Many of you have already noticed that the World Series of Poker did not hold international bracelet events in 2017. This led to a little speculation that they had abandoned overseas events. An announcement on Tuesday confirmed otherwise.
WSOP officials confirmed that the WSOP Europe is returning in 2017 with a new long-term home, giving the series some guaranteed stability at least through the end of the decade.
WSOP Europe Moves to King’s Casino Rozvadov in Long-Term Deal
Starting next year, the World Series of Poker Europe will be played from King’s Casino Rozvadov. According to the announced deal, King’s Casino will host the WSOP-E in 2017 and 2019 along with Circuit events through 2021.
King’s Casino hosted a WSOP Circuit event last year and another kicks off on Thursday. The popularity of the events helped to prompt WSOP officials to pull the trigger on hosting the WSOP-E at the venue.
Presently, the poker room has 150 tables but that number will be growing soon due to a massive expansion underway in the casino. While the exact number is not known, it likely will be more than enough to host the upcoming events. The long-term deal with the WSOP is part of a strategy to make King’s Casino one of the premier gambling destinations in Europe.
According to WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart, “I have really bought into Leon’s vision for creating a poker-first destination in Central Europe. The existing set up already reminds me of the Amazon Room at the Rio and it’s only going to get bigger.
When the new hotel and the renovations are complete, and considering the way Leon and staff cater to poker players, this is going to be a very comfortable environment for a large festival such as ours. With King’s backing large guarantees and media coverage, we believe we have found a long term home for WSOPE to replicate the scale we enjoy in Las Vegas.”
Under the deal, the 2017 and 2019 WSOP Europe will be held at King’s Casino with at least 10 gold bracelets and €5 million in guarantees available. In addition, the WSOP Circuit will hold events every year through 2021. In 2018 and 2020, there will be two Circuit events with one in the Spring and one in the Fall.
Smart Move That Will Bring Stability and Potential Growth to a Struggling Series
It’s no secret that the WSOP Europe has struggled in recent years in terms of attendance. This new agreement is a smart move by WSOP officials on multiple fronts. First, interested players can make long-term plans for all events without fearing a sudden change in venue.
According to the press release, over 250,000 players came to King’s Casino last year. That bodes well for the future of the WSOP-E and the upcoming Circuit events as you have a dedicated based that will show up. Also, the fact that certain big name stars like Fedor Holz have made the casino their home is great for promotional opportunities.
It was time for the WSOP to make a move to bring some stability to WSOP Europe and this move helps do so at least through the end of this decade. The recipe for growth is in place and now it is up to WSOP officials to “run with the ball” so to speak and spark growth in this struggling product. If this move fails to produce noticeable growth, it may be time to abandon the WSOP Europe and just focus on international Circuit events.