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Kevin Smith

World Poker Tour Dismisses Brunson Offer

11 July 2005

It might or might not have been the biggest bluff in professional poker player Doyle Brunson's long and storied career, but even if he was serious about leading a group of investors to purchase WPT Enterprises, the offer appears to be dead.

The offer sheet, which details a $700 million bid for the company and its assets, expires Tuesday and includes a clause for a one-week extension. Officials with WPTE, the parent company of the World Poker Tour, said today that they won't exercise the extension option because not enough details were given, and attempts over the weekend to obtain further information (such as the identities of the investors) produced nothing. WPTE said today that it won't comment on the specifics of the deal, or any other offer, unless official paperwork is filed.

"While WPTE is not actively pursuing offers, it will seriously consider the merits of this or any other offer once it receives the requisite foundation information," Steven Lipscomb, WPTE's president and CEO explained.

One of the few known quantities in all this was the Las Vegas law firm of Goodman and Chesnoff, which was said to have been working with the investors. WPTE said it received an unsolicited bid from the firm Thursday after media reports of the offer had already circulated. But when WPTE sought more information on Friday after trading closed, the firm said it was no longer involved in the bid.

"When the offer arrived last Thursday we were not looking to sell the World Poker Tour and we are more than happy to just get back to business," Lipscomb told Reuters.

WPT Enterprises was founded in March 2002 and went public in August 2004 at $8 a share, raising $32 million. The World Poker Tour airs on Travel Channel in the United States and in more than 60 markets worldwide.

Last month, WPTE announced the launch of an online poker room geared towards players from non-U.S. jurisdictions.

This year Brunson launched his own online poker site, "Doyle's Room." He is also the author of Super System and Super System 2, which are regarded as the leading guidebooks for professional poker players worldwide.

WPTE's share price rose 49 percent on Friday, and dropped 11.6 percent today. (Shares were trading at $23.43 during afternoon trading.)

World Poker Tour Dismisses Brunson Offer is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith