A few months ago, we discussed the Senior Poker Tour, which is seeking to take advantage of a growing senior population in the game. Now, we have the College Poker Tour trying to capitalize on another niche filled with frat boys, hipsters, jocks and partiers.
Moving on from my lame college stereotypes, the CPT is an online poker room that’s been developed by All In Magazine. The site is going to be running qualifiers and competitions from March 26th – May 26th that give student poker players a chance to represent their school. The only cost to compete is a flat $50 league fee. And the prize is the chance to win a prize package to a Las Vegas-based poker tournament.
As All In states, there’s a pretty big poker culture at universities across America. “The potential is unlimited,” said Patrick Barthe, the CPT’s executive director. “We’ve done the research and, whether people want to believe it or not, college students of both genders are regularly playing poker. Whether it’s home games in their dorm rooms, visiting a casino, or playing online. The popularity is there, and it’s as strong as ever.”
Barthe went on to discuss how he hopes the CPT can make poker a legitimate college sport one day, just like football, basketball, tennis or anything else. “We’re using the same concepts and the same type of scoring system, except there are more students playing poker regularly than there are playing tennis,” Barthe said.
There are over 17 million university students in the United States, so the market potential is definitely there. But it’s difficult to say how successful the CPT will ultimately be. The organization did do their research, though, and found that many big schools like Notre Dame, Duke, LSU, Michigan, UCLA, MIT and Purdue have poker clubs which feature up to 150 players apiece. This being said, there are some encouraging factors in place for the CPT.