Everest Secures WSOP Sponsorship

7 March 2008

Everest Poker has picked up the sponsorship of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, edging out PartyPoker, tournament sponsor for the last two years.

Everest and Harrah's Entertainment, the owners of WSOP, announced this week a multi-year sponsorship agreement that includes table felts and satellite tournaments, which means Everest will be able to give away seats to the Main Event.

This year's WSOP Main Event will once again contend with the UIGEA, which had a demonstrable impact last year's figures.

Numbers for the 2007 Main Event were significantly lower than the previous year -- the last before the UIGEA was enacted -- as the tournament paid a top prize of $8.25 million against $12 million in 2006. Attendance also declined sharply, down 27 percent to 6,358 entrants versus 8,773 in 2006.

Meanwhile, Everest and Harrah's said this agreement will help reach a global audience of 200 million and it enables Everest to offer its player base new channels to the WSOP.

"We really want to make sure the European challenge is the strongest, biggest, and, ideally, the most successful it's ever been," Everest press spokesperson Ed Pownall told IGN. "But that we'll have to wait and see on. But I think it does give a great gateway."

He also said the deal is something the company has been waiting on for a while.

"We've always tried to position ourselves as the European gateway to all things poker," Pownall said. "Obviously, with the law the way it is, we've never accepted American bets, so we felt we were in quite a strong position to get this and the negotiations have been going on for some months. We are delighted."

The 2008 WSOP will take place from May 30 to July 16 at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Harrah's could not be reached for comment.

Emily Swoboda is the senior staff writer at IGamingNews. She lives in St. Louis, Mo.