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Poker News | World Poker News

Full Tilt Poker Signs Deal with World Series of Golf

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The World Series of Golf has announced that Full Tilt Poker will become the title sponsor of the event. In a game described as the “Texas hold’em of golf” whose roster of players boasts of numerous poker pros, it seems only appropriate that Full Tilt will sponsor the Las Vegas amateur golf tournament.

The partnership between the World Series of Golf and Full Tilt Poker includes a variety of branding opportunities, including those on broadcast television, the internet, and in international print media. In addition, members of “Team Full Tilt,” professional poker players with an avid interest in golf, will be participating in the 2008 tournament. Those already scheduled to play are Phil Ivey, David Benyamine, Brandon Adams, David Grey, Allen Cunningham, David Oppenheim, Andy Bloch, Chris Ferguson, and Erick Lindgren.

Terry Leiweke, President and CEO of the World Series of Golf, said, “The World Series of Golf is a sports and entertainment company with a global strategy that encompasses live events, television content and online enterprises. As we strategically grow our brand, the synergies that will result from our relationship with the leading virtual cardroom service will be mutually beneficial to both our companies.”

The World Series of Golf will be played from May 12th through 15th at Paiute Golf Resort in Las Vegas. Any amateur player who can pay the $10,000 buy-in is welcome to play, and players may also be sponsored by friends, organizations, or other players. Though all players must claim amateur status and no handicaps are allowed, golfers will be categorized according to skill level to ensure fair play.

Buy-ins include four nights of accommodations, an opening night reception, and greens and cart fees. Golfers are welcome to bring a financial advisor or caddie on the course with them, as money and betting are involved and advice may be helpful.

The premise of the tournament is that players ante on each tee, followed by a pass, bet, or fold on each golf shot. Players are essentially competing against others in their own group, and when a golfer’s money is gone, they are eliminated from the tournament. Whichever player wins all of the money from the other players in the group advances to the next round, and so forth. While golf skills are involved, betting finesse is a key part of the competition.

Leiweke explains, “The World Series of Golf is a completely new way to experience the game of golf. It demands skill on the links, betting savvy and nerves of steel. For any golfer who has ever said ‘I’d bet anything that I can make this shot,’ now is his chance to prove it.”

The World Series of Golf will be filmed and subsequently aired on CBS Sports in the United States on June 28th and 29th. This will be the sophomore event for the tournament, as the 2007 event garnered 60 golfers – including Phil Ivey, Rhett Butler, Phil Gordon, NFL quarterback Mark Dyle, and MLB player Dusty Allen – and more than 2 million television viewers.

Full Tilt Poker partnering with a publicly-traded international company like the World Series of Golf sets a precedent for more sponsorship opportunities between sports giants. Unfortunately, the state of poker in the United States under the UIGEA has kept many online poker sites from enjoying the benefits of such deals. Even Full Tilt Poker must market itself as due to the current scrutiny paid to the online poker industry by the U.S. Department of Justice. While some members of Congress see the possibilities in the online poker industry and the money that could be made by simply legalizing and taxing those companies, it could be a long road to overcome the obstacles and allow online poker companies to be viewed as other sports entities.

Hopefully, the sponsorship deal between Full Tilt Poker and the World Series of Golf is only the first of many significant partnerships that helps to turn the tide of sentiment toward the online poker industry.

To play on one of the few online poker sites that still accepts U.S. customers, download Full Tilt Poker now. Use the bonus code “POKERWORKS” upon making an initial deposit and earn a 100% bonus on dollar amounts up to $600.

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