WPT ready to gamble with Cryptologic

9 May 2007

The World Poker Tour is moving its fledgling online poker room to the Cryptologic platform in June after more than a year of struggling on the WagerWorks network.

Operational errors have slowed the WPT's progress in the online poker world. That should change now that the company is joining one of the most powerful online poker networks in the world, WPT CEO Steve Lipscomb said.

"Our software was non-functional," Lipscomb said. "It is hard enough with the small liquidity we had on WagerWorks, but when the network goes down seemingly everyday, it's just impossible to gain traction."

Cryptologic also specializes identifying player location, Lipscomb said. They're able to turn away customers from specific areas of the world, which is important because the publicly-traded WPT is not accepting U.S. players at its Web site.

"We've always wanted to work with a company like Cryptologic," Lipscomb added. "We feel confident that our new software and our marketing efforts will lead to success even without the U.S. market."

Cryptologic is the world's 10th largest poker network, according to pokersitescout.com. The network's daily cash-game average of nearly 1,200 players puts it ahead of Ultimate Bet, Absolute Poker, Paradise Poker and Ladbrokes, all very successful brands.

The WPT' is the second major entertainment brand in the last three weeks looking to make headway in the European market.

Yahoo! Poker, which opened its doors to real-money play last month, is the first of the "Internet Giants" to enter the online poker space, signaling a trend that may result in major Internet and land-based casino brands following suit.

Lipscomb believes this trend is real and is one that will continue.

"This is the wave of the future," Lipscomb said. "Given the current International clutter in the online gaming world, brands are king. Yahoo! has all their games, which gives them a natural start. The WPT has its own place and will be successful."

The U.S. market could also be part of the WPT's future if the legal situation changes.

"We believe over time things will change in the U.S.," Lipscomb said. "We will be positioned, with our brand, as an (online poker room) to grow quickly if the U.S. laws change. We will be ready to flip the switch."


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