PokerStars puts on a massive home game

September 27, 2013

Happens to me and every one of my PokerStars colleagues when we’re out playing poker. They find out we work for PokerStars and the questions start…

“Where do you work?”

“What’s it like working for PokerStars?”

“Do you know ?” This one is always interesting, particularly if they ask about one of our support people. Like, “Do you know Host Julia? I love her emails.”

Of course, the other thing that happens is that I have to start playing my A-game, because as soon as I make some bone-headed play, the table wag will glance over and say, “Are you sure you work for PokerStars?”


Needless to say, we love the interaction. We get to talk about PokerStars, answer (most of) the questions, and importantly, have face-to-face chats with our customers.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

From October 30th through November 4th, the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) is coming to PokerStars’ headquarters home – the Isle of Man – for the first time. This is a very big deal for us: the UKIPT has grown dramatically in recent years with successful festivals in Nottingham, Galway, Dublin and London, which is where you’ll find many players this weekend. But the Isle of Man is where “the magic happens.” It’s here that the Sunday tournaments are conceived and structured. It’s here that promotions are dreamed up and launched. It’s here that you’ll find our VIP Store where your VPP purchases are shipped from.

And it’s where some 250 of us eat, drink and sleep throughout the year. So, heck, if there’s gonna be a poker tournament in Isle of Man we’re going to make it a party.
Dancing girls, fireworks, search lights, all of it.

We’ll be telling you more about the special activities soon – there’s going to be a lot of cool stuff. But I want to lead with the part that has the PokerStars offices buzzing: for the first time, PokerStars (and Full Tilt Poker) employees will be playing in the main event at the UKIPT on IoM.

As you’re likely aware, PokerStars employees aren’t permitted to play for real money on PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker. And in general, we’re not permitted to play in the main events of our sponsored live poker tours. But because this event is on our home court, and because we know that our players love meeting our staff over a good game of cards, we’re making an exception to our usual rule.

After all, you know as well as I do that working for an online poker company doesn’t help you in a live poker tournament any more than being a famous athlete or movie star does. I mean, if you have kings and I have queens during a UKIPT tournament, well, I’ve got the same two outs as everybody else does in that situation.

Look, we’re mildly obsessive about our obligation to provide a fair and unbiased poker tournament to everybody and this doesn’t change that. We just feel that this is an incredible opportunity to get PokerStars employees and our customers gathered around tables where they can meet, exchange ideas, and have a great poker game. We think it will be a great time for all and a chance for us to show that we play poker as well as we deliver it online. Or don’t.

If you have any questions about this upcoming event, please feel free to drop an email to – Host Julia (or one of her colleagues) will be happy to answer any questions you have.

And otherwise, as the saying goes:


Lee Jones is the head of Poker Communications at PokerStars and has been part of the professional poker world for over 25 years. You can read his occasional Twitter-bites at @leehjones.


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