The man credited with the creation of the European Poker Tour, John Duthie, and Team PokerStars Pro have parted ways; Duthie's contract expired on December 31st, 2011. The news hit the TwoPlusTwo forums on Sunday, January 1st, 2012.
JP Kelly and Team PokerStars Pro recently separated also. Team UK & Ireland had been represented by both Duthie and Kelly but in their absence, Liv Boeree, Jude Ainsworth, and Victoria Coren are now representing the team.
The forum thread has run rampant with speculation that Duthie's leaving Team PokerStars Pro was possibly a form of protest over PokerStars' new VIP program. That rumor was quickly put to rest by Duthie when he posted the following on TwoPlusTwo:
"Hey guys....I'm afraid this decision had nothing to do with the VPP situation or the 'Sit-Out'; it was quite simply that I didn't want to renew my contract which expired 31st December. There was also no Tweet to this effect. All very self-centered to be honest. Love the idea of being 'Tribune of the people' but sadly this is not the case."
The same news was confirmed by a PokerStars representative to PokerNews early today.
John Duthie is the founder and CEO of the European Poker Tour. He has career tournaments earnings in the amount of $2,774,963 dating back to 1999. He won the Poker Million I in 2000 which drew 30 million viewers to the coverage of the final table and he took home the first place prize of £1 million. In 2006 Duthie won the European Poker Lifetime Achievement Award. Duthie's list of tournament finishes can be viewed here.