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GOOD NEWS IF YOU HATE POKER ON TV

By / 08.28.09

Some people will insist that poker on ESPN is nothing short of a sign of the apocalypse, and though I respectfully disagree, I see their point. But there are signs that people might finally be growing tired of watching other people play cards: World Poker Tour Enterprises was gobbled up by PartyGaming earlier this week, a sign of reorganization from which the weekly television program showing the endings of worldwide tournaments may or may not recover:

PartyGaming PLC (PRTY.LN) has agreed to acquiring nearly all of WPT Enterprises Inc.’s (WPTE) operating assets, ending a buyout deal the operator of the World Poker Tour had with an investment group.

PartyGaming will pay $12.3 million as well as 5% of the revenue generated by the assets.

WPT has been beset by years of losses and missteps. Its stock has slumped from $29.50 at its mid-2005 peak to a low in November of 15 cents. The stock rose 8.6% after-hours to $1.14. via, via.

There are quite a few things even poker players hate about the WPT, mainly that the six-handed final table and largely-disproportionate chip stacks don’t lend the telecast to showing “real poker.” NBC faces a similar quandry with its new “Face The Ace” poker show, where random people play heads-up matches against better-known pros. Conversely, ESPN has extended its relationship with the World Series of Poker; the monolith will be televising guys playing cards through 2017. Whatever. That’s just less time for them to air anything on Brett Favre.


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