Betfair to be 'presenting sponsor' of WSOP Europe

An event as monumental as the inaugural World Series of Europe - the first-time ever a WSOP bracelet will be presented on foreign soil - deserves a fitting sponsor. One with a similarly storied history in gaming and a comparable level of prestige. The WSOP's choice: Betfair Poker.

The deal isn't entirely official yet, but Harrah's Entertainment Inc. and Betfair Poker announced today they have executed a non-binding Letter of Intent that designates Betfair Poker as the "Presenting Sponsor" of the WSOP Europe through 2011.

In what will be the largest-ever union of its kind between an offline and an online gaming company, the agreement calls for Betfair Poker to be integrated into several facets of WSOP Europe and to promote the event internationally on a year-round basis.

"Betfair is a global leader in gaming innovation" said Jeffrey Pollack, Commissioner of the World Series of Poker. "Our two organizations each have a vision, style and brand strength that is complementary and world-class."

"Our alliance with Betfair will launch and build the World Series of Poker Europe with prestige and authenticity. This will likely become the most important poker tournament outside of Las Vegas," Pollack said.

"This is an historic deal for us," added David Yu, Betfair CEO. "To present the WSOP, with its 38-year tradition, on its first venture into Europe is a great honour.

"This deal puts Betfair alongside the most important brand in offline poker, and bonds us with Harrah's Entertainment, the largest casino operator in the world."

The inaugural WSOP Europe will take place in London from Sept. 6-16 and will be hosted at three casinos operated by London Clubs International - Fifty, in St James's; The Casino at the Empire, Leicester Square; and The Sportsman, on Marble Arch.

Three events will be played, the largest of which will be the Main Event - a £10,000 buy-in, 750-player, six-day tournament with a prize pool of roughly £7.5 million.

WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack and Managing Director of Betfair Games, Steve Ives, will formally announce the arrangement on July 5 at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

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