Winamax Prepares for European Expansion, Signs Mateos and Kanit to Pro Team
As excitement builds for European online poker liquidity, French online poker site Winamax has signed professional poker players Mustapha Kanit of Italy and Adrian Mateos of Spain as Team Pro ambassadors, proving its dedication to being a leading site for combined player pools from France, Italy, Spain and Portugal when it takes effect in the near future.
Signed in early July, 2017, the agreement between the four countries that have historically maintained segregated markets regarding online poker will allow operators like Winamax to expand into new territory and offer their products to previously inaccessible clientele.
Preparing for Expansion
Winamax is dedicated to being a frontrunner when the market opening takes effect, as demonstrated by a quote from the Winamax blog.
“Our team has been working towards this day and night.”
Winamax currently holds a gaming license in France only, but we can expect that to change. The move to embrace Kanit and Mateos as Team Pros to represent the historically France-only Winamax brand is telling of their intentions to take their operations international and begin building a player pool that bridges European countries. Winamax anxiously awaits the change, adding international talent to its team in the meantime.
“Whilst waiting for the day to finally arrive, which has still not been decided but will be an incredibly important day for European poker, Winamax is proud to reveal the names of the first two professional players who will be representing Team Winamax amongst the Spanish and Italian communities.”
New Team Pros
Kanit is a recognizable figure across the poker world — but in Italy he’s numero uno. From Sliema, Italy, Kanit is first on Italy’s all-time money list for live tournament earnings with more than $9.2 million according to the Hendon Mob. Kanit has been a major force since his breakout year in 2011 when he notched two six-figure scores.
Kanit has only gained momentum in the last few years, recording two seven-figure scores in back-to-back years 2015 and 2016 with four six-figure scores in between. Both of his biggest cashes to date came in high roller events. He won the EPT Monte Carlo €50,000 Super High Roller in 2015 for $1.048 million and took second in the €100,000 Super High Roller at the same series in 2016 for $1.653 million.
Kanit has also had plenty of online success under the moniker “lasagnaaammm” on PokerStars. After winning the Sunday Million in 2016, his online tournament earnings soared to over $4.5 million. He seems excited about his new role as a representative of Winamax and took to Twitter to express it.
Ready for my 1st tournament with the @winamax team! Top feeling! Top vibe! #readytocrush #mood#… https://t.co/y6zI4zhX5D— Mustapha Kanit (@Mustacchione)
The young and talented Adrian Mateos has fast-become one of the most recognizable faces in poker, especially in his home country. His $9.65 million in live tournament earnings puts Mateos second on Spain’s all-time money list behind the legendary Carlos Mortensen — and he’s still in his early twenties.
At the 2017 WSOP, Mateos won the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship for his third WSOP bracelet at the ripe young age of 22, making him the youngest player to accomplish the feat.
After the announcement that he would be joining Team Winamax, Mateos told Poker-Red in an interview, “I think Winamax is going to play a very important role in the new market. I know they will fight to be an exemplary room.”
As online poker companies such as Winamax prepare for the European liquidity that hovers on the horizon, time will tell when and how the online poker landscape in Europe will transform. PokerNews will be bringing more on that as the situation develops.
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