According to a Tuesday article on the CNN Money website, HeadsUp Entertainment International, Inc. is in talks with a major online poker firm that wants to purchase its most significant asset, the Canadian Poker Tour. If the acquisition does not work out, a co-branding arrangement could be an option, as well. In addition to the Canadian Poker Tour, HeadsUp owns Canadian Poker Player magazine and the Canadian Poker Player Television Network.
As for which poker company is courting HeadsUp, that will remain a mystery for now. HeadsUp CEO Kelly Kellner told CNN Money, “For competitive reasons, the online poker company wishes to go unnamed at this time. As the online poker market becomes more competitive, our brand name and our market become more and more valuable. As a result of these negotiations, the numbers here can get very large, very quickly.”
The good people at Poker News Daily also spoke with Kellner. He told the website, “We have always figured that the Canadian Poker Tour would be an attractive candidate for acquisition by someone. The management here at HeadsUp Entertainment has realized that, with our development of our relationships with casinos and our building of the CPT brand and our other poker outlets such as Canadian Poker Player Magazine and Canadian Poker Player Television, we might be on track for something like this in 18 months to two years.”
HeadsUp Entertainment purchased the Canadian Poker Tour and Canadian Poker Player magazine from the languishing Fifth Street Publishers Ltd. in June 2008. The deal supplemented the brand that HeadsUp already owned, Canadian Championship Poker, which has been broadcast on the Score Television Network.
According to Kellner, HeadsUp will organize upwards of 550 poker events in casinos across Canada, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic over the next 12 months. In Canada alone, HeadsUp has partnered with 53 casinos. The current Canadian Poker Tour event is the Red Deer Poker Challenge at Cash Casino Red Deer in Red Deer, Alberta. The $550 buy-in Main Event begins Friday, March 19th with one of two starting days and is scheduled to conclude Sunday, March 21st.
As has already been stated, nobody except the powers that be at HeadsUp Entertainment knows who the online poker suitor is, but PartyGaming, parent company of Party Poker, could be a logical guess. PartyGaming purchased the World Poker Tour last year for $12.3 million and could see the Canadian Poker Tour as an opportunity to have a presence up and down North America. PokerStars is another possibility, as the largest online poker room in the world already operates several international poker tours, including the European Poker Tour, the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, the Latin American Poker Tour, the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour, the Italian Poker Tour, the Czech-Slovak Poker Tour, the UK & Ireland Poker Tour, and most recently, the North American Poker Tour. Adding the Canadian Poker Tour would give PokerStars a live poker foothold in both the United States and Canada, creating a formidable opponent for PartyGaming’s World Poker Tour. Of course, the mystery company could be neither of those, so it will be interesting to see what develops.

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