There was a day when poker sponsorships were handed out like coupons for a free ice cream cone at Dairy Queen. These deals usually encompassed the online poker rooms paying for a player’s buy-ins to tournaments, with the player holding up their end of the deal by “patching up” in wearing the logo of the poker room and playing in online games on the sponsor site. When “Black Friday” hit in 2011, those poker sponsorships dried up, especially for U. S. players since their citizens no longer could play on any of the best online rooms in the world.
Thus, to have a sponsorship from a major poker room is something that many players would strive to maintain. However, the situation with partypoker and poker superstar Kristen Bicknell had run its course (for whom is unknown). It was announced by Bicknell over her twitter feed on Friday that she and partypoker had parted ways.
No Indicator as to Why
In her Tweet, Bicknell gave absolutely no reasoning for her departure from partypoker, where she had been a sponsored member of Team partypoker for four years. Even with her announcement, Bicknell did state that there were several areas of the game that she would remain a vocal proponent of in her native Canada and around the world. Bicknell did not indicate if another deal was in the works with another company.
It is a very tumultuous time for Bicknell at the moment. In May, she accepted the marriage proposal of her boyfriend, fellow poker professional Alex Foxen. Even with the wedding preparations, leaving the partypoker stable at this point – and especially with the World Series of Poker just around the corner, for which Bicknell would have obviously leveraged her sponsorship deal – does not seem like it would be the best idea.
Outstanding Success in the Past
Bicknell has been extraordinarily successful in the past few full seasons of tournament poker. In 2017, Bicknell made her first waves in the tournament poker world, earning over $500,000 in earnings. Bicknell would cap her year with a victory in a preliminary event at the World Poker Tour’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas.
That only set her up for her huge unveiling in 2018. Bicknell would crack the million-dollar mark in tournament winnings in that year ($1,095,611, to be exact, with kudos to The Hendon Mob database) and she would continue to improve her skills. In 2019, Bicknell earned nearly $2.5 million for her work on the felt, including a win in the 2019 Poker Masters series in the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em event for $408,000.
All of this success has made Bicknell one of the most notable women in the world of poker. She has won the last three Global Poker Awards Female Player of the Year awards and won them by a wide margin. With the suspension of the awards in 2020, she remains the defending titleholder, as does her two-time GPI Player of the Year fiancé Foxen.
COVID has had a significant impact on Bicknell’s live tournament play, which could be what had an impact with her partypoker sponsorship. Bicknell did score a World Series of Poker bracelet in winning an event on GGPoker for over $350,000, but that was not on her home base at partypoker, which might have caused some tensions. In 2021 so far, Bicknell has earned a bit more than $179K, with career earnings of more than $5.2 million.
Bicknell has given no indications of what is up next for her poker career. For now, the impending WSOP in September (we hope) and the impending nuptials with Foxen will be pretty important.