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BREAKING NEWS: Professional Poker Tour "Postpones" Season II

The World Poker Tour has announced that it will "postpone" its Season II schedule of the Professional Poker Tour (PPT).

Says the press bulletin:

While we continue to negotiate the broadcast of the second season, we have decided to delay these tournaments for the benefit of players who need to make long-term travel arrangements as well as the league itself. We expect to resume filming in 2007. As the poker industry expands, and the television marketplace evolves, we must adapt our business and brand strategies to reflect current market conditions.

Read the full release here.

With the negative press the WPT has been receiving in light of Shana Hiatt's lawsuit against the organization, this news couldn't come at a worse time. The PPT, which had difficulties getting on air from the outset, is one instance where the WPT can truly point to a positive thing it does for the players.

The PPT began airing in July of 2006,  providing the kind of in-depth poker action and coverage that true fans of the game enjoy. Fields were limited to the game's elite players and to other sponsor exemptions. Two of the games top and most respected names, John Juanda and Erick Lindgren, won the first two aired tournaments.

We will keep you posted on any future PPT developments.

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WPTE is caught in no man's land with the PPT product:

1) Because WPTE cannot risk devaluing its flagship WPT product, which still receives about $10 million each year in CASH from The Travel Channel in a legacy TV deal from 2004, WPTE cannot start buying TV time to air the PPT in the U.S. as long as the WPT still receives cash from the Travel Channel.

2) However, no U.S. TV network wants to pay cash for the PPT or any other TV poker product, as the U.S. TV networks now prefer to sell TV time to the TV poker event producers who will then use their sponsors' money to purchase the TV time.

The arrival of the Professional Poker LEAGUE (PPL), a.k.a. "the PPT-killer", has basically put the PPT in a coffin with the final nail about to be driven in.

Kevin Mathers

It's probably safe to say that the Professional Poker League (PPL) as mentioned in Daniel Negreanu's blog, is a major catalyst to that decision.

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