Party Poker: WPT Acquired by Ourgame

June 23, 2015

Chinese entrepreneur-led company Ourgame has apparently successfully acquired the World Poker Tour. According to Alexandre Dreyfus, the fact that the Chinese company won the bid, and that the WPT decided to go with Ourgame, is a great shift in the dynamic of the online poker world and it may well herald the beginnings of the next wave of poker-popularity, one coming from Asia this time around. Dreyfus said that Ourgame - in command of a more-than-impressive database of 500 million users through the other games they offer - was firmly committed to "sportifying poker", to presenting it as a mind-sport rather than gambling.

Built on a Zynga-like business model, Ourgame is indeed a far cry from a gambling company. Valued at ~$700m, it can indeed afford to invest into the WPT brand through TV deals, event management and distribution deals.

There were apparently around half a dozen bidders for the WPT, including Amaya (the company behind PokerStars), Playtech and MGM. By going with Ourgame, the WPT essentially made a long-term strategic move rather than just a sale, avoiding a clear monopoly situation and opening up a brand-new front in the struggle to have poker accepted as a bona-fide sports rather than a game of luck.

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