San Francisco-based Zynga, which claims it is the world's largest developer of social games for giant sites like Facebook, has announced a strategic alliance with the World Series of Poker to “…leverage poker fan bases from both worlds.” Zynga and WSOP will work closely to bring the largest online and offline poker brands and communities together following the agreement.
Zynga's free-to-play Texas Hold'Em Poker game is Facebook's top game application with over 12 million monthly active users, the company boasts. Zynga will leverage this popularity by hosting several “Shootout” tournaments on its Texas Hold'Em Facebook application, offering two skilled poker winners the chance to win a sponsored seat in the WSOP Main Event.
“We built our Texas Hold'Em Poker game into the largest game on Facebook by keeping an eye on what is important to our players,” said Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga. “We know that poker is a lifestyle which includes playing online and offline, and watching it on TV. This partnership is an opportunity to bring those worlds together.”
Craig Abrahams, a World Series of Poker vice president commented: “Any poker player knows the Holy Grail is to win the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. Now for the first time, we're reaching fans in a new way, through Zynga's platform. Players from all over the world can play the free Texas Hold'Em game from the convenience of their own living rooms, and win a seat to the biggest poker tournament in the world.”
The VIP WSOP prize packages offered by Zynga include round trip airfare to Las Vegas, three nights' accommodation at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, a backstage tour of the WSOP venue and a day pass to the VIP player's lounge. The “Shootout” tournaments begin on June 8 and will run through June 22. Eighteen winners from the tournaments will be randomly selected to play in the Final Showdown on June 29-30. Two VIP WSOP winners will be announced on July 1 where they will be whisked off to Las Vegas for a seat at the table.