The Epic Poker League has run into some serious trouble, after the company that owns and manages it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on 29th February.
Following the announcement, EPL Commissioner Annie Duke was quick to clarify the situation by stating that; “this is a reorganization, not a liquidation,” while Executive Chairman Jeffrey Pollack posted the following explanation via the Federated Sports + Gaming website:
“..our goal is to keep the Epic Poker League and all of our key initiatives – including the Global Poker Index, epicpoker.com, the Epic Poker game on Facebook, and the Heartland Poker Tour – moving forward with a continued spirit of innovation. We will most likely accomplish this by entering into an agreement with another firm that shares our passion and vision – a process we had been working toward prior to the filing.”
The ambitious Epic Poker League was launched in 2011 by ‘Federated Sports + Gaming’ with the intention of becoming the PGA equivalent of the poker world.
However, controversy for the EPL was never far behind after David “Chino” Rheem won Tournament Series One for $1 million, while a slew of pros kicked-up a fuss about him owning them money. Rheem’s list of alleged victims at the time included Will “molswi47″ Molson, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Ben Lamb, and Joseph Cheong.
Next, the EPL courted more controversy after disqualifying registered sex offender Michael DiVita from taking a seat at Tournament Series Two, even after qualifying for the $20,000 event via a satellite.
Now, the all-ready postponed Tournament Series Four is likely to be further delayed, while the chances of the EPL completing its much-touted Season One ending $1 Million Freeroll is in jeopardy, especially with no buy-ins required.
As of yet, no financial reasons have been given for the EPL’s current predicament, but a prediction made my Daniel Negreanu back in August 2011 on his fullcontactpoker blog may hold a possible explanation. In his article, Negreanu wrote the following:
“I don’t think it’s possible to bring in enough revenue to survive… Millions of dollars being given away to players, money spent on a TV time buy, money spent on staff, etc. with no way of recouping those funds through licensing or sponsorship. Networks aren’t going to pay you for poker programming because the necessary ratings just aren’t there.”