The World Series of Poker is going into France and will take place in Cannes.
After four years in London, UK, the WSOP Europe is moving to Cannes in France. This has been met with a mixed reaction from the poker world but it is certainly a move that has got the poker community talking.
It is quite a move for a nation that only voted to legalise online poker in its country in April, 2010. In fact, online casinos are still unable to trade, it is only sports betting and poker that is regulated and legal for the time being. Now it is set to be the host for the biggest franchise in poker and one of the biggest tournaments in the poker world today. The deal to bring WSOPE to France was struck with Lucien Barriere Hotels and Casinos as well as BarrierePoker.fr. The tournaments will consist of both land-based and online-based events.
The WSOP is the largest poker brand in the world and its annual tournament in Las Vegas attracts over 70,000 participants every year. The prize money is unrivalled and the prestige associated with individuals that triumph at WSOP events is unparalleled. In fact, whoever wins the WSOP Main Event every November is destined for poker immortality such is the elite reputation of the WSOP brand.
Now France has an opportunity to stamp its mark on the world of poker by sponsoring the World Series of Poker Europe tournament as of 2011. Cannes is the sort of exotic destination the WSOP looks to host its events in and in a way it is no surprise that it left London at a time when other European countries such as Italy are opening their doors to the WSOP and online poker companies.
Are we experiencing a European revolution in poker? This move by the WSOP would certainly suggest times are a-changing. Changing for the better? Perhaps. Better for everyone? The Brits might disagree. Nevertheless, it is an exciting move by poker’s biggest brand and a massive opportunity for France to show what it can deliver.