In the wake of the WSOP’s delays, Card Players spoke with World Poker Tour Executive Director Matt Savage about monumental news, how it might affect the WPT and other tours this fall, and more.
CP: Can you tell us a little about what you have been working on in your capacity as Executive Tour Director of the World Poker Tour since closing began? The WPT works with so many places around the world, there has to be a lot to coordinate.
MS: Unfortunately we have to postpone the WPT Venetian event, but many events leading up to the summer can be postponed and then the WPT usually has most of the summer off. I did cancel the WPT500 visit the dewa poker, but we now have time to gather our thoughts and focus on what we will do for the future. We have ClubWPT, the tour’s official subscription online poker game. So we have another path that we are trying to go out there and be a part of. We also have all of our episodes aired on Pluto TV. We’ve shifted our focus to that. We’ve had a few layoffs at the company, but hopefully, those guys will be able to come back when we come back.
But for us as a tour, when each stop returns it is basically up to our partner casino. We will make sure that our partner casinos, when they reopen, receive advice from experts and doctors and medical professionals out there providing guidance on how we can return. When they open, we’ll be there for them and hopefully it’s sooner than later so we can get back to playing live poker, get back to playing live tournaments and of course have the World Poker Tour continue as before.
CP: The WSOP usually coincides with an ‘offseason’ for the WPT. If the WSOP is rescheduled for fall, as organizers say is their target, how will that affect the WPT and other tours that can have events already scheduled for those times?
MS: As you know, we have a schedule and it will be up to us, with our relationships that we have with our partners, to do what we can to ensure the best participation and the best events. We never like to go past a WSOP highlight or any other big event or tour because we feel it’s important to respect the players and their desires, while also trying to make it a great event for our partner casino. We’ll take a look at those dates, when they are announced, and try and make adjustments where we can so we have a great, successful series.