Tuesday January 19, 2021 at 10:20 pm

The World Poker Tour will have a new owner and news of the WPT sale broke today. Allied eSports Entertainment sold the World Poker Tour to a private group called Element Partners, LLC for $78,250,000. The deal will finalize in the upcoming weeks. Lyle Berman and Steve Lipscomb started the WPT 2002 and it's amazing to see the company grow into a multi-million dollar and global entity.

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It's been a difficult year for the live tournament scene during the era of COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic turning the poker world and casino realm upside down. The World Poker Tour will be under new ownership cannot help but wonder how the coronavirus pandemic sort of forced the action on this one because the WPT had one of their best years because of the online gambling and online poker element. The pandemic forced many gaming companies to pivot and focus on online revenue streams and the ones that relied solely on live brick and mortar events were crushed. partypoker's involvement with the World Poker Tour allowed WPT live events to take place in a safe environment online at partypoker. According to a company report, signups were boosted by 61% in late 2020 due to the pandemic. Without live poker or casinos, poker players fired up online sites.

"Despite the many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the WPT business has delivered substantial, impactful results, specifically through its online platforms and services, and has made meaningful contributions for the company," said Allied CEO Frank Ng said via a recent news release.

The WPT Online Championship was a huge success for its $100 million guaranteed prize pool. Phillip Mighall won the Main Event for $1.7 million.

Allied eSports Entertainment, publicly traded at AESE, agreed to sell the World Poker Tour to Element Partners for $78.25 million. The deal for the WPT includes cash up front for $68,250,000 plus $10 million to be paid out over the next three years via 5% of all entry fees.

"I want to thank Frank Ng and the entire AESE management team for their support in allowing WPT to flourish during this period," said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. "My management team and I are excited about this next chapter and the tremendous new opportunities for the WPT brand and business."

“2020 was an exceptional year for WPT's online and interactive services pillars of its business model,” the company's news release notes.

The World Poker Tour came to fruition in 2002 as the brainchild of TV producer Steve Lipscomb and businessman/high-stakes pro Lyle Berman. The WPT flourished thanks to a broadcast deal with the Travel Channel. Right place, right time. The WPT arrived at the cusp of the online poker boom. Wednesday nights were must-see TV thanks to the WPT on the Travel Channel. One of the juiciest times to play online poker back then was on Wednesday nights before and after airings of the WPT episodes.

In the last two decades, an estimated $1 billion had been awarded in prize money via WPT-branded events and tournaments. That's a heck a of lot of money changing hands via poker.

The WPT's first sale happened in 2009 when PartyGaming (aka partypoker) took control for a modest price worth 12.3 million. While partypoker owned the WPT, it merged forces with bwin gaming to form bwin.party. In 2016, bwin.party sold the WPT to Ourgame International Holdings LTD, a Chinese social gaming company, for $35 million in cash.

In 2018, Lyle Berman wanted back into the business and bought the WPT from Ourgame for $50 million. Berman's new company was initially known as the Black Ridge Acquisition Corporation, but then rebranded as Allied Esports Entertainment.

Allied bought the WPT for $50 million and sold it for $78 million. Not too shabby, eh? Allied is rumored to be shedding their eSports assets too.

Not much is known about the new company, Element, that purchased the WPT.

The WPT Montreal Online is currently running on partypoker. Two live WPT events are slated including the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the SHR in Hollywood, Florida and the WPT Venetian in March.

Latest news
Tuesday June 22, 2021 at 5:53 am
WPT Heads Up Championship: Phil Ivey vs Patrik Antonius in the finals

The 2021 WPT Heads Up Championship presented by Poker King was a special invitation-only affair with 32 pros and celebs invited to take a shot at the inaugural title online at Poker King. The Final Four featured Chris Kruk, Phil Ivey, Sam Greenwood, and Patrick Antonius. Phil Ivey and Chris Kruk squared off in the semifinals and Ivey won 2-1 to lock up a spot in the Finals. Patrik Antonius knocked out Sam Greenwood 2-0 and advanced to the Finals on Tuesday where Ivey awaits.

Thursday June 17, 2021 at 7:54 pm
2021 WSOP Schedule finalized with 88 bracelet events

The 2021 World Series of Poker takes place in the fall this year at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas starting on September 30 and running through November 23. The official schedule is out and the 2021 WSOP features 88 gold bracelet events and an additional game added to the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship, which is now nine mixed games. The 2021 WSOP Main Event has four starting flights this year starting November 4 thru 7. The Main Event final table will start on November 16 and crown a champion on November 17.

