Neymar Jr Rejoins PokerStars for New Partnership

For most sports fans around the world, football is the most popular game. Some call it soccer – hello, Americans! – but the rest of the world calls it football. And there are but a few stars known to both casual and avid fans – Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and David Beckham. A few of them need only one name to know who they are – Pele, Ronaldo, and Neymar.

Several of them have partnered with the world’s largest poker site in the past, and one returned to the nest this month. Neymar signed a new deal with PokerStars to be a site ambassador and more.

Just Neymar

His parents named him Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, but he became Neymar Jr in his professional football career, sometimes even just Neymar.

The Brazilian native entered the major leagues at the age of 17 and didn’t take long to become the South American Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012. He played for Barcelona for some time and then with Paris Saint-Germain, the latter of which revolved around a €222 million agreement and made worldwide news for being the most expensive deal ever.

To this day, Neymar is among the top five highest-paid athletes in the world.

Neymar’s honors and awards began in 2010 and included titles like World Soccer Young Player of the Year in 2011 to numerous team awards from FIFA to UNFP and IFFHS.

His skills and fame also offered numerous sponsorship opportunities, from Puma to Panasonic, from Volkswagen to Nike. He also signed with PokerStars in 2015. His long love of poker, a game he played with friends that nurtured his competitive tendencies, prompted a seemingly friendly relationship with PokerStars that lasted for several years.

At 28 years old, Neymar still plays for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 and for the Brazil National Team.

And he just signed another deal with PokerStars this month.

Together Again

PokerStars could not wait to announce the news and did so on December 15. “Stars realign,” the release read, as PokerStars confirmed that Neymar Jr rejoined PokerStars.

The new partnership will be a “true collaboration.” While many details remain to be revealed, PokerStars did note that Neymar will represent the brand at the online poker tables and live poker tables, the latter Covid-19-permitting. Further, though, the company noted that he will represent “many aspects of the brand” to add more mystery to the deal.

Neymar released a video and posted on social media that he is “IN” for poker and ready to put his face to the brand. It helps that he has shown time and time again that he enjoys poker and the challenge it presents.

“When I’m not playing football,” Neymar said, “I love playing cards. Competing with my friends is a huge passion of mine, I love the sense of community, the fun, and the unpredictable moments that can occur in any game. As a true poker fan, I am excited to start a new chapter with PokerStars. Together we’ll be creating moments for our community and fans all over the world.”

PokerStars’ Global Director of Brand and Creative, Martin Nieri, added that the partners believe they can “take this to the next level for the PokerStars community,” referring to new energy, excitement, and entertainment.

Teasers  and Blowouts Before 2021

According to the press release, the partnership will reveal itself in more detail in 2021.

Meanwhile, PokerStars introduced the Neymar Jr Fast Track, a way to win prizes and tournament seats with regard to the upcoming Blowout Series, which begins on December 27.

The Neymar Jr Fast Track is running a freeroll every day through December 27 with 5,000 Fast Track tickets to award. And every day, there will be a daily final tournament to award 25 Blowout prize packages, each worth $1,904. The entire promotion will award approximately $500K in prizes.

That Blowout Series is PokerStars’ way to kick 2020 out the door and welcome 2021. The series will run from December 27 through January 19 with 268 tournaments and $60 million in prize pool guarantees.

Instead of a Main Event in this series, there will be a Big Blowout tournament every Sunday for the four weeks of action. Each will offer a $5 million guarantee and play NLHE 8-handed. Buy-ins will also escalate as follows:

  • Sunday, December 27: $109 Big Blowout ($5M GTD)
  • Sunday, January 3: $215 Big Blowout ($5M GTD)
  • Sunday, January 10: $530 Big Blowout ($5M GTD)
  • Sunday, January 17: $1,050 Big Blowout ($5M GTD)

The series will also feature a massive New Year’s Bash on Friday, January 1. For just an $11 buy-in, players can compete for pieces of the $2 million guaranteed prize pool.

Neymar just may play in the series, too.



Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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