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World Poker Tour Sold to Element Partners for $78 M

World Poker Tour

In case you missed it, the World Poker Tour has a new owner. No, this isn’t a rehash of a previous story. They have been sold yet again. Earlier this week, news broke that the World Poker Tour has been sold for the fourth time in its history.

The new owner of the WPT is Element Partners, LLC. Element is a privately-held investment company. Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc will receive $68.25 million for the WPT assets and the new company will agree to contribute $10 million in prizes.

World Poker Tour Sale to Equal $78.25 Million

How many times have we told this story? The World Poker Tour has a new owner. This time around, Element Partners, LLC has purchased the company from Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc. Terms of the deal will see Element Partners pay $68.25 million to Allied upfront. Next, Element will contribute $10 million over three years to various WPT event prize pools.

Allied Esports Entertainment CEO Frank Ng spoke of the sale, stating, “Despite the many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the WPT business has delivered substantial, impactful results, specifically through its online platforms and services, and has made meaningful contributions for the Company. In addition, Allied Esports, with its world-renowned HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas and best-in-class production services, has generated market attention as the esports industry gained momentum during the pandemic.

Due to COVID-19’s impact on the Company’s overall revenue generation and profitability timeline, we believe the forthcoming sale of the WPT business will garner significant capital and an avenue to determine new opportunities that will deliver accelerated returns for our stakeholders.”

Element The Fourth Stop for the WPT

The World Poker Tour has proven to be a desirable commodity in the online poker world, so much so that it has been sold four times since its inception in 2002. Originally, the company was sold to PartyGaming in 2009 for $12.3 million. Partypoker helped to grow the WPT into a worldwide brand before selling the company to Ourgame International Holdings, LLC in 2015 for $35 million.

Ourgame didn’t hold the property long, eventually the company to Black Ridge Acquisition Corp in 2019. The deal also included the purchase of Allied Esports Entertainment in a deal for $150 million. The WPT and Allied merged at that time.

This sale is only for the World Poker Tour assets, meaning that Allied Esports Entertainment will continue as a separate company.

How Long will Element Keep the WPT?

We don’t know much about the long-term plans of Element regarding the World Poker Tour. If they meet the terms of the deal, they should have the company for at least three years. The WPT has had to change focus since the beginning of the pandemic. All live events have been paused and events moved online, primarily with partypoker.

It is unclear at this time whether Element will continue its relationship with partypoker or try and find a new partner. A new partner would be a bad move considering the popularity of the partypoker platform. Some speculate that Element will focus on growing the WPT as a global online poker tournament brand. Whether the WPT goes back to a full-time live schedule remains to be seen.

At this point, most everything will be staying online, at least for major events. Most of the world is still recovering from the pandemic and with new variants of COVID-19 coming out all the time, it is uncertain when things will return to normal. However, until then, one thing remains constant. The World Poker Tour has a new owner. How long that owner keeps the property is anyone’s guess.

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