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Football heroes visit poker’s most popular European festival to compete for a share of €3.7 million prize pool in High Roller poker tournament

ONCHAN, Isle of Man – August 26, 2015 – Football superstars Neymar Jr and Gerard Pique, have joined over 1,500 people yesterday in Barcelona to compete in PokerStars’ European Poker Tour (EPT) in Barcelona, which has become one of the most popular poker festivals in Europe, PokerStars, which is an Amaya Inc. (TSX: AYA, Nasdaq: AYA) brand, announced today.

Neymar Jr had already made an appearance earlier in the week as a fan supporting new and old friends competing in the record-breaking first stop of EPT’s new season.

He returned with fellow Barcelona FC player Gerard Pique and the two took their seats amid some of poker’s elite players competing in the €25,000 buy-in High Roller event. The football superstars were amongst over 130 players taking part in the one-day, single re-entry High Roller event, and right from the start, the competition quickly moved from the pitch to the poker table with the footballers keeping a close eye on each other’s stacks. The winner of the event will walk away with €865,000 for first place.

Pique has competed in EPT Barcelona events for several years, with his best result coming two years ago when he finished 19th in the €10K High Roller for €21,150. Pique said: “I love playing poker and the PokerStars European Poker Tour in Barcelona is one of the best tournaments in the world, right here in my beautiful home city. It's fantastic to be here, win or lose.”

It is Neymar Jr’s first time competing at an EPT event, but he is no stranger to the poker table. He recently made news when he hit a royal flush in an online tournament at PokerStars, and went on to make the final table. He posted his hand to his Instagram account (where the new PokerStars ambassador has more than 30 million fans) and it has now been liked more than 510,000 times.

Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree currently sits in second position in the High Roller position with three players remaining. For regular updates on how Neymar Jr and Gerard Pique are doing at EPT Barcelona, visit the PokerStars Blog.

The flagship €5,300 EPT Barcelona Main Event is also under way and has broken the current record for the biggest EPT Main Event ever held. More than 1,673 players entered the event and registration is still open. There are some big names taking part including Team PokerStars players Andre Akkari, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Johnny Lodden, Isaac Haxton as well as Team PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira De Melo, an Olympic Gold Medallist. The field also includes hundreds of players who won their seats online – many for as little as €11.

The EPT12 Barcelona Poker Festival is running August 18-30 at Casino Barcelona. The festival has broken many records this year and is the most attended festival PokerStars has ever held in Europe. With 35 additional poker tables and 28 extra tournaments this year, an external marquee was constructed to accommodate the massive schedule of events and number of players.

About PokerStars

PokerStars operates the world’s most popular online poker sites, serving the global poker community. Since it launched in 2001, PokerStars has become the first choice of players all over the world, with more daily tournaments than anywhere else and with the best security online. More than 135 billion hands have been dealt on PokerStars, which is more than any other site. and operate globally under licenses from the Isle of Man and Malta governments, respectively. PokerStars also operates under licenses in locally licensed jurisdictions including Italy, France, Estonia, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, United Kingdom and Schleswig-Holstein in Germany.

PokerStars is the key brand of Rational Group, which operates gaming-related businesses and brands, including PokerStars, Full Tilt and the European Poker Tour. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Rational Group companies in the UK and Isle of Man won recognition as one of the best workplaces in the UK being awarded a top 25 position by the Great Place to Work Institute’s Best Workplaces – Large category rankings. Rational Group entities in Costa Rica and Dublin also achieved the same accolade in their respective local rankings in 2014. PokerStars is owned by Amaya Inc. (Nasdaq: AYA; TSX: AYA).

About the European Poker Tour

The European Poker Tour (EPT) is the world’s richest and most popular poker tour. Since 2004, the EPT has paid out over €730 million in tournament prize pools and hosted successful festivals across Europe. The EPT also visits the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), which takes place every January in the Bahamas, one of the richest poker festivals in the world.

Season 12 of the EPT builds on the success of more than a decade of world-class live poker events, and major poker festivals are being held in Barcelona, Malta, Prague, and Dublin. The PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final will be held in Monaco.

The EPT is owned by Amaya Inc. (Nasdaq: AYA; TSX: AYA). Further information on the EPT is available online at

About Casino Barcelona

Casino Barcelona is one of the most prestigious casinos in Europe and leader in the Spanish sector. The sophisticated venue and the most innovative game systems provide a unique environment for all clients - A place for global entertainment where gambling, cuisine and music are the protagonists every day.

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