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World Poker Tour To Merge With Esports Entertainment Company After Sale

WPT and Allied Esports International Purchased By Black Ridge Acquisition Corp


World Poker Tour co-founder Lyle Berman’s Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. has agreed to purchase WPT Enterprises and Allied Esports International from Ourgame International Holdings. The companies will then be merged to form Allied Esports Entertainment (AESE).

Black Ridge is hoping the $150 million deal pays off in the rapidly growing $1 billion competitive video game market. The new company plans to apply the WPT’s proven business model to the world of esports by hosting events, both live and online.

Berman, who is the Director of Black Ridge and in the Poker Hall of Fame, will be Chairman of the Board at AESE and continue his work with the WPT.

“In more than 40 years in the gaming and entertainment business, this is the most exciting opportunity I have seen. The capital from the Black Ridge SPAC will be used to expand AESE’s global property network, accelerating their first-mover advantage as the company continues to build a brand that is synonymous with esports.”

The deal is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2019. AESE will have an opening value of about $214 million and trade on the Nasdaq.

The WPT and Allied Esports worked together last year, with four of the poker tour’s season 16 events playing their final table at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor in Las Vegas. The WPT has since announced that all televised final tables during season 17 will be recorded at the venue.

Adam Pliska will continue to serve as the WPT’s president and CEO.