The World Poker Tour has announced that it will partner with Europe-Bet.com, allowing the company to host three WPT events in the Eastern European nation over the course of 2015.
It will also giveÂ Europe-Bet.com the exclusive rights to distribute WPT merchandise and the tour’s television programs in Georgia.
Among the three tournaments that will be hosted in Georgia will be a WPT Main Tour event.
However, the first branded series to come to the country will be a WPT National event that begins on June 4. Hosted in the capital city of Tbilisi, the $1,100 buy-in tournament will feature a $200,000 guaranteed prize pool. The Main Tour event will be held in November, while December will see another WPT National stop in the country.
The agreement with Europe-Bet.com comes on the heels of a similar agreement with Ourgame in a number of Asian nations.
“Following our announcement with Ourgame in Asia, this new arrangement marks the continued expansion of the WPT global licensing initiative, expanding the tour like never before,” said WPT President Adam Pliska in a statement.
“Europe-Bet.com is committed to the long-term growth of poker in Georgia and beyond, and by working alongside Mr. Fleiderman and his team, the World Poker Tour has an opportunity to expand its footprint in Europe. We are thrilled to kick off this partnership with a $200,000 guaranteed WPT National event in June, and look forward to sharing the WPT experience with everyone associated with the spectacular Europe-Bet.com Poker Club.”
Europe-Bet.com is best known in Georgia for its Europe-Bet.com Poker Club, which opened in September 2012. Unique in the country, the venue offers poker 24/7, including 20 tables, bars, restaurants and more.
The company hopes that by bringing in WPT events to the club, they can ensure that they’ll be the biggest name in Georgian poker for years to come.
“We continue to strive to maintain our brand positioning, not only as the undisputed market leader in Georgia, but also as a globalized operator,” said Nicolas Fleiderman, CEO of Europe-Bet.com. “Our partnership with World Poker Tour will help us expand our poker penetration at a solid pace. We are excited to host WPT events at our premier poker club, and to showcase our strong online offering.”
Europe-Bet.com offers both online and offline games, and is the largest operator in Georgia’s regulated gambling market. The company’s online poker site is likely to be a major feeder to the WPT events hosted in their club: there are already qualifier satellites available on the site for players to compete in.
While this agreement is certainly smaller than the one announced in December with Ourgame, the goal for the WPT is likely the same: increasing the company’s footprint in markets where poker is not yet a national pastime, but is likely to grow. In the case of the Ourgame agreement, the fruits of that effort have already started showing thanks to a previous, more limited partnership.
“The World Poker Tour has worked hard to expand its footprint throughout Asian territories over the last few years with much success,” Pliska said when the Ourgame licensing agreement was announced. “A big part of this success was based on our strong working partnership with Ourgame, who established WPT National China.”