EPL Enters Into Partnership with Big Lead Sports and USA TodayWednesday, December 7th, 2011 by Nadia
Epic Poker League (EPL) recently announced that it was entering into two partnerships in order to increase the impact that it has had in the poker tournament circuit.
Media Expansion of the Global Poker Index
The owner of EPL, Federated Sports and Gaming, has stated that the two partnerships will bring a lot more media attention to the tournament. The deal with USA Today, will ensure that the EPL’s Global Poker Index will receive more mainstream attention as it will be featured regularly in the newspaper. The deal with Big Lead Sports will allow for more in-depth coverage of news and information about poker. EPL can only profit from these ventures as USA Today has a readership of around 4 million and Big Lead Sports has approximately 20 million viewers on a monthly basis.
What is the Global Poker Index?
The Global Poker Index (GPI) was launched in June 2011. It is a system which helps rate the top poker players world wide. It uses player performances over a period of three years to determine their ranking. GPI utilizes an intensive grading system in order to showcase the top 300 players in the game. The longer period is to ensure that the GPI is ranking the players based on their overall career successes instead of by a single good run.
Federated Sports and Gaming: Future Goals and Plans
According to Jeffrey Pollack, the former commissioner of WSOP and the CEO of Federated Sports and Gaming, the company’s goal is to try and make poker more mainstream. He said that the company’s work with Big Lead Sports and USA Today would help push poker into mainstream news and help position the game on the same level as other professional sports.
The two companies that are partnering with EPL expressed their enthusiasm concerning the deals. Tom Beusse, President of USA Today Sports Media Group said that more and more Americans are watching and playing poker these days. The partnership will allow USA Today to provide readers with the content they desire. He went on to say that the Global Poker Index (GPI) will grant the USA Today readers the opportunity to find out more about poker. The informative content will be put together such that it can be easily understood and tracked. The introduction of GPI will also make the game more accessible to fans.
EPL Joins the Tournament Circuit
New deals are especially important to EPL as they are trying to succeed in the tournament circuit. Both of EPL’s tournaments brought in several big names such as: Huck Seed, Jason Mercier, Erik Seidel, Gavin Smith, Hasan Habib and the winner of the first tournament – David Rheem, also known as ‘Chino’. However, the tournaments also faced several issues. The first event conducted by EPL had a field of 137 players. The second even brought in only 97 players. The tournament also faced controversy when Rheem was accused of having gambling debts. The League was forced to put Rheem on probation.