Poker News Daily can independently confirm that 2010 World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship winner David Williams has signed with PokerStars. Williams’ agency, Poker Royalty, confirmed that a contract was forged in recent days and the former Bodog pro will now join the world’s largest online poker site.
Williams parted ways with Bodog shortly after taking down the WPT Championship at the Bellagio to the tune of $1.5 million. The tournament marked his fourth WPT final table and gave him nearly $3 million in career WPT earnings. Bodog, which has parted ways with Jean-Robert Bellande and Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo since 2010 began, promptly introduced Amanda Musumeci as its newest sponsored pro. Musumeci joins Evelyn Ng as the lone Bodog-backed pros.
On July 6th at the Palms, PokerStars is hosting a cocktail event featuring reigning World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champ Joe Cada, Williams, and North American Poker Tour (NAPT) Mohegan Sun Main Event winner Vanessa Selbst. Neither Selbst nor Williams appears on PokerStars’ website as a sponsored pro at the time of writing. Selbst, a Yale law student, banked an even $750,000 by taking down the $5,000 NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event in April, besting a final table that included Scott Seiver and Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy.
Williams’ total live tournament winnings nearly top $8 million. The Panorama Towers resident finished as the runner-up to Greg Raymer in the 2004 WSOP Main Event for $3.5 million. Two years later, Williams landed at the final table of the WPT Bay 101 stop for $280,000. He won a gold bracelet at the 2006 WSOP in a $1,500 Seven Card Stud event and promptly took second in a $5,000 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball tournament for another quarter-million dollars.
Williams has been a staple of televised series like the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, NBC’s “Poker After Dark,” GSN’s “High Stakes Poker,” and the PokerStars-backed “Big Game.” He celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this month, noting on Twitter, “Thanks you to everyone for the Happy Birthday messages. 30 isn’t so bad… I guess.”
PokerStars issued a weekly news roundup on Tuesday morning that did not mention Williams’ signing. He’ll join a stable of pros that includes Cada, Raymer, Joe Hachem, Chris Moneymaker, Peter Eastgate, Barry Greenstein, and the site’s main face, Daniel Negreanu. Year-over-year, PokerStars has posted a 14% increase in online poker traffic according to PokerScout.com and currently owns a seven-day running average of 25,000 real money ring game players.
The PokerStars cocktail reception at the Palms is invite-only and designed for members of the media to conduct one-on-one interviews. It’s one of the many gatherings planned for this week in Las Vegas leading up to the 2010 WSOP Main Event, which begins next Monday, July 5th, with the first of four starting days. The tournament plays down to a final table on July 17th. Then, the nine survivors will disperse from the Rio until the first week of November. You can catch the Main Event, Tournament of Champions, and $50,000 Player’s Championship starting next month on ESPN.
Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest player signings.