Epic Poker League's Parent Company Federated Sports + Gaming Files for Bankruptcy
Plans are to Finish the Inaugural Season at Some Point
Los Angeles-based Federated Sports + Gaming, the parent company to the Epic Poker League, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a statement issued from Executive Chairman Jeffrey Pollack.
The EPL, which has awarded membership via a ranking system, is still in the midst of its inaugural season. Pollack said that the league plans to finish the schedule, which includes the last of four stops and a $1 million freeroll for the 27 top performers, but he doesn’t know when.
Finishing the season had already been delayed due to scheduling conflicts with other poker tours, the league said.
In order to maintain a tour card, the league has required members to play in at least one satellite event, at least one league charity event and at least one $20,000 buy-in rake-free main event each season.
Federated Sports + Gaming also runs a free-play poker game on Facebook and in the summer acquired the Heartland Poker Tour.
The Palms Casino Resort partnered with the league and has hosted all the events.
In his statement, Pollack, a former commissioner of the World Series of Poker, said that Federated Sports + Gaming “needs a new start.”
“This reorganization filing is an important first step in that direction and our goal is to keep the [EPL] and all of our key initiatives […] moving forward with a continued spirit of innovation,” Pollack added. “We will most likely accomplish this by entering into an agreement with another firm that shares our passion and vision -– a process we had been working toward prior to the filing.”
The EPL has made use of a committee to evaluate the “integrity in play and good personal character” of its members. However, the initiative created controversy after its first tournament, when it was alleged that champion Chino Rheem owed money to other players. He was subsequently put on probation.
In September, Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson were suspended in the wake of the Full Tilt Poker scandal.
In August, outspoken poker pro Daniel Negreanu blogged about his thoughts on the league, saying he was skeptical it could survive financially unless it was able to create an online poker site in a legalized and regulated U.S. market.
The EPL has aired nationally on CBS and the Velocity network.
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