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Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

by Brendan Murray |  Published: Oct 01, 2009

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It’s tempting to view the recent sale of the World Poker Tour brand (see Industry News) as the end of an era. The Tour, which did so much to promote poker in popular culture through its TV broadcasts in the U.S., also gave players a well organised circuit with big prize pools and a chance of TV exposure. When poker history is written it will undoubtedly take its place, particularly in the boom period early in this decade.

It was popular with European players and, for a time, was the only show in town outside of the World Series of Poker. However its decline over the last couple of years, hastened by the introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the U.S. and competitive forces outside of the U.S., primarily in the form of the European Poker Tour, was something of an inevitability.

The company was unable to gain traction in the online sector and spent a lot of time and money teasing out different strategies, none of which proved to be the boon its shareholders obviously saw the brand as capable of delivering.
The sale to Gamynia, investors with an apparent strong relationship to the iPoker network and Titan Poker through Hardway Investments, will see the brand focus heavily on its online business.

There is no doubt the new principals have the wherewithal, even if it is through third-party business relationships, to drive the brand online and potentially restore its past glories, but as one chapter in the _WPT’s _past is about to be written anew, we wave goodbye to an old friend, unsure if our paths will ever cross again.

London Calling
As this issue of Card Player hits the newsstands, poker players from around the world will be pouring into London town for some of the biggest games we’re likely to see outside of Las Vegas this year — the World Series of Poker Europe, the European Poker Tour London, the Full Tilt Million Dollar Cash Game, the Betfair Million Dollar Freeroll, and the Matchroom Sport Durrrr Million Dollar Challenge.

All take place in a three-week period from mid-September, and all eyes will be on attendance levels, prize pools, challengers, and new champions.

That’s a lot of poker and it’s happening right on our doorstep, metaphorically speaking of course.

CardPlayer.com will be there every step of the way bringing you up-to-the-minute news, reviews, results, and interviews, so be sure to join us to see if the recession will take a bite out of the big boys or if the underdogs can find a hand, play for their lives, and make the poker party swing in London. ♠