Overnight Success? How WPT Global Became a Top 3 Global Online Poker Site Overnight Success? How WPT Global Became a Top 3 Global Online Poker Site

When the WPT Global network entered the online poker scene nearly two years ago, it took many by surprise. New online poker platform launches today are very rare. When they do, they typically face serious challenges gaining traction.

Yet WPT Global today ranks among the top three global online poker rooms, trailing behind only GGPoker and PokerStars. It is far ahead of stalwarts like PartyPoker, Unibet and 888. How is that possible? It’s a mix of a very strong brand, a mammoth marketing blitz, and very aggressive promotions — but also, a huge leg up in liquidity from day 1.

But first, we have to understand its origins.

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WPT Goes Global

Element Partners acquired the World Poker Tour brand in 2021 from Allied Esports Entertainment. Today, three entities — WPT Global, the sweepstakes online poker site ClubWPT, and the live tour itself — all operate as distinct, but partnered, operations.

WPT Global holds a real money online gaming license in Curaçao under the company name Seventip NV; on LinkedIn, the company lists its headquarters in Nicosia, Cyprus. Leading the team is Alex Scott, a seasoned executive in the online poker industry. With years of experience, Scott previously served as the Head of Poker at Microgaming and now serves as the public face of WPT Global.

WPT Global Cash Game Lobby

WPT Global was launched within a year of the WPT acquisition in 2021. However, the real money online poker site did not start from scratch. It is connected to an existing player pool with at least two other sites on the network and both are believed to be Asian-focused online poker apps. This network boasts thousands of active players, granting WPT Global immediate access to liquidity and entry to Asian markets where online poker flourishes.

It is also for this reason that players will see most games and tournaments denominated in CNY, though players have the option to switch to USD.

WPT Global has a global reach of over 100 markets, serving jurisdictions that can be accessed from its offshore Curaçao license, including Brazil, Canada (excluding Ontario), and India. This reach has contributed significantly to WPT Global’s success.

“If you are in the US and you want to play online poker, we’ve got ClubWPT, which is subscription-based online poker specifically for the US,” Alex Scott said in a recent pokerfuse podcast. “Outside of the US, if you’re in a market like Canada, for example, an unregulated market, that’s what WPT Global is for. We’re giving you the opportunity to play real money online poker in those markets.”

Actual Traffic Figures

The initial traffic figures did suggest that it was indeed one of the largest networks, surpassing player counts of platforms like partypoker and 888poker, but the data lacked consistency and accuracy.

Scott pointed out tracking issues arising from their unique ecology management system which previously hindered the provision of accurate data.

“We’re having some issues getting tracked by … GameIntel at the moment,” Scott explained. “It’s not their fault, it’s because of our ecology management system makes it difficult to see every single table, which is how they perform their measurements.”

These tracking issues are thought to be have been ironed out recently. Currently, WPT Global reports an average of 2300 cash game seats based on the 7-day moving average, as per statistics compiled by independent monitor GameIntel and available on the Poker Industry PRO platform.

The only networks that are larger than WPT Global are PokerStars, with approximately 3300 cash game seats, and the leading operator GGPoker, which still dwarfs the market with over 10,000 seats.

WPT Global recently overtook the resurgent iPoker network, which itself has seen a rise in its traffic in recent years, averaging over 1600 seats. This propels the network into the third position in the dot-com rankings. Compared to the fifth-ranked partypoker, WPT Global enjoys nearly four times more traffic, with partypoker averaging just around 600 seats.

Top Five Dot-Com Operators’ Traffic by 7-Day Moving Average

Rank Operator Cash Game Seats
#1 GGPoker 10,200
#2 PokerStars 3200
#3 WPT Global 2300
#4 iPoker 1675
#5 Partypoker 600

Bold & Generous

While WPT Global didn’t commence entirely from scratch, the platform deserves recognition for its generosity and bold initiatives.

Despite its understated debut, WPT Global swiftly captured the attention of new players. Just a few months after its April 2022 launch, the platform introduced one of the most audacious tournaments in online poker history: a $1 million guaranteed event with a nominal $1 buy-in. This tournament proved to be a standout, drawing significant interest and participation. However, it also resulted in one of the largest overlays, requiring the operator to contribute $900,000 from its own funds.

Yet, this was merely the start. WPT Global quickly garnered a reputation for hosting generous tournaments with big overlays as well as coming up with unique promotions.

WPT Global Cash Game

Beyond tournaments, WPT Global also made big advancements in cash games, thanks to its innovative machine-learning ecology management system designed to protect recreational players from grinders.

Thanks to this unique approach, the platform has experienced remarkable growth. A quick glance at the cash game lobby reveals hundreds of players participating across all stakes, ranging from $0.01/$0.02 to as high as $25/$50, at any given time. Tournaments run round the clock, with flagship events often tailored to accommodate Asian players. Daily flagship tournaments frequently boast prize pools nearing $50,000, while Sunday tournaments can reach up to $100,000.

The platform also features fast-fold tables, known as Pace Poker, a Short Deck variant, and has hinted at introducing Mystery Bounty tournaments. WPT Global also offers various cash game features such as Rabbit Hunt, Card Reveal, Time Extension, Insurance, and betting on the flop.

The future growth trajectory of WPT Global remains uncertain. Whether it can surpass PokerStars or even approach the heights of GGPoker remains to be seen. However, what is clear is that the platform holds immense potential, thanks to its ecology management system coupled with a machine learning model, which ensures fairer and safer gameplay and a softer playing field.