The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has announced that it’s European series will be moving from London, England to Cannes, France starting in 2011. The change comes as part of a new deal created between WSOP sponsor Caesars Interactive Entertainment, and Barriere, a French gaming company who runs both land based gaming through it’s Lucien Barriere Hotels and Casinos, and its online poker site BarrierePoker.fr.
The championship will now be branded as World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) and Lucien Barriere Hotels and Casinos will become the official sponsor and host along with BarrierePoker.fr. The main event is scheduled to take place In Cannes on October 7-11 2011. In addition, an agreement was also reached to run the Barriere Poker Tour 2011, starting in April, with seven qualifying events leading up to the big event.
Caesars had been hosting the event at its London based casinos but had been looking for ways to make more inroads into the French market, especially given the increased interest each year in the WSOP among French players, and this new partnership certainly provides ample opportunity for this. It also provides Barriere a chance to showcase its top rated French land based casinos, and also promote its online poker site.
The Barriere Poker Tour is slated to run qualifying tournaments at seven of its casinos throught France, starting at Toulouse, and then moving to Nice, Lille, Dinard, Enghien, Trouoville, and Bordeau. The championship itself will be run at the prestigious Casino Barriere de Cannes Croisette and the Hotel Majestic Barriere in Cannes.
The new venue will allow for a much more expanded setting than in previous years, with 75 tables, twice as many as last year’s event. For the first time outside Las Vegas, gold WSOP bracelets will be awarded in this year’s championship, with a total of seven being scheduled to be awarded.
BarrierePoker.fr will be the official online sponsor of the WSOP in Europe, and plans on offering numerous promotions as well as extensive coverage of the event. They are the top online gaming company in France and will contribute its extensive expertise to ensure that the series is well penetrated across the online channel as well as the land based one.
Mitch Garber, Ceaser’s Interactive Entertainment CEO, feels that “this is a unique agreement between two casino leaders with great brands. Lucien Barriere Hotels and Casinos is a well run organization and we are excited to work with them to access the French market with high quality and reputable poker events both in their hotels and casinos, and online with BarrierePoker.fr.”
Evan Cavillion, on behalf of Barriere, adds that this new alliance “allows us to put on an outstanding tournament hosted by a world famous brand in France while positioning us to become a leading operator of both online and live poker.”
This certainly is a step forward in the promotion of poker in France and also looks to further the synergy between offline and online poker, in addition to ramping up the WSOP offerings in Europe, and we look forward to the progress that has been made.
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