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WPT joins Philippine, Canadian interests to localize show

If successful, WPT may localizes elsewhere


The World Poker Tour (WPT), already a global enterprise shown in more than 100 countries, is going regional.

WPT announced a partnership with Philippine television network ABS-CBN and Aiden Tracey, a Canadian marketing and promotion expert to broadcast multi-tabled tournaments in card rooms in the respected countries starting in 2006.

ABS-CBN will work with state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, who controls the country's casinos, to localize the success WPT achieved globally.

WPT gave ABS-CBN the right to produce the episodes as WPT products for the next three years. Four episodes will air the first year, five in the second and six in the third.

The winner of the championship will win a seat in the WPT Championship held at the Bellagio each year.

WPT is broadcast as a major sport in the Philippines, often book-ending other major sports in prime-time like the NBA and professional golf. ABS-CBN, which owns and operates more than 50 television stations in the Philippines, approached WPT.

In Canada, Tracey will work closely with the WPT to plan events and establish a WPT Canada sub-brand. A broadcast station has yet to be announced.

Tracey's television production experience includes the World Beer Games, which pitted teams from several counties against each in age-old beer drinking contests events such as the pint chug, quarters and tossing empty beer cans into trash bins sitting in a reclining chair.

If the regional programs go well, WPT will look into expanding and localizing the show and events in other countries.