Full Tilt Poker recently announced the addition of James Blake to its roster.
Blake is a 30-year-old American professional tennis player currently ranked 120th in the world by the ATP. Between 2006-2009, though, Blake was never out of the top 15 and was ranked as high as #4 in the world. He was also the first African-American man to reach the top 10 since Arthur Ashe and has $6,916,309 in career earnings.
Off the court, Blake co-wrote a New York Times Best Seller titled Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life, which he wrote after his comeback from a terrible year where he broke his back during a horrific accident during practice and also lost his father.
Poker seems to be a hobby of Blake’s. In 2008, he participated in the $1500 WSOP NLHE event, finishing 333rd and winning $3,218 for his efforts. He also participated in Season Two of Celebrity Poker Showdown.
The signing of Blake, coupled with the signing of British boxing pro Audley Harrison, shows that Full Tilt believes signing professional athletes will help gain exposure for their site and will hopefully help gain acceptance of online poker, in general.