WPT to upgrade
online poker site

Aug 21, 2006 4:49 AM

WPT Enterprises has reached an agreement with CyberArts — a Silicon Valley company that develops advanced online software solutions for poker — to provide technology and software for re-launching its online gaming business.

"This relationship will make it possible for us get to market faster with a superior product," said Steve Lipscomb, founder and CEO of WPTE. "Now, like most companies that have been successful in the online gaming space, we will be able to build a unique offering and control our own destiny. We have been searching for a powerful alternative to our current technology for some time and are convinced that this is the perfect solution."

CyberArts, the designer of the software that currently powers the poker room for Mansion.com, has long been established as a pioneer in gaming technology. Building upon a ten-year history of developing and operating GamesGrid, the world’s first graphical online backgammon club, CyberArts set out to build a ground-breaking platform to support the next generation of online gaming.

"We are very excited about the prospect of providing the product that can take the World Poker Tour’s online poker offering to the next level," said Chris Derossi, co-founder and CEO of CyberArts. "We believe our Foundation Software, coupled with WPT’s innovation and commitment to the poker player will create an unmatched gaming site."

Derossi is known in the poker world as the co-author of Winning at Internet Poker for Dummies, one of the popular titles from the "”¦ for Dummies" series.

He has more than 20 years of leadership at top technology companies including Apple Computers, where he served as chief architect of OS 7 before starting CyberArts. The project will be managed by the company’s co-founders Derossi and Ken Arnold.

The CyberArts software agreement with WPT Enterprises signals a new phase in the development of WPT’s online gaming business as the company takes control of its own online gaming operation.

Since February 2005, the World Poker Tour’s online gaming business has operated pursuant to a licensing arrangement with WagerWorks, Inc. The CyberArts deal will enable WPTE to develop, manage, market and handle customer service for the online poker business from its own international headquarters.

During the transition period from WagerWorks to its own software, WPTE will continue to work with WagerWorks and explore possibilities for future collaboration. Launch of the new version of the WORLD POKER TOUR’s online poker site will be in 2007.

"This deal will finally allow us the opportunity to innovate the online gaming experience and deliver a product worthy of the World Poker Tour brand," Lipscomb said.