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When Kenny Hallaert isn’t battling in huge poker tournaments both live and online, he’s helping to run tournaments across Europe as an organiser and tournament director. Poker runs through his veins and with over two decades of experience, he has a love for the game unmatched by many.

That’s why PokerStars are thrilled to announce that they’re bringing Hallaert on board, not only as a PokerStars Ambassador but also as a live events advisor – the first ambassadorship of its kind.

As a highly respected name on and off the felt, this partnership is a no-brainer. Hallaert will play an advisory role at future PokerStars live events, helping to voice player opinions and provide suggestions and feedback to the Live Events team.

“I’m really looking forward to being part of the PokerStars team,” Hallaert said. “My role as Ambassador and live event advisor will no doubt bring up some great opportunities, and I can’t wait to contribute to the constant evolution of PokerStars fantastic live events.”

When he’s not working on the latest events, Hallaert will be playing on the tables both live and online, sporting the PokerStars patch. He’s currently at the PokerStars Belgian Poker Challenge Namur where he hopes to continue adding to his vast tournament cash list, this time on home soil.

ABOUT KENNY HALLAERT

Kenny Hallaert is best known to most poker fans for reaching the final table of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in 2016, where he finished sixth from a field of 6,737 to win $1.46 million.

But with $5.45 million in live career earnings, Hallaert has proven himself time and time again on poker’s biggest stages. In 2011 he made a European Poker Tour (EPT) final table in Deauville (6th – €155,000) and enjoyed another deep EPT run in Cyprus in 2023, finishing 10th.

But Hallaert is also a force on the virtual felt with just shy of $7 million in online winnings. Known as “SpaceyFCB” on PokerStars, Hallaert has three Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) titles plus a plethora of wins and scores in big events.

But what you might not know is that Hallaert is also a respected tournament organiser and director, having helped set up poker rooms in Belgium (Namur and Spa Casinos) as well as assisting with the management of events for the EPT, Belgian Poker Series, and French Poker Series.

Hallaert started playing poker in 2004 while working as an electrician. In 2008 he started work in the poker industry, using the events management experience he’d accumulated back in his home village to help plan and run poker festivals. He’s since gone on to help establish some of Europe’s leading regional events, all while maintaining his place among the toughest players in poker.

In 2022 Hallaert joined the Tournament Directors Association (TDA) in which he can combine his experience as a player with his knowledge of how to run poker events.

Now he’s bringing that unique perspective to PokerStars.

Cedric Billot, Associate Director of PokerStars Live Events, said: “I’ve known Kenny for years. His passion for the game, his wealth of experience both on and off the felt, and his professionalism make him someone we are incredibly excited to bring on board.”

PokerStars Blog spoke to Hallaert at EPT Monte Carlo to learn more about his new role.

INTERVIEW

PokerStars Blog: Hey Kenny, what can you tell us about your new role as PokerStars Ambassador?

Kenny Hallaert: It’s all about making sure players have an enjoyable time. As a player myself, I’ll be there for other players to see what they want, what they need, what they think is good, and where improvements might be made.

Blog: You’ve played many PokerStars events. What is your opinion of them?

KH: I’ve always loved PokerStars events. I think, globally, they are among the best-run events on the planet. Everything is well organised. Procedures are always correct. Game integrity is at the highest level. I’ve always tried to support PokerStars events and now I’ll continue to do so as an Ambassador. I want to help make the events even better than they already are.

Blog: Throughout your career, you’ve somehow managed to stay at the top of the game while also working hard behind the scenes running events. Where does the drive come from?

KH: When I first started playing poker I was an electrician, but I got a job offer in the poker industry in 2008. This gave me some free time throughout the week that I could use to work on my game and play poker.
I wasn’t playing poker full time as I had a job that paid the bills, so I was fortunate not to have the stress of needing to make money right away. It was the perfect work/poker balance and it’s something I’ve continued throughout my career.

Organising poker events has never felt like a job because it’s something I love to do. When I have an event coming up I’ll take a step back from playing, then when the event is near the end I look forward to starting to play again.

I’ve also been fortunate throughout my career. I’ve won some important coin flips on some big stages. I just have a love for the game.

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