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PokerStars executive to replace bwin.party’s Welch as poker director

2nd August 2013 9:44 am GMT

bwin.party’s Chris Welch will step down as group director of poker next month and will be replaced by PokerStars’ director of strategy, business development and new platforms Jeffrey Haas.

Haas will leave the online poker market leader to take up his new role with bwin.party in early September, working closely alongside Welch, who is currently overseeing a total redevelopment of the company’s poker offering.

Welch will leave the business at the end of September, having joined the company (PartyGaming) from Centrebet in 2009 as chief marketing officer, holding on to the role after the company’s merger with bwin in March 2011, before moving over to head up the operator’s poker business in September of the same year.

His departure was agreed in February this year, but he will oversee the long anticipated re-launch of bwin.party’s online poker product, currently in beta testing, before his departure.

Haas, his replacement, previously worked for bwin from 2005 to 2006, as director of product management for the Ongame poker network. Upon leaving he was appointed president of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, before taking on a similar role as managing director of PokerStars Live, the operator’s live gaming division.

He was then promoted to director of new platforms, mobile and social gaming in 2011, holding the role until January this year when he took on his current role.

bwin.party’s refresh of its poker offering is the first stage of an overhaul of the company’s key products, with a new brand image revealed last month. The redeveloped offering is understood to be targeted at casual players, featuring a number of social gaming elements.

Shares in bwin.party digital entertainment plc (Co. Data) (LSE:BPTY) have dropped 1.27 per cent to 139.40 pence per share in trading this morning.

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