Posts Tagged ‘steve-lipscomb’

Deal or No Deal? GSN Says No Deal!

by , Jun 9, 2008 | 9:42 am

GSN let the renewal option for the World Poker Tour’s 7th season lapse on June 7th. There is currently no deal in place, though GSN said it’s still open for discussion, for shows that are scheduled to begin taping with the Bellagio Cup next month.

This doesn’t look good.

See the shareholder notice below:

WPT Enterprises Opens Discussions for Season VII Television Broadcast Rights

GSN Renewal Option Lapsed on June 7

LOS ANGELES, Jun 09, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: WPTE) announced today that GSN’s option for exclusive broadcast of the entire World Poker Tour(R) (WPT) seventh season expired on Saturday.

GSN CEO David Goldhill said, “The World Poker Tour has been a great partner and the show continues to perform strongly on our network. We are continuing discussions with WPTE regarding how we may be able to work together – including perhaps broadcasting parts of Season VII.”

WPTE is currently in discussions with several major networks to broadcast programming from its landmark seventh season, which kicks off July 11 at the prestigious Bellagio in Las Vegas and runs through April 2009.

“We have enjoyed watching the show and our numbers grow on GSN. Our hope is that we can find ways to collaborate with the network long into the future,” said Steve Lipscomb, WPT Founder, President and CEO. “This may allow us the first opportunity to explore diversifying content on multiple networks like most sports leagues. We have already begun those discussions and look forward to making another season of the best and most widely distributed poker programming in the world to our dedicated viewers and fans.”

New Season VI episodes will continue to broadcast Monday nights at 9pm ET/PT on GSN through late August. Encore episodes will continue to broadcast on the network for up to four years. Episodes of seasons II through V currently air on the Travel Channel.

Will the WPT Still Exist in 2009?

Maybe not, according Steve Lipscomb, pizza friends

by , Jun 7, 2008 | 12:24 pm

So the days keep ticking by — May 24, June 1, June 7 … and still no word on the future of the World Poker Tour. The best guess is that the WPT is still trying to renegotiate something with GSN. It’s all a shame, really, not just because once upon a time the WPT did so much for poker, but also because this current season — #6 — is proving to be one of their finest in years. Seriously, have you watched any episodes this season? They’re really good. Loved the set for Turks and Caicos, and the action and commentary on all the other episodes has been significantly better than in previous seasons.

But it may be too little too late according to insider gossip and semi-substantiated rumors. The first piece of evidence we have, of course, is the stock price (WPTE), which is continuously descending beyond its all-time low. $1.16/share=not good.

Now let’s go back to non-poker Christmastime … when the WPT supposedly held some sort of employee-appreciation pizza party, and CEO Steve Lipscomb reportedly told his people that things were not looking good for the WPT — specifically that he wasn’t sure if they’d make it to the end of 2008, and that they might-wanna start looking for other work. Yikes. This information is secondhand rumor from two or more reliable sources, at least one of whom may or may not still be working for the WPT.

CORRECTION: Have crossed out some possibly erroneous info above. Supposedly what Lipscomb really told his people was that 2008 was going to be a “very rough year” … and some in attendance drew those conclusions simply on their knowledge of what it takes to nurse a super-short stack until better cards/times arrive.Crap, there goes my whole premise for this post.

Furthering suspicions, a California headhunter says her office was flooded with resumes from managerial and executive-level employees of the WPT in January of this year. 17+ is the number we’re hearing.

So there you have it — rampant speculation deduced from public information combined with whispers on a semi-informed street suggesting that whatever does or doesn’t happen with GSN, it may be a last-ditch effort to save the show a struggling business. Read into it whatever you must, and in the meantime we’ll keep checking Steve Lipscomb’s blog for an update but won’t expect much …

(Have a look at his fifth most recent comment, from yours truly, left in January ’07. Still waiting for a response …)

Re: Dallas (Underground) Poker on Film

by , May 15, 2008 | 12:51 pm

Danielle in New York writes in with a little more info about the film project they’ve got working:

Another thing you can add if people are being hesitant to being interviewed or showing us their room, we have filmed in underground poker rooms in NYC. I don’t know how familiar you are with the scene in NY but a couple years ago a big bust broke up a lot of the more well known poker rooms in the city. About 6 months before these busts we were able to film in one of the clubs and interview the owner. Unfortunately since the big bust, its been hard to come by more games in the NYC Area.

One angle I’d love to take while in Dallas, it to interview someone who could talk about all the raids either as someone who was at one of the raids or someone who ran a room that got raided. Of course, if there is an issue of not given out the name of a room or the name of the person we are interviewing, we will abide in any way possible to make everyone comfortable.

I’m not sure how much I got into the extensiveness of our project but our goal is to make the most definitive and comprehensive film about poker in America. We’ve gone everywhere from Vegas to New Orleans to Saratoga Springs to Oklahoma. We’ve interviewed people within the poker community including Annie Duke, Jeffrey Pollack (Commissioner of the WSOP), Phil Hellmuth, Steve Lipscomb (CEO of WPT), Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker, amateur poker players, tournament directors, and poker room mangers from casinos across the US.

So there you have it … I wonder if the poker-room people they end up talking to will be “good” or “bad” gamerunners representing the Dallas scene.

Bracelets for WPT Winners – Genius Idea! Wait a Minute…

by , Apr 8, 2008 | 5:58 am

The World Poker Tour has announced that a ceremony will be held on April 21, during the WPT World Championship at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic, to award bracelets to each of the 96 past WPT champions.

