Several weeks ago, three online poker websites announced new representatives. Adda52 signed Nikita Luther, 888poker picked up Natalie Hof, and PartyPoker brought Jackie Glazier and Beata Jambrick on board. The signing of four female poker pros in a short time frame in what has been a relatively tough market for sponsorships was impressive.
Natural8 now follows suit with the signing of three poker pros, two of whom are women.
All three of the poker pros signed by Natural8 are deserving of the honor and responsibility. Poker fans who follow the game know that Xuan Liu, Kitty Kuo, and Dong Kim are all seasoned players who will undoubtedly represent the game well.
The Asian market has long been underserved by online poker sites, partially due to varying national regulations but more so due to a lack of dedication to the region. Most online poker sites are not based in the Asia-Pacific area, and despite the promise and potential of the demographics, the commitment was always lacking. Natural8 is changing that.
Natural8 launched in January 2016 but really began to garner more players when Canadian poker pro Xuan Liu began sporting the company’s patch. As part of the GGNetwork, Natural8 seems to be the dominant online poker site, though it also offers sports betting and online casino games. Its motto, as listed on its Facebook page, is “to promote the beautiful game of poker by providing a safe, anti-grinder platform for recreational players to learn and enjoy poker.” With that particular focus on recreational players and a social environment, as well as a concentration in the Asia-Pacific market, Natural8 is looking to be a unique but strong force in the industry.
It is unclear why the three main site ambassadors are called “Team Hot.” While they are all attractive people that have run well in poker, the purpose of the name may be as simple as a way to catch people’s attention.
As mentioned, Xuan Liu has been sporting a Natural8 patch for many months, as well as spending more time in the Asia-Pacific region playing live tournaments. In fact, her most recent victory came at the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) May stop in Macau, where she took down a NLHE Bounty tournament for more than $27K. In addition to more than $1.6 million in live earnings to date, Liu also has more than $600K in online tournament earnings to her credit.
Hui Chen-Kuo, better known to most as Kitty Kuo, has an entertaining social media presence as well as more than $1.2 million in live earnings. Her latest big score came in August at EPT Barcelona, where she finished sixth in the €10K NLHE event for more than €101,500.
I like my new pictures, lucky I work out a lot recently, thanks my company natural8 give me so much freedom, I will play WPT Korea tmr 🙂 pic.twitter.com/sgMGpTBwTc— kuo hui chen (@kittykuopoker) October 5, 2016
Dong Kim is a male poker pro famous for teaming up with fellow pros like Doug Polk to beat the artificial intelligence program named Claudico in 2015. The AI was created by a team at Carnegie Mellon University and took on four pros for 80,000 hands of poker. (The pros won by more than $700K.) He is also a well-known live and online pro who has lived around the world but now calls South Korea home. Heads-up limit poker is his game of choice and the game that took him to a Spring Championship of Online Poker victory.
The fully cohesive team is now set to appear at the WPT National China event in Sanya that begins on October 28 and runs through November 3. They will be joined by Natural8 “friend” and Chinese poker pro Xiao Chung at the events.