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Fantasizing About Poker: Behind the WPT / Fantasy Poker Manager Deal

fantasy-poker-manager-logoOne of those interesting sidelight stories that slid into the cracks amid last week’s rush of heavier headlines was the announcement of a deal between the World Poker Tour and Fantasy Poker Manager, the latest venture served up by Alex Dreyfus’s Zokay Entertainment.

Dreyfus and Zokay, as you may also know, are the parents of the Global Poker Index, a global ranking system of live and online players that’s quickly jumped to the fore among player ranking systems, even being listed in the USA Today sports section once a week or so.  Dreyfus’s GPI is about the only thing of merit that emerged from the giant rubbish heap of the Epic Poker League, though it’s found its niche and looks to be settling in for a long run.

Both the GPI and Fantasy Poker Manager are all about stats, and as major sports have discovered over the last 15 years or so, creating stats and basing games and betting contests on those stats is a proven boon to fan interest.  Lots of fantasy-poker clubs and pools have popped up in recent years, though they still dwarf what fans are able to do in sports and other pastimes.  (No, poker’s not a sport.  Stop it.)

The deal between Zokay and the WPT represents a new opening for marketing to poker fans that’s frankly been there for the taking all along.  A couple of other fantasy-poker startups also exist, but they’ve been the product of reasonable well-known players, have been marketed only to poker insiders, and frankly have lacked that mainstream appeal.  Dreyfus’s new Fantasy Poker Manager has a chance to change that, and the WPT is every bit as smart as well for getting on board with something like this before a competing tour does the same.

This one looks like a decent idea, reasonably well executed, and it should have a chance for long-term success.


The release:

The World Poker Tour® (WPT®) and Zokay Entertainment, owner of the Global Poker Index and the Fantasy Poker Manager, announced today that they have entered into an exclusive, three-year agreement naming the Fantasy Poker Manager as the official fantasy poker game of the WPT. The Fantasy Poker Manager is a free social game powered by the Global Poker Index and is available on Facebook. The Fantasy Poker Manager offers poker fans everywhere a simple to learn and easy to use fantasy game based on live poker tournaments, providing the opportunity to engage with other fans and poker professionals alike.

The agreement between the Fantasy Poker Manager and the WPT furthers the goal of the Global Poker Index of bringing the poker community and the fans of poker closer together. Through cross promotion of WPT live events and the Fantasy Poker Manager social game on Facebook, fans will have a virtual front row seat at more than 20 WPT events throughout the WPT season. Every WPT event around the world will be highlighted in the Fantasy Poker Manager, allowing fans to interact and build relationships with professional players as well as their friends playing the game throughout the year.

“The World Poker Tour is a famous franchise all over the world. Partnering with the WPT brings more focus and attention to the Fantasy Poker Manager as well as the sport of poker and furthers our goals of bringing the fans and professionals closer together,” said Alexandre Dreyfus , CEO of the Global Poker Index and the Fantasy Poker Manger.

“The Fantasy Poker Manager is a great way for poker fans to keep track of the progress of their favorite players on the World Poker Tour,” said WPT CEO Steve Heller . “It’s a fun way for them to follow the tour all year long, and even compete for bragging rights against their friends over who drafted the best stable of players.”

Poker fans can begin drafting their team now before the start of the WPT LA Poker Classic, which begins Saturday, February 23, by creating a Fantasy Poker Manager account at The WPT will provide live reporting at all of its events, allowing fans to keep up to date on the action at each event and follow players on their fantasy poker teams with great live coverage and frequent chip count updates.

The WPT will also support and promote the Fantasy Poker Manager through its full suite of online tools and social properties, helping bring the Fantasy Poker Manager to an even broader group of poker fans in North America and Europe.

In the seven months since its acquisition by Zokay Entertainment, the Global Poker Index has been solidified as the live tournament poker ranking authority worldwide. Zokay plans to continue developing the Global Poker Index as the premiere tool and ranking system for the poker industry, with the expectation of making a significant investment in promoting poker and the Global Poker Index across the globe in an effort to establish industry standards for the multi-billion dollar live poker industry. Expect many exciting announcements from Zokay Entertainment and the Global Poker Index in the months to come.


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