The World Poker Tour (WPT) has wrapped up one of its most successful seasons with the Tournament of Champions being held on April 9.
This year the WPT visited 20 main stops across multiple locations spread across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean islands and Prague. Attendance was at record highs making it one of the highest attended WPT seasons in the company’s history. Some of the stops that had record breaking entries were the WPT Five Diamond, WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, WPT Maryland Live!, WPT Fallsview and WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star.
A recent media interaction was held at Seminole Hard Rock where the company’s future was discussed by several top WPT executives. The predominant theme was global expansion and Vice President of Global Tour Management's Angelica Hael noted that the WPT had seen strong growth across countries in the past few years. The WPT was present in seven countries in 2010 but by the end of 2017, the WPT will be in 18 countries.
World Poker Tour
Hael added that some of the earlier WPT expansion plans had been aggressive but did not make very good financial sense. WPT CEO Adam Pliska agreed with Hael and used China as an example as the WPT had ventured into China nearly a decade ago but ended up losing millions due to poor timing. The WPT re-entered China this year with the WPT Beijing which was the inaugural event for its 16 th season.
WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage believed that it was the right strategy for the WPT to start expanding its brand globally as he hinted that the US market had reached a point of saturation. In a statement, Matt Savage said
I think the World Poker Tour's in a really good spot. I think global expansion is where we're at with WPT. We're trying to go down to Latin America, to Asia, to India
Pliska also highlighted the fact that the WPT was focusing on initiatives like investing in grassroots poker via events for ClubWPT members and the WPT League – which offers online poker training. Pliska has been present at a few grassroots poker events and met with a number of players who have been thrilled with the game and the work that the WPT is doing at this level. The WPT plans to continue its initiatives as it helps to expand the WPT global market and increase its player database.