HeadsUp Entertainment Aim to Cash in On Poker Website Troubles

Headsup EntertainmentHeadsUp Entertainment International have announced details of the upcoming Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) Poker Championship in Canada as the global media and entertainment company look to take advantage of the problems being experienced by North American poker players following the events of ‘Black Friday’.

Of course, we all know that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) shut down several poker websites on April 15 – including Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker – but Full Tilt’s Canadian customers may well also be dragged into the mess after the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) decision to review the website’s Secondary Client Provider Authorisation as they try to establish whether the company’s licence will be continued.

Additionally, the Quebec Poker Tournament League (LTPQ) has been shelved for now because of a looming legal action brought to the attention of Canada’s Superior Court following a dispute between the LTPQ and Loto-Québec over alleged missing sponsorship and service payments from the state-run authority.

With such worrying news for Canadian poker players, HeadsUp – the company behind the Canadian Poker Tour (CPT) and the Canadian Poker Player Television Network, as well as almost anything else you can think of related to poker in the North American country – has moved to press home the benefits of live poker.

HeadsUp runs six First Nation casinos in the prairie province of Saskatchewan, with each hosting satellites for the SIGA Poker Championship No-Limit Texas Hold’em event that will take place on October 1-2.

The CAD$500+CAD$50 (about $530/£323/€366+$53/£32/€37) buy-in championship – which will possess a CAD$250,000 prize pool ($265,182/£161,783/€183,026) – will itself be hosted by the Dakota Dunes Casino just outside of Saskatoon as organisers aim to make the event one of the leading tournaments in Western Canada.

The event will run after satellites have been completed throughout the province at the Dakota Dunes Casino, as well as the Bear Claw Casino in Moose Mountain Provincial Park near the town of Carlyle, North Battleford’s Gold Eagle Casino, the Living Sky Casino in Swift Current, Prince Albert’s Northern Lights Casino, and the Painted Hand Casino in Yorkton.

This is the first time the CPT and SIGA have worked together for an event, but it is hoped it will not be the last as both organisations aim to build a strong partnership.

CPT president Dan Forigo said his organisation “are extremely pleased to be working with SIGA”, before adding that “we look forward to building a long and profitable relationship with them and are confident that the events we are working on for 2012 will continue to grow”.

The CPT has recently been working hard with casinos in Canada, as well as the United States, in an attempt to create larger land-based poker tournaments to meet the demand produced by the closure of several poker websites in the USA.

Many pros from the USA have already moved north of the border into Canada because there is no withholding tax levied by the government on winnings, while the age when players are permitted to gamble is 18 or 19, depending on of the provinces’ laws.

As such, HeadsUp management expects considerable growth throughout this year, while also predicting that revenues will increase, too, through additional sponsorship and demand for television coverage by poker-loving fans.

Back in 2004-2005, when the National Hockey League (NHL) instigated a lock-out, many companies reallocated funds to poker through extra sponsorship and television revenues – and HeadsUp believe that the expected National Basketball Association (NBA) strike could have a comparable effect this year.