As 2009 drew to a close, a number of poker media outlets compiled their lists for the top stories of the year. One story that was almost universally included on all of those lists was PartyGaming’s purchase of World Poker Tour Enterprises (WPTE). While it did not make #1 on any of these lists, it was frequently mentioned by several groups as one of the biggest events of ’09 and a signal that PartyPoker may be returning to dominance in the online poker market in the coming decade.
Poker News Daily named the buyout one of its top five stories of the year and also featured it as an option in a reader’s poll. The poll allowed visitors to the site to vote on what they thought the biggest story of the year was. The WPTE purchase came in fourth in polling, earning 4% of the 667 reader votes. It trailed Isildur1’s appearance on the high stakes scene (58% of votes), Joe Cada winning the Main Event (26%) and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) delay (9% of votes).
Poker News is in the process of listing what it deemed the top ten stories of the year. The PartyGaming purchase came in at #4 on their list as well, trailing the Durrrr Challenge (#3), Isildur1’s online run (#2) and a yet-to-be-named number one story. Other stories that made the cut included Jeffrey Pollack’s resignation as World Series of Poker (WSOP) Commissioner, multiple bracelet winners at the WSOP and Annie Duke’s appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice.”
CardPlayer Magazine thought the WPTE purchase by PartyGaming was one of the less important stories of the year as it came in at #10 on the publication’s list of top stories of 2009. Stories ranked above PartyGaming included Daniel Negreanu reaching the top of the all-time money earners list (#9), the WSOP and WSOPE final table appearances of CardPlayer owners Barry and Jeff Shulman (#7) and Jeffrey Lisandro’s trio of bracelet wins (#6). The magazine named Phil Ivey’s WSOP performance as the top story of the year. Ivey won two bracelets and finished 7th in the Main Event. However, there was a disclaimer with CardPlayer’s top ten that the list was solely the opinion of Stephen Murphy, one of the magazines full-time contributors.
ESPN poker commentator Andrew Feldman and BLUFF Editor-In-Chief Lance Bradley also discussed the WPTE and PartyGaming merger as part of the year-end episode of “The Poker Edge” podcast. The duo were skeptical about the short-term results of the deal, but did talk about some of the promise of the deal down the road, including the potential inclusion of the Aussie Millions event on the WPT schedule.

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