Is WPT’s new “Events Division” taking Aim at Matt Savage?

by Lou on February 6, 2006

In a press release issued today, February 6, WPT Enterprises announced the launch of its new Events Division. Their new division will offer special programs for corporations, meeting planners, and charitable organizations for entertainment purposes only — not for actual gaming. Some of the ways customers will be able to incorporate the World Poker Tour into their events are for sales meetings, product launches, vendor programs, incentive programs and client parties.

“We plan to leverage the emotion, power, and appeal of the WPT brand to help create and implement custom-made programs that are impeccably executed to meet our customers’ marketing and business objectives,” said Steve Lipscomb, CEO and founder of WPTE.

He went on to say that “. . . every time the World Poker Tour brand touches a consumer or customer, it should positively reinforce the message that the WPT is the gold standard in poker. From our branded chips and cards to the quality of our tables to the expertise of our event personnel, all the way to a chocolate poker chip on a player’s pillow at night, our events will be of the highest quality. We strongly believe this standard of excellence will make us the first choice in the poker event arena.”

This could be a shot across the bow of Savage Tournaments partners Matt Savage and Dave Lamb, who have done corporate and charity events, including “Broker Poker” in Southern California, the “Cory Lidle Foundation Poker Tournament,” the “Michael Waltrip Invitational,” and the “Mobil High Performance Invitational,” to cite a few.

Although it appears that WPTE is taking aim at Matt Savage and Dave Lamb by entering corporate and charity poker event organization and management, it’s more likely a case of a burgeoning market that might be in dire need of more firms like Savage Tournaments. WPTE clearly sees an underserved market there, and if their analysis is correct, it’s more evidence that poker’s arc is still on the ascendancy as it spirals out from cardrooms and televised poker tournaments into corporate and charitable events.

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