An interesting development has taken place in the poker world today, as leading gaming company Ourgame has purchased the WPT brand and will be injecting fresh ideas, enthusiasm, and financial strength. The buyout was completed for the sum of $35 million, with Ourgame International Holdings Ltd now holding full rights to the WPT.
This company is based in Honk Kong and is one of the larger companies that offer a wide array of brain games and skill games in an online format, with 500 million registered users, compared to the 82 million at Pokerstars. It is an unusual and exciting development for a casual online gaming portal to buy up a brand linked to poker, which has often been as pure gambling in some parts of the world, and separate from other mind games online.
More WPT events can be expected in Asia
The CEO and President of the WPT Adam Pliska commented on the acquisition yesterday “Having already established an exciting partnership with Ourgame, a high-growth company led by an enthusiastic group that is fully invested in the global growth of the sport of poker, we are delighted to now become a fully-integrated member of the Ourgame family.”
Aside from the official statements between WPT and Ourgame, there is excitement from other corners of the poker world too, with GPI founder Alex Dreyfus offering further insight “The fact that Ourgame is not a gambling company, but clearly a casual gaming portal is amazing, it is the first step of the next evolution of promoting poker not as a gambling, but as a mind sport, a sport, a skill game. Ourgame has a database of 500 million users for their others games (remember, Pokerstars has 82 million) and with their Zynga model, that works well in China, they will leverage the brand WPT, and then poker. Ourgame is a $700m valuation company, with no capital problem. They can invest into WPT and develop a strong online (play for fun) offer, they invest in the TV, the distribution and the event management.”
The joining of these two parties allows for great potential growth within poker, as the game can be brought to many millions of people through various broadcasts and devices (both mobile and otherwise.) Even though some may only be playing the game for fun rather than money, it allows for a far greater number of people to enjoy playing poker worldwide expecially in Asia, which can only be a positive thing for the long term health of poker, and it's reputation as a wonderful mind game.