For years, the World Series of Poker has been collaborating with companies to help bring poker into the mainstream.
This week the WSOP announced another such a collaboration. The WSOP and UMG Media Corp. are partnering to provide a competitive gaming area at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Players and fans of Hearthstone, Fortnite, and FIFA can compete in a designated gaming area located on the stage in the back of the Pavilion room.
WSOP is sharing the stage with esports
The WSOP is a seven-week long grind. The initial excitement wears off somewhere around hour three for players that make the yearly pilgrimage to the desert. After that, it is more like a job with very long hours and often very little pay.
The WSOP and esports collaboration can help break up the daily grind. It can make a dinner break bearable, alleviate tilt, and make summer camp seem more like – well, a camp.
UMG has been a big part of the growth of esports competitions since 2008. Its mission is to “bring competitive gaming and quality gear to gamers everywhere.” The press release says the gaming company has hosted more than 18 million matches.
“Last year we watched our initiative to grow esports in Las Vegas grow by leaps and bounds,” explained Dave Antony, CEO at UMG in a press release.
Antony continued: “Bringing the UMG Esports Stage into the World Series of Poker events is an amazing next step in continuing this initiative into 2018 and beyond. UMG will utilize its groundbreaking event management app to help organize the event and to constantly update participants of upcoming play and special events at the UMG stage.”
A competitive gaming environment to the Rio is smart
It is not a secret that there is a lot of crossover between poker and gaming. In fact, many players came up through the gaming ranks before taking to the felt.
Giving poker players a place on site to get their game on is very smart. It’s a lot easier to jump into a tournament or a cash game at the last minute when you are already at the Rio.
It’s hard for most poker players to stay away from a good game for long – especially if that game is right in front of you. The gaming stage is one way the WSOP is hoping to keep players in the game.
The many lives of “the stage”
The stage in the Pavilion room has had more lives than a cursed cat. One year it was a media interview space. Another year it was a daily fantasy sports lounge. And just last year it was a dining area where players could eat their grab and go dinner.
Players have yet to embrace the stage as a public gathering place. It’s awkward to congregate in front of a room filled with tournament and cash game players.
Maybe slinging spells or playing a little football during World Cup season is the life the Pavilion stage has been waiting for.
To play, simply:
- Download the UMG Station Vault app
- Create an account
- Use the app to scan a QR code to unlock the gaming station
Bringing competitive gamers together on poker’s biggest stage may just prove to be one of the WSOP’s smartest collaborations yet.
Let the games begin.