The state of Nevada has put an end to the budding relationship between the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports operator. This week, the state ruled that the operators need gaming licenses to exist in the same state and DraftKings reportedly asked WSOP to cease sponsorship activities.
The biggest change that will come from ending this fruitful partnership will be seen on DraftKings, which will no longer be a satellite to WSOP tournaments. DraftKings has been a notable presence at the WSOP since 2012 when Greg Merson ultimately won the Main Event after qualifying through the site.
This year, at the 2015 WSOP, more than 100 players qualified through the fantasy sports outlet.
Matt Kalish, DraftKings’ Chief Revenue Officer, told PokerNews in July that poker games and fantasy sports have a natural connection in blending skill with chance.
“I think the biggest reason why is there’s something that people have in common who are attracted by strategy or skill games,” he said. “Anything that has depth and complexity and isn’t easily solved.”
This year’s Event #55: $1,500 DraftKings 50/50 No-Limit Hold’em stood out as the only sponsored event on the 2015 WSOP schedule. At the time of the series, DraftKings said they were excited to expand the WSOP partnership next year.
“What they’ve given us this year is an awesome package,” said Jon Aguiar, the brains behind the partnership at DraftKings, back in June. “Hopefully, next year is even better.”
Now, the fantasy company has had to withdraw all operations from Nevada. While things could change in the future, for now, the DraftKings and WSOP relationship has been severed pending legal decisions.
(Photo credit: Ulf Liljankoski, Creative Commons.)
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