PokerStars recently prohibited their sponsored players from playing on Poker After Dark, due to it's sponsorship by Full Tilt Poker. Overseas markets receive a more branded version of Poker After Dark than we do in the US. PokerStars's most prominent sponsored players are Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, and most of the recent WSOP Main Event winners.
This is certainly harmful to the poker players, poker on TV, and the poker economy in general. Imagine if it were taken to its logical conclusion: no famous player could play in the WSOP since it's sponsored by Everest Poker. Phil Hellmuth would fade into oblivion since his sponsor, UltimateBet, rarely runs its own shows. Fan favorite Daniel Negreanu would become unknown in his adopted home, the United States, since his sponsor PokerStars has most of its TV presence overseas. As poker TV stars faded, TV ratings would decline and fewer people would play online and live poker. As you can see, the online poker sites would be cutting their own throats if they were to implement these policies. Admittedly, I don't see them taking it as far as in the examples above; but if they take it part of the way there they will do part of the damage. Free trade results in the greatest prosperity for all, whether in poker celebrities or economics.
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