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Chinese Television Begins Airing WPT China Series

By: R. Kingsley, Tuesday November 25th 2008
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The first government-sanctioned nationally televised poker tournament has recently begun viewing in China. Nanjing Entertainment Television in the Jiangsu Province aired the beginning of the WPT China National Traktor Poker Tour Grand Finals early in November. They are expecting to air nine programming hours from the Grand Final Series I of the World Poker Tour sponsored tournament series. Broadcasts are expected across many other provinces throughout China.

WPT China is supporting the televised show by introducing online and mobile poker platforms. The show markets the games and community features that are supported by these platforms and it encourages viewers to play on the site. Players at the site are eligible to win a seat at the Season II Grand Finals.

Only last year, World Poker Tour Enterprises (WPTE) entered into a 10 year agreement with the China Leisure Sports Administrative Center (CLSAC) in an effort to market poker in China and to build the first national Traktor Poker Tour in China. WPT has since been building its mobile and Internet platforms for the feature Chinese poker game. Traktor Poker is a team competition. It has unique rules in that it uses two decks of cards with jokers. Players accumulate points for every card that is contained in a trick that is won by the team. It also contains trump suits. The game is expected to be a hit on television due to its required combination of skill and passion.

Up until now, poker in China has been centered in Macau. The Poker Stars-sponsored Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) and the Asian Poker Tour (APT) were both recently held in Macau. The World Poker Tour (WPT) is always a popular event in the United States with many American players competing for the first prize. The Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic is set to kick off in December in Las Vegas.

Steve Lipscomb, President, CEO and founder of World Poker Tour stated: "We look forward to applying our expertise revolutionizing televised poker in the United States to help bring this exciting sport to Chinese television for the first time."

There are high hopes that the recent agreement between the CLSAC and WPTE will increase the attraction of poker to the general population in China and the WPT China National Traktor Poker Tour televised event is expected to encourage many potential players to visit the WPT China website.

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