WPT's Long-Term Plan Playing Out says Pliska After World Championship Overlay

WPT's Long-Term Plan Playing Out says Pliska After World Championship Overlay

"We knew the risks. But I know that we've achieved what we were going for."

Those are the words of Adam Pliska, President and CEO of the World Poker Tour after registration closed in the 2023 WPT World Championship, just 247 entries short of the figured required to meet the $40 million guarantee.

"What people saw was a substantially larger event that ran even smoother. I don't want to suggest other events weren't a factor, but what it did not affect is the quality of the event that we produced, and that was our main focus.

"The risk that we actually faced was that this year was not as exciting as year one. I did not want to find out that 2022 was a fluke. We're growing this franchise and we want to make this something that lasts for many, many years."

WPT is Committed to Future of the World Championship

Pliska says that this year's $40 million guarantee, announced to much fanfare back in August, was the WPT's way of saying that they were committed. Committed to building the WPT World Championship and continuing to make positive changes, something he says was successful this year as the event saw a near 30% increase in entries.

"Not only was the $40m guarantee substantially higher than the guarantee last year, but also substantially higher than the prize pool for last year. Last year we had a phenomenally successful tournament. Our ultimate goal is to create absolutely the best tournament that we can. This tournament was substantially better than the last. And so in my mind we've succeeded."

"Our ultimate goal is to create absolutely the best tournament that we can."

"The WPT World Championship is something we can be proud. This is the franchise that we're growing and that we're committed to. We want players to say that this was the best player experience and we've had so much positive feedback.

"I'm truly happy for the players and everybody who had a great time at this tournament."

Pliska Praises WPT and Wynn Teams

While the players and the player experience might be at the forefront of Pliska's mind, he was quick to praise both the WPT team and the team at Wynn Las Vegas for helping make the event such a success.

"I've been with the WPT over two decades now and I've never seen the team come together like this and display the level of dedication and commitment. I'm very proud of that. I am immensely grateful to all those who made a contribution and I'm grateful to my team.

"This partnership with Wynn Las Vegas and the WPT has probably been one of the great transformational chapters of the World Poker Tour. I'm very proud of what we've been able to do with them. This organization and its commitment to excellence I can't imagine being able to pull of something like this in another location, without this incredible team."

WPT Contributing to Growth of Poker

While the WPT World Championship field fell short of the guarantee, Pliska remained bullish about the future of poker and the growth of the industry.

"I will say this, and I say this proudly, that the WPT is contributing $2.5 million to the growth of poker. We stand by that. This is nothing we're ashamed of, on the contrary. When you set a guarantee you always want to reach it. But to hear the feedback that we continue to get and to know that we're on track. Contributing $2-$3 million to that and the growth of poker that's a small investment in the long run to what we're doing."

Pliska believes that the wider growth of poker is intertwined with the growth of the World Poker Tour and the continued success of the World Championship as its flagship event.

"If players come here and have an excellent experience, I think we've done a great thing for the brand but I do think there's a residual effect, I think we do a great job for poker.

"If there was no guarantee here, we'd be sitting here going 'What did they just do!' I love this percentage of growth. We're very happy that we've contributed to poker."

Looking to the Future

Even after the success of this WPT World Championship, there's always time to look to the future.

"Regardless all of the other factors that came about, the WPT's long term plan is playing out. We realized a few years ago what our weaknesses were. We realized that we were going to have to make much bolder moves if we were going to compete at the very best level, or at least create a franchise that truly mobilizes the poker community.

"And last year we did that, and this year we're doing it, and we're going to continue doing that."

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