Poker Stars.

Back in those days, Poker Stars was making headlines for being the best place to play online poker. These days, the headlines have a more sombre and depressing demeanour.
The first headlines were made - (mainly in online circles), when they announced big changes to their rake, and rewards programs. Obviously, this did not sit well with the regulars, and even sparked a boycott from member of the 2+2 poker community.

The changes remain in place while the boycott had little effect on day to day operations of the site. But still, this news was not good for their overall stance in the poker world.
Next was their almost 2 yearlong bid to stamp their place in the U.S. market. Trying to gain a license in New Jersey proved no easy feat. Finally, after years of back and forth, failed casino buy outs and stubborn lawmakers, Poker Stars finally has their chokehold placed in the U.S. poker space.

Some saw the re-entry of Poker Stars as a sign of things to come. Many felt this would be the trigger that got wheels turning in states like California and New York to push for regulation. But, new headlines may halt that process once again.

Poker Stars CEO - David Baazov has announced his indefinite leave of absence. In his place will be COO - Rafi Ashkenazi.

This voluntary move by Baazov stems from the recent investigation by the AMF accusing Baazov of insider trading. Baazov cites the investigation, and his attempted bid to buy out Poker Stars are the main reasons for stepping down at the moment.

These allegations are purely just that at the moment; and Baazov, along with a statement from Amaya Gaming (owners of Poker Stars) say this is nothing new and are innocent of any wrong doing.

Regardless if this is chalked up to 'business as usual' for Amaya; the negative light being blasted on Poker Stars is not exactly great for poker. Especially for helping their cause. What may be a simple investigation that proves no crime has been committed, and a standard practice that happens all the time - the damage has already been done. At least in the eyes of the public.

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