The Las Vegas Review Journal broke the news early Friday that World Series of Poker (WSOP) Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack was resigning from his post, effective immediately. Pollack first came on board with Harrah´s Inc. as the Commissioner in 2006 and has overseen the WSOP for the past four years.
The news comes just days after Pollack and the poker community reunited at the Rio to watch this year´s November Nine, headlined by Phil Ivey, play down to a new World Champion. The delayed final table concept was developed and integrated into the WSOP under Pollack´s watch and it is one of several big changes he made during his tenure as Commissioner. Pollack is also credited with establishing the Player´s Advisory Council, launching the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) and securing sponsorship deals from companies like Milwaukee´s Best, Jack Link´s Beef Jerky, Corum and KFC.
During his time with the WSOP Pollack saw the popular tournament series go through highs, like the record turnout in 2006, ad lows, like the post-Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) WSOP in 2007. More recently, Pollack helped to manage the 2009 WSOP, which garnered record prize money and turnout in the face of a global economic recession.
Pollack informed the Las Vegas Review Journal that he is unsure what his future plans will be. Prior to joining on with Harrah´s, Pollack worked in sports marketing for organizations like the NBA and NASCAR. “It´s been a very good run and I´m proud of the growth that the tournament, and poker for that matter, have experienced”, Pollack told the Vegas publication. “I came into this role with a certain set of objectives and now, there´s a sense of accomplishment of how the World Series of Poker has expanded.” While Pollack is stepping down, many other members of the WSOP team including Ty Stewart, Craig Abrahms and Seth Palansky will remain in their respective posts.
Pollack´s role within Harrah’s had changed over the past six months as the result of the launch of Harrah´s Interactive (HI), the new wing of the casino conglomerate that oversees the WSOP as well as the expansion of Harrah´s into international and online markets. Former Party Poker CEO Mitch Garber was brought on to oversee Harrah´s Interactive as CEO and Pollack served underneath him as President. HI is currently in the process of developing online casino software branded with both Caesars Palace and the WSOP.
A Harrah´s spokesperson told the Review-Journal there are no present plans to fill Pollack´s now-vacated position. Considering what a noticeable presence Pollack has been at the WSOP over the past couple of years, it will be interesting to see who, if anyone, from HI will fill the role of public face of the brand for the upcoming 2010 Series.

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