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World Poker Tour Sale Goes from Rumor to Reality

In a deal that will certainly have the world of online poker talking for months to come, Party Gaming has closed the gap and sealed the deal to take over ownership and operation of the World Poker Tour (WPT).

Party Gaming was able to close the deal with an agreement that saw them pay $12.3 million up front in order to secure ownership of the WPT franchise. At the same time however, the deal would not have been possible without additional concessions on the part of the purchasing company. Party Gaming also had to agree to a revenue sharing agreement worth an additional $3 million per year for three more years in order to finally secure ownership of the WPT franchise.

Party Gaming is likely not going to miss that money however as the relative amounts that they are paying seem small in comparison to a squeeze offer presented to them by Mandalay Media earlier on in the negotiations process. Mandalay Media ended up offering $36 million for the franchise, but lost out to the $21.3 million in total that Party Gaming will end up paying once the three years have passed.

Considering that Mandalay Media’s offer was so much larger than the one put on by Party Gaming, there must have been something else offered by the online gaming giant that transcended the amount of money put on the table. Mandalay Media’s offer was soundly rejected and right from the start even with that disparity it seemed clear that Party Gaming was going to be the purchasing company.

While the media is unaware of exactly what that x factor was, an obvious first guess might be that it involved Mike Sexton in some way. Sexton, long the poker ambassador for Party Poker as well as the color commentator for WPT events, was recently inducted into the poker hall of fame. It has certainly been a landmark year for him and the fact that his two major loyalties in the world of poker have combined is an event that he likely had something to do with.