If you listen to Commissioner Annie Duke, you’d think that the Epic Poker League was the greatest thing to happen to poker. But if you pay attention to recent reports by several poker news outlets, you might conclude an entirely different thought.
After all, it’s being reported that Pinnacle Entertainment is currently talking to EPL owners about buying the poker league. Popular speculation is that Jeffrey Pollack and the Palms Casino want to sell the EPL because they’re going through some major financial difficulties.
The reason why is because they have delayed their fourth event along with the championship $1 million freeroll tournament until the spring. Considering the fact that this isn’t exactly something you expect from a thriving poker organization, it’s no wonder why people are skeptical about the Epic Poker League finances.
As for their prospective buyer, Pinnacle Entertainment, they’re best known for operating several casinos throughout the United States. And they seem to be really motivated in acquiring the EPL since they’re trying to get the deal done by March.
Assuming they do indeed buy this poker tournament league, it will be interesting to see how the EPL transforms. Will all of the events suddenly revolve around the Pinnacle properties in states like Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri and Ohio? Or will they continue to be held in the same scheduled locations as what we saw this year?
Perhaps more importantly is what will happen to the TV deals and current structure of the league. Right now, 200 poker pros are invited to the EPL season events, while other players can work their way into the mix by meeting the specified requirements. However, under new ownership, this could all change if Pinnacle Entertainment doesn’t think the current model will offer future profits. We’ll have to revisit this discussion when/if Pinnacle does buy the Epic Poker League.