It has been announced that the WPT has been sold to Black Ridge Acquisition Corp in a deal linked to eSports which the deal expected to be finalised in the new year.
Three and a half years after Ourgame International Holdings Ltd bought it from Bwin/Party for $35m, the latest price is expected to be $213.8m, a nice little profit for someone.
Black Ridge are purchasing Allied eSports International Ltd at the same time, although in a separate deal, and it appears they are going to try and take the business model from the WPT and make it work for eSports. The new company is expected to be renamed Allied eSports Entertainment, Inc.
The press release confirming this mentions far more about the eSports side of the future business than the poker side, the director of Black Ridge Lyle Berman is a member of both the Poker Hall of Fame and the Gaming Hall of Fame.
“In more than 40 years in the gaming and entertainment business, this is the most exciting opportunity I have seen,” Lyle, who originally founded the WPT with Steve Lipscomb, commented. “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.”
Adam Pliska, current President and CEO of the WPT will continue in his role whilst also taking on the role of President for the new company.
Asked about what changes this could mean for the WPT and whether the new company will be concentrating more on eSports, he said “This arrangement assures that WPT will continue to be a force of innovation and high quality for many years to come.” He continued “Its opportunities should increase as will our ability to innovate and reach even more players and customers worldwide. The management will stay the same as will its commitment to being a gold standard of the poker industry. My expanded role with Allied Esports Entertainment ensures that the legacy of WPT is preserved as a compliment to the exponentially growing area of esports.”
We will update readers of LateReg with news as and when we get it in what could be an exciting or detrimental change to the WPT depending on how much time and effort is spent on the poker side.