Wednesday June 16, 2021 at 4:19 am
David Peters wins consecutive US Poker Open Championships

David Peters won back-to-back events and three total titles at the 2021 US Poker Open to win the US Poker Open Championship and the coveted golden eagle champion's trophy. Without a series last year due to the pandemic, Peters won consecutive US Poker Open titles with a victory in 2019 and 2021. Meanwhile, Sean Winter shipped the Main Event at the 2021 US Poker Open to cap off the series. Winter outlasted 42 runners to win Event #12 $50,000 NL for a score worth $756,000.

Tuesday June 15, 2021 at 2:09 pm
David Peters wins third 2021 US Poker Open title and back-to-back wins

After a slow start, David Peters won back-to-back events at the 2021 US Poker Open, including three titles in the last five tournaments, to seize the top spot on the overall leaderboard in the race for US Poker Open Champion. Peters shipped Event #11 $25,000 NL for a $465,750 score. He outlasted 69 runners and a tough final table that included Vanessa Kade, Dan Shak, Jake Daniels, Frank Funaro, and Ivan Zufic. Peters also won Event #10 $10K Short Deck and Event #7 $10K NL, and now has over $833K in cashes.

Monday June 14, 2021 at 4:41 am
2021 US Poker Open: David Peters wins second event this weekend

It's been a wild week for David Peters, who won two events at the 2021 US Poker Open at the Aria in Las Vegas. He binked Event #10 $10,000 Short Deck and outlasted a small, yet sturdy field of 27 runners. Ali Imsirovic, Event #9 champ, busted in second place and missed winning consecutive events by one spot. Imsirovic retained his top spot on the 2021 USPO Leaderboard with 483 points. Peters moved into second place with 367 points after his second win and third cash overall.

Sunday June 13, 2021 at 3:43 pm
Jared Bleznick and Ali Imsirovic bink US Poker Open titles

The 2021 US Poker Open at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas added two more champions to their history books as this year's high roller series hits its final stretch. Jared Bleznick won Event #8 $10,000 PLO for $189,000, then Ali Imsirovic took down Event #9 $10,000 NL and faded 99 runners. The victory pushed Imsirovic into the top spot on the US Poker Open leaderboard with three events remaining on the schedule.

Friday June 11, 2021 at 4:54 pm
David Peters and Eli Elezra add US Poker Open titles

The 2021 US Poker Open continued at the Aria with two more events and a pair of winners. David Peters defeated a record-setting field of 99 runners to win Event #7 $10,000 NL for $217,800. In addition, Eli Elezra shipped USPO Event #6 $10,000 8-Game Mix for a $183,600 score. Meanwhile, Joe McKeehen still retains the top spot on the leaderboard with Steve Z and Dan Shak closing in.

Wednesday June 9, 2021 at 5:57 pm
John Riordan and Joey Wiseman win US Poker Open titles

The 2021 US Poker Open crowned two more champions at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas. John Riordan won Event #4 Big Bet Mix and outlasted 48 runners to win $163,200. In Joey Wiseman took down his first USP Poker Open title with an impressive comeback a victory in Event #5 $10K NL affair for $204,000 score. Joe McKeehen final tabled another event and moved into first place on the USPO Leaderboard.

Monday June 7, 2021 at 8:54 pm
Joe McKeehen, Sam Soverel, Jake Daniels ship US Poker Open titles

The 2021 US Poker Open kicked off at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas last week and they already crowned three new champions. Jake Daniels won a record-setting USPO tournament with a $222K score in Event #1 $10K NL. 2-time British Poker Open champ Sam Soverel took down a PLO title in Event #2 $10K Pot-Limit Omaha. 2015 WSOP Main Event champ Joe McKeehen was victorious in Event #3 $10K NL and he edged out Ray Qartomy heads-up for the title.

Thursday June 3, 2021 at 8:58 pm
WPT releases Season XIX schedule with online $25K Heads Up Championship

The World Poker Tour added several new stops in 2021 for the Season XIX (aka S29) of its main tour including a first-ever online event. Tour stops include the WPT Maryland at Live!, the WPT Choctaw in Oklahoma, and the Bellagio and Venetian in Las Vegas. There's also three events in Florida including the bestbet Jacksonville, WPT Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa, and WPT Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood. There's the inaugural $25K WPT Heads Up Championship hosted at Poker King starting June 18 featuring Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan.

Tuesday June 1, 2021 at 9:41 pm
NBA All-Star Tony Parker binks satellite to 2021 WSOP Main Event

Tony Parker, former NBA star with the San Antonio Spurs and member of the French national basketball team, is the first known player to earn a satellite into the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event. Parker took down a charity event hosted by The PM Group, who awarded a $10,000 Main Event seat the Rio Casino in Las Vegas, which will start on November 4.

