The PokerStars family is growing. Today the world’s biggest online poker site announced the addition of two new players that will be representing India and Japan, two countries that have never been represented on PokerStars Team Pro.
Aditya Agarwal (pictured right), who has had considerable success playing PokerStars’ biggest online tournaments, becomes the first-ever Indian Team Pro, while Kosei Ichinose, Japan’s first Supernova Elite, was selected to represent his home country.
“The signing of these Team Pros from India and Japan is an important step in helping promote the game in countries where poker is only just coming to the fore,” said Kirsty Thompson, PokerStars’ Head of Pro & Celebrity Management. “Both players are highly respected within the poker sphere, and their success and passion for the game will no doubt spread throughout their local and national communities.”
Agarwal, who will play under the online username ‘Adi Agarwal,” grew up in Darjeeling, India before moving to the United States to study Engineering and Marketing at Drexel University. It was around this time Agarwal watched Chris Moneymaker win the World Series of Poker, and by the time he graduated he was already a full-time pro.
Since then, Agarwal has amassed $394,509 in live tournament winnings including a deep run in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, finishing 96th for $51,466, his largest cash to date.
“I’ve been playing at PokerStars since 2004, so this is a dream come true for me,” Agarwal said. “As a poker ambassador I want to help promote the game in India, and inspire more players to play and enjoy the sport.”
Agarwal’s Career Highlights
|2013 WSOP $10,000 Championship Main Event||July 2013||212th||$42,990|
|2012 WSOP $1,000 No Limit Hold’em||July 2012||19th||$20,499|
|World Gaming Festival No Limit Hold’em||September 2011||2nd||$41,992|
|2008 WSOP $10,000 Championship Main Event||July 2008||96th||$51,466|
|EPT Barcelona €8,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event||August 2007||15th||$34,313|
|2007 WSOP $10,000 Championship Main Event||July 2007||450th||$29,883|
As for Ichinose, who will play on PokerStars under the username ‘Kosei Ichinose,’ he began playing poker in 2006 while English and Business in Canada. Ichinose began by playing limit hold’em at a local casino, but before long he was making his mark online with results in PokerStars SCOOP, WCOOP and Sunday Major events,
Ichinose, who enjoys playing the piano in his free time (something he’s been doing since he was eight), has amassed $305,676 in live tournament winning, including several wins in the Asia-Pacific region. His best score came in March 2013 when he took down the APPT Seoul High Roller for $46,918. Ichinose, who practices the ancient Samurai training method Kendo, will play MTTs, Omaha and mixed games online at PokerStars.
“I’m proud to be associated with PokerStars as I have achieved so much in the game by playing on the site,” said Ichinose. “I now look forward to helping spread the popularity of poker in Asia and representing the brand at major international tournaments like the upcoming Aussie Millions later this month.”
Ichinose’s Career Highlights
|Macau Millions||March 2014||1st||$15,942|
|Asia Poker Tour Cebu||February 2014||1st||$29,292|
|Asia Pacific Poker Tour Seoul||March 2013||1st||$46,918|
|Macau Poker Cup||June 2012||1st||$24,812|
Both Agarwal and Ichinose will make their PokerStars-sponsored debut at the Aussie Millions, which will be held at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia later this month.You can follow Agarwal on Twitter here, and follow Ichinose here.