In a deal worth more than half its 2018 price tag the two decades old tour is being sold again.
The oldest tour in poker is to change hands, as the World Poker Tour has been acquired by Element Partners LLC.
The private investment firm has bought the tour for $68,250,000 and a further 5% of WPT tournament fees up to $10 million for the next three years.
The same team will still be at the helm and CEO Adam Pliska confirmed the deal will broaden the tour’s horizons, though he could not publicly say how yet:
Allied Esports Entertainment Announces the Sale of World Poker Tour to Element Partners, LLC. Here is WPT CEO Adam Pliska (@pliska007) with more. ♠️ https://t.co/2ulzWZz6Et pic.twitter.com/GknAQJUVKu
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) January 19, 2021
More than half the price of the last sale
The HyperX Esports Arena
The tour has had several owners but was most recently purchased from partypoker by Black Ride Acquisition Corp in 2018 who paid $213.8 million for it. The new parent company became Allied Esports Entertainment leading to a partnership with the HyperX Esports Arena which the tour hoped could usher in an era of poker and Esports. It is not known whether that partnership will continue but there are still yet to be played delayed final tables that got postponed due to COVID-19.
Speaking of which, no doubt the significant drop in price from that 2018 purchase is largely due to the impact the pandemic has had on the live poker industry. It’s all but impossible to host live tournaments all over the world with so many travel restrictions in place.
In 2020 the WPT was almost exclusively online with their partner and once owner partypoker, where over $100 million was guaranteed.
Speaking of the deal, Allied Esports Entertainment CEO Frank Ng commented:
Due to COVID-19’s impact on the Company’s overall revenue generation and profitability timeline, we believe the forthcoming sale of the WPT business will garner significant capital and an avenue to determine new opportunities that will deliver accelerated returns for our stakeholders.
The sale of the WPT is subject to approval by shareholders, which is expected.
Was $78 million a bargain? Let us know in the comments:
Barry Carter is the editor of PokerStrategy.com and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, Poker Satellite Strategy and PKO Poker Strategy