On Wednesday, PokerStars revealed 2011 World Series of Poker runner-up Martin Staszko as the newest members of Team PokerStars. Staszko, 35, joins Martin Hruby as the only players from the Czech Republic on the PokerStars roster of sponsored pros.
"I'm really happy to sign for PokerStars and join such a talented team of poker players," said Staszko, whose contract will officially begin on Dec. 1. "I’m playing in my home country at EPT Prague as a Team PokerStars Pro and looking forward to playing many big live and online tournaments in 2012 like the PCA and WCOOP. My main focus is to win a mixed-game event at the next WSOP, becoming the first Czech player to win a bracelet."
Staszko was fairly unknown on the live poker scene before a remarkable run in the WSOP Main Event saw him earn more than $5.4 million. His nemesis at the final table, German pro Pius Heinz, signed a sponsorship deal with PokerStars before going on to win the Main Event for $8.7 million.
Before signing with PokerStars, Staszko played on the site under the moniker "filfedra" and enjoyed an incredible amount of success at the virtual tables. In May, he took down a Spring Championship of Online Poker event for $91,500, and had a fourth place finished in a World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) event in September for more than $73,000.
PokerStars will officially introduce Staszko as part of the team on Dec. 4, 2011, at the Prague Hilton Hotel before the Guinness World Record celebration. On that day, online players and members of Team PokerStars will gather in a private room of the Hilton to participate in a $1 tournament that will attempt to best the current record of 149,196 players set in Dec. 2009.
Staszko's first live tournament as a Team PokerStars Pro will be the European Poker Tour Prague Main Event beginning on Dec. 5.
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