Monday May 31, 2021 at 5:50 pm
Degen Hall of Fame: Archie Karas runs $50 up to $4 million in 3 years

Renown gambler Archie Karas sat down for a candid interview with Soft White Underbelly. Karas is known on both poker and gambling circles for a notorious run in which he started with $50 and ran it up to the millions during the greatest winning streak in Las Vegas gambing history. Some say $20 million. Or $30 million. Or $40 million. Even Karas doesn't know the official amount because in the end, he went broke and busto. But for a moment in time, no one on the planet was a bigger gambler and high roller than Archie Karas back in the 1970s and 80s.

Wednesday May 26, 2021 at 5:58 pm
2021 World College Poker (WCP) Championship Main Event on PokerStars.net

PokerStars is hosting the 2021 World College Poker (WCP) Main Event Championship exclusively on PokerStars.net for college students all over the world. The WCP is free to enter with the opening round beginning on July 24 at PokerStars.net with college and university students from all over the planet competing in six different regions. The winner gets a travel package to a European Poker Tour event and second place earns a long weekend of poker training from poker pros including Matt Berkey.

Wednesday May 19, 2021 at 4:52 am
Brek Schutten wins 2021 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $1.26 million

The 2021 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown set a new record with 2,482 entrants for the $3,500 event and generated a prize pool worth nearly $8 million. The event ended in April with a short delayed final table that was played out in Las Vegas. Brekstyn 'Brek' Schutten outlasted the massive field and a tough final table that included Sonny Franco, Steven Snyder, Ken Aldridge, Albert Calderon, and Viet Vo. Schutten defeated Steven Snyder heads up for the WPT title and $1.2 million for first place.

Tuesday May 18, 2021 at 6:44 pm
Balakrishna Patur wins delayed 2020 WPT LA Poker Classic Final Table

The World Poker Tour played down another delayed final table with the conclusion of the 2020 WPT LA Poker Classic that began in March 2020 and had its final table delayed until now due to the pandemic. Balakrishna Patur outlasted a field of 490 runners in the 2020 WPT LAPC and survived a tough final table that included Matas Cimbolas, James Carroll, Upeshka De Silva, and Ka Kwan Lau and Scott Hempel. Patur banked $1 million and a free roll into the season-ending Tournament of Champions.

Monday May 17, 2021 at 1:58 pm
Veerab Zakarian wins delayed 2020 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Final Table

It only took 16 months and a world-wide pandemic, but the 2020 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open finally has a champion. The $3,200 buy-in event started in January 2020 with 1,290 runners. They played down to a final table with Veerab Zakarian bagging the lead. They thought they were going to wait a couple of months and play the final table out in Las Vegas but the pandemic hit and delayed the final table until May 2021. WPT Player of the Year Brian Altman finished in third place and missed out on winning a third WPT title. Zakarian edged out James Anderson to win the title and $674,840.

Friday May 14, 2021 at 4:36 pm
Benny Binion Shootout returns to South Point, US Poker Open 2021 schedule released

The 2021 WSOP is delayed until the end of September, but there's two cool events on the Las Vegas tournament slate this summer starting in June. The Benny Binion Shootout returns and the 128-person field will play out at the South Point Casino between June 10-12. The US Poker Open boasts 12 events that will run between June 3-11 at PokerGO Studio at the Aria Casino.

Friday May 14, 2021 at 3:07 pm
Caesars Entertainment Properties in Las Vegas return to 100% capacity

After getting hit hard during the pandemic, Las Vegas is quickly returning to its old Sin City ways. All of Caesars Entertainment casinos in Las Vegas will operate at 100% capacity in June and joining MGM Resorts International properties after a waiver by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Most businesses in Nevada are operating at 80% capacity, but casinos will finally operate at full capacity.

Tuesday May 11, 2021 at 3:22 pm
Use Gemini crypto wallet at the New Resorts World Casino in Las Vegas

Resorts World is the newest casino and three-hotel resort on the Las Vegas Strip located just north of the Wynn and Encore, which will open its doors on June 24. If you're into cryptocurrency, then there's some good news because the Winklevoss Twins cut a deal to partner up with Resorts World as the first crypto platform in Sin City. Gamblers will be able to access their Gemini crypto wallet at Resorts World.

Friday May 7, 2021 at 3:00 pm
High Stakes Duel: Phil Hellmuth beats Daniel Negreanu in Round 2 for $200K

Despite the fact that Daniel Negreanu was the big betting favorite against Phil Hellmuth in the second installment of their High Stakes Duel on Poker GO, the Poker Brat came out on top of Kid Poker this week to win another $100,000. Hellmuth is now up $200,000, but Negreanu is expected to play a rematch sometime in June for a chance to break even against the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner.

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Thursday June 24, 2021 at 7:04 pm
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