Victoria Coren Mitchell, the only player in history to win two European Poker Tour titles, has resigned from representing PokerStars.com in the PokerStars Pro team after the group announced that it will launch an online casino gaming service.
Coren Mitchell, who is also a razor sharp columnist and presenter of BBC's high brow gameshow Only Connect, said she "cannot professionally and publicly endorse it, even passively by silence with my name still over the shop," because she questions how the new service, which many other companies have rolled out, feeds into her the wider picture of a rise in gambling addiction and responsible gaming.
"I cannot professionally and publicly endorse it, even passively by silence with my name still over the shop," said Coren.
"I know in my heart that continuing in my current role could risk helping to send people to a place where they would encounter something I think is dangerous. That's not the way I want to make a living" - Coren
"Poker is the game I love, poker is what I signed up to promote. The question I'm probably asked most often in interviews is about the danger of addiction, going skint and so on. I'm always careful to explain the difference between the essentially fair nature of poker, where we all take each other on with the same basic chance, and those casino games at unfavourable odds which can be (especially online) so dangerous for the vulnerable or desperate.
"Although PokerStars assured me I would not have to actively promote the casino arm, I know in my heart that continuing in my current role could risk helping to send people to a place where they would encounter something I think is dangerous. That's not the way I want to make a living."
On her decision, she added she had to take swift action.
"[PokerStars.com] news was very sudden, so I didn't have much time to consider my position, but I knew I had to act quickly before I could think better of it. Obviously this is a scary and sad decision for me to make.
"I have been with PokerStars since 2007 and Team Pro has been a core part of my identity. Obviously I will miss the money and am nervous of managing without it. Also, ironically enough, my plan for the next year or two had been to travel less and play more online.
"But I can't hang around, sleep on it, have meetings and talk myself into staying, when my gut tells me that the right thing is to walk away."
However, Coren Mitchell added that she understands "business is business" and that her contract termination is "no criticism of PokerStars itself".
In 2006, Coren Mitchell, who is married to comedian David Mitchell, played her way into the history books when she became the first woman to win the European Poker Tour, and a prize of £500,000.
In 2013, she also became the only player in history to win two European Poker Tour titles.
Despite her decision, she hasn't ruled out returning to the PokerStars Pro team.
"I will watch from the outside to see what the new site looks like, how safe and responsible it seems, how the advertising feels and the direction the company takes," said Coren Mitchell.
"Maybe in the future I will be able to work with PokerStars again on something which is pure poker. I don't know, but certainly there are no hard feelings between me and that company which has done so much for the beautiful game over the last decade. They have been gracious and understanding about my decision."
For her full statement, click here.