19 Nov, 2021
It’s been a period of celebration here at PokerStars as this fall, we started the festivities to mark our 20th anniversary.
With events, competitions and secret surprises organised for the coming months, we’re looking forward to thanking all our employees for being part of PokerStars’ incredible journey.
To discover more about the Company from the past 20 years, we’ve sat down with some of our colleagues to discuss their journey so far.
In the first of our 20th anniversary employee specials, we speak to Paulo Neves, who initially joined PokerStars as a Customer Representative. Proud to be part of the “Class of 2007”, Paulo now works in Product Management, an area that he is truly passionate about.
Here, he talks us through his time with the company, and how things are almost ‘unrecognisable’ from his early days 14 years ago.
Starting his journey
“I started my long PokerStars journey in June 2007, and what a journey it’s been! On my first morning, I recall entering a small office in Berner Street, London.”
“I was brought into a small room of about eight desks. It was a room full of people typing, occasionally lifting their heads to talk or make humorous chit-chat. I realised quickly how close our group were. That’s when you get to be both glad and nervous, being part of a new family to join.”
Speaking the language
“My first job was as a Customer Representative, assisting our players in both English and Portuguese, continuing a similar career path to my previous role in London. I was joined by fellow new starters who were German, French, Danish and Italian Customer Representatives.
Most of us were pioneers by being the first Customer Service Representatives offering multilingual player support for PokerStars. This gave us a great opportunity, albeit quite a lot more work considering there was no knowledgebases or guides in our languages. Most of what we were about to learn was through talking to our colleagues and experiencing for ourselves the clients, using play money.
It was both overwhelming but incredibly exciting. As poker was still niche and young in Europe, even more so in Portugal, I pretty much had to create a whole vocabulary from scratch – there were very few Portuguese poker sources back then.”
“When I started, I worked mornings. When we finished, we would often socialise and go for a drink, share our stories and talk about the future of our industry, our teams and life outside of work.
We created our friendships. We would also connect with our colleagues across the ocean, for example Costa Rica, as the team there were very friendly and helpful.”
Raising the stakes
“After moving to a new, modern office in Oxford Circus, I quickly moved on to become the Portuguese Team Leader. From there I became First Line Manager and covered a variety of language teams. As time went on, the Company’s brand continued to grow. Our support family was very close, and like our leaders, we all had an ambitious attitude.
In the summer of 2015, I continued my journey by moving to Product Management, an area I held a true passion for. I joined a small but strong team, and we continued to grow. We became bigger, smarter and more sought after. We built an intelligent, hard-working team and worked on creating the email system (CESAR), account management (AMPS) and a plethora of security and anti-fraud systems.
Today, 14 years on from joining PokerStars, things look very different. The people are still very much at the heart of our company, they’re our most valued commodity and deserve recognition for the way everyone has played their part.
Here’s to more successes in the future!”
Paulo Neves – Class of 2007