WSOP China announced

The World Series of Poker partners up with Chinese entertainment company Tencent to bring online and live WSOP bracelet poker to Asia.

World Series of Poker

The World Series of Poker announced on Saturday that they have agreed on a partnership deal with Chinese mobile gaming firm Tencent to promote the game in “untapped” Asia. The announcement was made by Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the WSOP, on the morning of this year’s Main Event.

The purpose of the deal is to make inroads into the Asian market, where allowed, and as such the WSOP brand will now appear on the Tencent app, Tencent Poker. Tencent and the WSOP will also pair up and host the first ever WSOP China live poker event this December in Sanya on the southern tip of Hainan Island.

Sanya began hosting live poker events last December, also organised by Tencent, but the new commercial partnership, one with a global brand, promises to take Chinese poker to another level. Both WSOP China and WSOP Asia will award official gold bracelets and there are plans for a WSOP China Circuit offering official WSOP rings.

Untapping potential

Tencent

Gaming restrictions in China forbid buy-ins, making all live events free-to-play through online qualifiers, most of which are, once again, hosted by Tencent through their poker app.

“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. We plan to use the WSOP brand and our expertise, along with Tencent's reach in Asia, to inspire the next generation of competitive sports players”, said Ty Stewart.

As part of the deal, the WSOP will also train Chinese tournament staff, while Tencent, who own a large stake in Hearthstone creators Activision Blizzard, will get exclusive media distribution rights across Asia.

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Comments (2)

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  • tingozhu

    #1

    Fun Facts:

    There was a WSOP China event back in 2013, at that time WSOP was working with a local event called China Poker Games (CPG).

    That edition of WSOP China was only a side event of the CPG, that event was also served as the China Qualifier to IFP Nation's Cup where they play Duplicate Poker.

    It is worth mentioning that the 2013 CPG ME winner was Guo Dong, who was the 29th finished in 2014 WSOP ME in Vegas.

    CPG is stilling operating as an annual poker festival.

    Tencent has been hosting its own Tencent Poker Tournament (TPT) for several years, in which the ME winner gets CNY 4.5m(~USD 660k) in cash and 5b playing money in its own mobile poker game.
  • tingozhu

    #2

    In China's poker apps, you can user real money to buy chips or "play money", but you are not allowed and it is illegal to withdraw or sell the funds. In those online qualifiers to live events, you don't win a ticket or buy-in for the live tournament, instead, in legal terms, you win a FREE INVITATION to that live tournament.