World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart made a major announcement at Saturday's opening of the 48th WSOP Main Event. After several years of the World Series being based in America but visiting continents such as Europe, Latin America and Australia, the leap has finally been made to bring the greatest poker tournaments in the world to China.
“Today is a special day as we kick off the first day of the 48th edition of the longest running and most prestigious tournament in the world,” said Stewart in a packed Brasilia Room just before cards were in the air on Day 1a.
“The WSOP has grown from its humble beginnings with seven poker players around one table to what it is today, with tens thousands of would-be champions from over 100 hundreds countries playing across hundreds of poker tables. The soul of the World Series of Poker can be traced to when Texan Benny Binion captivated by the allure of a boomtown in the desert, packed up and moved west.”
The World Series of Poker has indeed been in Las Vegas since its inception in 1970, and players and fans on the rail eagerly anticipated what was coming next.
“This soon created a signature event for all the world of poker and today, nearly half a century and with similar ideals, we are beyond excited to announce the World Series of Poker is packing up and heading back east," Stewart said. "Poker has come a long way in the last 50 years, with major events across Europe, Latin America and even Australia but Asia, which has a population of over four billion has always represented the largest opportunity in the game.”
"There is so much untapped potential in Asia and we’ve found the perfect partner in Tencent to help spread the great game throughout the entire continent."
The World Series expanding will excite many players, especially in the most densely populated area of the world. Stewart was very proud to announce the historic partnership which will facilitate the deal.
“I’m incredibly excited and proud to stand here today. We’ve joined forces with Tencent to bring the number one trophy in all of poker to China. This 10-year agreement is the longest in history and we work together to make poker the biggest it’s ever been. WSOP China will begin this year, in December.”
The goal of the WSOP-Tencent partnership is clearly aimed at growth. With the World Series working closely with Tencent to train staff and provide the tournament structure and procedural knowledge that already make the WSOP the best-organized tournament festival in the world, the next 50 years of the WSOP will surely be as progressive and exciting as the first.
“There is so much untapped potential in Asia and we’ve found the perfect partner in Tencent to help spread the great game throughout the entire continent,” Stewart added in a statement on WSOP.com. “We plan to use the WSOP brand and our expertise, along with Tencent’s reach in Asia, to inspire the next generation.”
Events in WSOP China and WSOP Asia will provide more of the famous WSOP gold bracelets for winners, and the media and reporting elements of the World Series look set to grow once they head East with new Asian players the target market for what has today become a truly global game.
Stay tuned to PokerNews as more on this story develops. In the meantime, check out the live updates for the 2017 WSOP Main Event.
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