What a great idea! To memorialize a poker tournament victory with an expensive piece of jewelry that symbolizes the grandeur of what those players accomplished… Wait, haven’t I heard this idea somewhere before? It’s just not coming to me at this moment…

Anyway, the private Ceremony of Champions will take place at the “O” Theater at the Bellagio, where the players’ victories and accomplishments will be celebrated, and each will be awarded a Tiffany & Co. personalized titanium and diamond bracelet. Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten will be the Masters of Ceremony.

From the press release:

“There are so many incredible stories to celebrate from the six World Poker Tour seasons and we are thrilled to pay tribute to each of our WPT Champions,” said WPT Founder, President and CEO, Steve Lipscomb. “The championship bracelet has become synonymous with poker as a symbol of achievement and respect, and we are honored to continue the tradition that Benny Binion began over 30 years ago.”

When Benny Binion began the tradition… DOH!

The World Series of Poker has bracelet events, and now each WPT event will be a bracelet event. Really? I don’t want to say that one company is trying to be like another, but… Is there no other way to congratulate poker players than with a bracelet? What about a gigantic 25-pound bejeweled poker chip? Or a diamond-encrusted wallet to hold all of their dough?

Originality is dead.

WPT Europe

by , Feb 22, 2008 | 8:28 pm

Has a familiar ring to it, eh?

It seems that the World Poker Tour is in the process of creating some type of WPT Europe, in addition to the WPT schedule that pretty much stays within the U.S. border with the one exception of Canada. The WPT signed an agreement, the details of which are yet to be released, with Group Perelada in Spain.

In today’s press conference, Steve Lipscomb only touched on the subject but said the following:

“We are expanding our presence in Europe and other international markets as we go into the online gaming space, and as we do that, we’re taking those markets piece by piece… This year, we’re going to do a WPT Europe event. We’re going to be doing regional tours similar to what we’re doing in China… Those audiences, as we understand, are very hungry for programming as they grow their own poker world, and we’re going to help them and grow it together.”

RE: Can Antonio Save the WPT?

by , | 8:14 pm

Antonio at the WPT press conference

Antonio at the WPT press conference

A few impressions from the press conference with Antonio Esfandiari and Steve Lipscomb:

~Antonio is immensely happy about this deal. He has a deep respect and fondness for the WPT. Though he was being cool, as always, he was close to just bubbling over.

~Antonio is going to be representing the WPT on television, in advertising, with Club WPT, and with anything they do in the global market, including WPT Online.

~Steve seems to have a lot of respect for Antonio as well. He feels that Antonio represents players from every background and culture, but he is one of the classy players who doesn’t insult others, has an incredible passion for the game, and will represent the WPT well. Steve mentioned more than once that when Antonio won his WPT title, he went straight to his dad’s place to surprise him with a huge chunk of $$$ and told him to retire; he was particularly struck by that.

And click below for a few quotes from today’s conference:


Can Antonio Esfandiari Save the WPT?

by , | 5:35 pm

That’s what it seems like they’re banking on — you know, along with restructuring tournament operations and slimming down staff. Steve Lipscomb just announced today at a press conference (at the Commerce in LA?) that Antonio the WPT-Made Millionaire will be the new face of the World Poker Tour.

And despite the reduced schedule, the WPT also apparently has a WPT-Europe in the works. Should be interesting to see how this all shakes out over the course of 2008. My prediction is that the WPT will, several years from now, be seen as the AFL* of Poker.

* And by AFL I mean American Football League, not the other AFL that looks out for the hard-workin’ little guy.

WPT Changes Logo Policy for Season 7

by , Feb 18, 2008 | 12:56 pm

Players have spoken and Steve Lipscomb has apparently listened. As the WPT tries to recover from the fiscal beating it’s taken for the last couple years of generally crappy programming ratings at a time when High Stakes Poker was just finding its stride and the online poker world was in a tailspin … (why did the PPT collapse again? Those shows were great!) … a simple adjustment to a Berman-Lipscomb-Corp. policy stands to put a little more money into players’ pockets. An email sent out a month ago:

Dear WPT Player,

This is a quick email to announce that we are revising the rules for WPT Final Table Player Sponsorship. In previous seasons, pre-approved sponsors were required to send WPT a list of their players prior to the start of each event. If one of the listed players made the Main Event Final Table, the Player would be able to wear the sponsor’s pre-approved logo. No other logos were accepted for that player.



Response to Steve Lipscomb’s Letter to WPT Players

by , May 28, 2007 | 6:07 pm

There were three items that weren’t covered in Steve’s letter that are very important to me and some of my professional poker friends. Resolving these issues would make competing on the World Poker Tour more profitable, and therefore more enjoyable, for the players the WPT depends on.

  1. Payout structure – In the WPT championship, the winner received $4 million. Sixth place got $300,000. This difference is not the only reason, but is one of the main reasons that people are complaining about the blind structures. If this difference were significantly smaller, players might not be as bothered by a crapshoot. I’m sure other people will comment on how to improve the blind structure, but I would like the payout structure narrowed. Viewers will be impressed if the winner gets $2 million or $4 million. Both numbers are amazing to people that watch poker. This top-heavy prize structure is one of the reasons so many poker players are going broke. Finishing 6th among 600 of the best players in the world should get paid better than 12to1.
  2. Deal Making – The WSOP allows deal making and their shows are great to watch too. The viewers don’t know, and even if they did, they might find the negotiation process interesting to watch. The inability for players to make deals when the variation in prize money from first to sixth is so vast is another reason why the blind structure is so important. The final table is not real poker and is being played for more money than most people have ever seen, and we can’t make deals. If we could make deals, I wouldn’t care so much about the blind structure. In addition, if a deal was made, it would speed up the tournament reducing your production costs and would spread the prize money over a greater number of players.
  3. More…