December 17, 2012
Live-tourney proliferation marks three-way battle for global poker domination
The World Poker Tour made its Chinese debut this weekend at the MGM Grand in Sanya. That’s some 400 miles down shore from Macau, where PokerStars recently hosted the inaugural “Asia Championship of Poker”, and next month will hold something similar called the Red Dragon. These events come just as Caesars, unable to get properly licensed in China, is officially retreating from the Communist gamblers’ promised land.
Meanwhile, Stars is apparently trying to get (back?) into North America by buying a distressed brick-and-mortar casino in storm-ravaged New Jersey — this according to an announcement that may or may not have been conveniently timed to steal buzz from a WSOP circuit event going on in Atlantic City.
Game of Risk: Live Poker in an Online Age
Redrawing the Battle Lines
Check out how the three biggest brands in poker (and the online gaming sites behind them) stack up against each other. I make no claims of these maps being to scale nor anything more than “pretty accurate, I think,” but look past my amateur cartography to see how three Poker World superpowers — the biggest American casino corporation, the biggest European internet gaming company, and the biggest “offshore” online poker operator — have been competing fiercely to corner your neighborhood tournament market.
WSOP / Caesars / 888
WPT / BwinParty / MGM Resorts
PokerStars.net / PokerStars.com
See below to for some historical perspective on how the current live-tourney landscape took shape over the first decade of the 21st century.