The World Poker Tour has decided to branch out and add new partners. The final tables of the organization’s Season 16 will be held at the newly-minted Esports Arena in Las Vegas, a high-end venue dedicated to broadcast massive events dedicated to professional video gaming. The venue worth $25 million dovetails nicely with the WTP’s push to reinvent itself.
Starting in Season 17, the final tables for the WPT will be broadcast from the Esports Arena. According to WPT CEO Adam Pliska, the venue resonates perfectly with the organization’s own values and the facility embodies all the innovation WPT has been pursuing itself.
Then When’s and What’s
It’s still unknown which events will be televised, only that they will be the final tables. WPT VP of Global Tour Management Angelca Hael promised that more details will follow.
Ms Hael has said that it makes ‘total sense for the home of WPT final tables to be there,’ meaning the arena. Ms Hael also hinted that at the possible new opportunities that the partnership will reveal.
Naturally, though, there are challenges to be addressed. If the time format is changed, it will be a major consternation for European players to fly to and fro just to attend the event. In addition, recreational players may drop out if they have to attend tournaments during busy work hours.
Even then, WPT VP of Marketing David Gitter has been describign the situation as a win-win offering player and host equally beneficial conditions. However, there are boons to actually signing up to the new format as well.
Players who are not competing as professionals may find coaches and prepare themselves better in the weeks leading up to an actual event.
WPT, A Gateway to Partnerships
Gitter has also pointed out that the WPT has over 2,000 partnerships with various companies who might find the Esports Arena an interesting venue to hold their own events. The facility has been designed to accommodate viewerships to some fast-paced action and ensure that no second goes unobserved. The place may prove rather pleasing to a number of brands, including Zynga, Rockstar, and Hublot which entered poker a while back.
The WPT is effectively reaching into new audiences and expanding its clout by bringing cross-sell partnerships to the fore, or at least the potential of such. FOX has been cited as the TV partner who will make sure to cover the events and broadcast them to the wider audiences.
The Endemic and Non-Endemic Partnerships
The partnership with the Esports Arena in Las Vegas is particularly auspicious for the event. It increases the chances to catch the attention of a young generation with plenty of disposable income who have been interested in all forms of ‘alternative’ sports, including professional video gaming, and most often than not – poker.
Bringing eSports and poker closer together may eventually lead to the conversion of eSports enthusiasts into poker fans who will appreciate the game for the same values that professional video gaming has.
WPT expects to increase newer generations involved in the segment by developing future projects on the premises of the facility.