Another day, another major signing by partypoker. And yes, yet another German highballer joins Team partypoker. Philipp Gruissem has been a pro for almost a decade and a dominating force on the High Roller scene. Born in Germany, Gruissem currently resides in London, England. Gruissem was among the first wave of German high ballers who took the global high roller scene by storm. In a short period between 2013-14, Gruissem banked over $6M in live events, including three seven-figure cashes and two wins on the WPT Alpha8 $100K high roller series.
Philipp Gruissem joins fellow German Fedor Holz at partypoker. Gruissem will be a sponsored member of Team partypoker, an eclectic crew that also includes Sam Trickett, Kristen Bicknell, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Jason Koon, and Ike Haxton (who signed last week).
"I feel great about joining partypoker!" explained Gruissem in the press release. "They are now bringing healthy competition back into the market and partypoker has a new and fresh vibe that will grow our poker community."
Philipp Gruissem has built up a ton of karma points with his deep involvement in philanthropy. Gruissem co-founded Raising for Effective Giving (REG), which provides a list of the most effective charitable organizations. Many members of the poker community pledge 2% of their winnings will get distributed to REG charities. Many non-profit charity outfits have tremendous overhead, so only a small percentage of your donation goes to the actual cause. With REG, they have vetted a group of charities and found specific ones where donations have the most impact. Gruissem co-founded REG with Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov.
Managing Director of partypoker Tom Waters added, "I am honoured that Philipp has agreed to join us at partypoker. Philipp is such a well-respected player both in the German and global poker community that he is a perfect fit to join the team. He also has a great character and experience and will bring something a little different to the team."
Philipp Gruissem has a trio of seven-figure scores on his resume. In 2013, he won $1M at the $100K WPT Alpha8 High Roller in Saint Kitts. His two biggest scores were both shy of $1.4M. His largest cash to date according to Hendon Mob, occurred in 2014 at the £100K buy-in WPT Alpha8 in London. Gruissem won £862,400 or approximately $1.38M. In 2014, Gruissem binked the €25K High Roller at the EPT Monte Carlo. He walked away with a shade under €1M (or to be precise €993,963), which also equated to $1.38M.
In the online department, the infamous philbort has been a donk-slayer for nearly a decade. Gruissem won over $3.5M in tournaments on the virtual felt. If you combine his online/live earnings, Gruissem banked nearly $15 million. That's an impressive total anyway you cut it. The suits at partypoker expect Gruissem to pad his both his online and live stats in the immediate future.
Online poker sponsorships are not what they used to be like the peak of the online poker boom a decade ago.
The signing of Gruissem comes on the heels of a rash of recent departures of PokerStars Team Pros such as Elky, Vanessa Selbst, Felipe Ramos, and Jason Mercier. On the flip side, partypoker has been bolstering their roster of sponsored players including several members of the high-stakes community such as Ike Haxton, Jason Koon, and the retired Fedor Holz. Sure, sponsorships from online poker companies are not like they used to be during the height of the poker boom when any mook could earn five figures for simply wearing a patch at a televised (final) table. In the last couple of years, PokerStars shifted their marketing strategy to focus on the small-time recreational player, which meant sponsored players and Team Pros were not as vital of a commodity as they once were. While PokerStars is trimming the fat, partypoker is making aggressive moves in a new-found cold war to snatch up high-stakes pros.
Everyone knows Mike Sexton. He's not just a company man and partypoker pitchman. Sexton has become a universal ambassador for all things poker. partypoker bolstered their roster with the addition of three North American players: Kristen Bicknell, Jason Koon, and Ike Haxton. Team partypoker's expanding roster of pros features top European cardslingers such as Sam Trickett, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Patrick Leonard, Joni Jouhkimainen, Padraig Parkinson, Johnny Lodden, Anatoly Filtov, Marcel Luske, and Natalia Breviglieri. Oh, and don't forget tennis legend Boris Becker as partypoker's token celebrity pitchman. Is Elky next?