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Epic Poker League announces partnership with USA TODAY

2 December 2011

LOS ANGELES, California -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- With its third live tournament event scheduled in early December, Epic Poker -- the new professional poker league that held its first two events this past summer at The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas -- today announced content partnerships with the USA TODAY Sports Media Group and the largest U.S. independent online sports property, Big Lead Sports. The new affiliations will see the latest Global Poker Index (GPI(TM)) updates -- a patent pending system to rank and track the weekly performance of the world's top 300 live tournament poker players -- published weekly in both the print and online editions of USA TODAY. In addition, Epic Poker is now the exclusive source of poker news and information for Big Lead Sports.

"Our work with the USA TODAY Sports Media Group and Big Lead Sports will help drive poker deeper into the mainstream news cycle and further position the game right alongside other professional sports content," said Jeffrey Pollack, executive chairman of the Epic Poker and its parent company, Federated Sports + Gaming.

Each week, print editions of USA TODAY will publish the latest GPI(TM) updates, which will be presented to readers as the "USA TODAY Global Poker Index." The first announcement of each week's revised rankings will also be available online at .

"More Americans are playing and watching poker than ever before, and this partnership will enable us to provide that avid, growing audience with the content they want," said Tom Beusse, president of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group. "The USA TODAY Global Poker Index will give our readers access to new and relevant content that's easy to track and understand. It will also help open up the game of poker to the casual fan as well."

Building on the USA TODAY Sports Media Group partnership, Epic Poker has also teamed up with Big Lead Sports, the leading U.S. online sports property with more than 20 million monthly unique visitors, to become its exclusive source of poker news and information. The exclusive content will include highlights from tournament action featuring the world's best professional poker players, reporting from Epic Poker's team of trusted poker feature writers, and video teasers and content from the Epic Poker League.

Furthermore, the commissioner of the Epic Poker League and 2011 poker Hall of Fame nominee, Annie Duke, will provide valuable insight into not only the sport of poker but also the current events taking place throughout the entire sporting world with her exclusive weekly blog on

"Partnering with Epic Poker will enable us to offer our fans top-notch coverage and insights into everything happening in the world of poker," said Chris Russo, chief executive officer of Big Lead Sports. "Epic Poker's pool of talented poker feature writers will be providing coverage of all the world-class players and tournaments and will complement the already growing archive of poker news content found on"

The Epic Poker League Inaugural Season includes four rake-free $20,000 Main Events, each with $400,000 in added money, and a $1,000,000 freeroll Championship Event for the top 27 players in the League. To be eligible to compete, Main Event players must earn membership determined by a rigorous set of objective criteria . A complete roster for players that have qualified for Season One of the league can be found on the Epic Poker website at: .

The four professional league Main Events feature different formats of No-Limit Texas Hold'em, including six-handed play and a special multi-format tournament. Each event week includes a Pro/Am Event, a Charity Event, and a $20,000 buy-in rake-free Main Event

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