World Poker Tour Partners With Zynga
World Poker Tour (WPT) has announced a partnership with interactive entertainment company Zynga to bring its Sweepstakes game to their Zynga Poker platform. The game is set to run for three weeks and will offer 15 lucky players who compete daily in-game challenges a chance to compete in a live WPT event.
Launched in 2007, Zynga Poker has since grown to become the world’s largest free-to-play online poker game. Designed to be played like a real table Texas Hold ‘Em game, the new WPT partnership is bound to legitimize the game even further by associating with the popular and prestigious tour.
With the Sweepstakes game to commence at a yet to be announced time, US-based players can potentially earn up to three sweepstakes entries. To enter successive sweepstakes, players must enter every week of the contest and complete a set of Tournament Center weekly goals.
At the conclusion of the contest, 15 winners will be drawn from the pool of entries and rewarded with an all-expenses-paid trip to Hollywood, Florida. Here, they will be invited to compete in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown – a Main Tour televised event that features some of the most successful poker players in the world.
Winners will also be covered for the $3,500 buy-in, as well as being offered the chance to attend an exclusive training workshop run by World Poker Tour commentator and former champion, Tony Dunst. “Zynga Poker is a great platform for anyone to learn the ins-and-outs of Texas Hold ‘Em rules, strategies and community,” Dunst was quoted in the partnership announcement.
“The sweepstakes winners will have a wonderful opportunity to play in one of the best WPT events of the year at Seminole Hard Rock,” continued Dunst. “Zynga Poker has given these players the practical tools to succeed, and I look forward to sharing tips I’ve learned as a WPT Champion to accelerate their respective learning curves.”
The excitement of Dunst’s involvement was echoed by Bernard Kim, the President of Publishing at Zynga, who highlighted Zynga Poker’s potential to act as a gateway for new players into the world of professional poker tournaments. “Zynga Poker players love competition, and now they’ll get to put those skills to the test at an elite, high stakes tournament,” said Kim.
“Our players know the ins and outs of the game and how to approach a hand – but with the help of WPT and poker icon Tony Dunst, they’ll have the opportunity to learn from the best how to handle the pressures, etiquette and excitement of a live tournament.”– Bernard Kim, President, Zynga Publishing
The World Poker Tour Sweepstakes marks a new chapter for Zynga Poker, which has seen user numbers dip in the past year. However, this hasn’t seemed to deter investors, with recent figures revealing that Zynga’s overall financial performance for 2019 has exceeded Wall Street projections.
Zynga Defies Expectation
Zynga’s reported financial results for the fourth quarter of 2019 has surprised and pleased Wall Street investors, with the increase in revenues attributed to recent acquisitions of smaller gaming companies Small Giant Games and Gram Games. In fact, according to Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau, it was the highest quarterly and annual revenue posted by the company in its history.
Zynga’s fourth-quarter performance was reported as earnings of zero cents per share over the quarter, which was a slight loss of $4 million on bookings of $433 million. This was far better than the estimated loss of 5 cents per share on bookings of $419 million that analysts anticipated. Zynga itself predicted a loss of $45 million and bookings of $415 million.
These are not disappointing results considering Zynga’s average mobile monthly active users for the year were 66 million, down 13% year-over-year. The rise has been attributed to the increase in the average mobile daily bookings growing 72% year-over-year to 22.3 cents, meaning much more money was earned from each gamer.
For the full year, Zynga has so far reported revenues of $1.32 billion, which was up 46% from the previous year, and bookings of $1.56 billion, up 61%. However, final numbers are expecting bookings to hit $1.75 billion for the full year, compared to expectations from analysts of $1.74 billion.
There are a number of titles that have boosted Zynga’s performance, with Words With Friends and Empires & Puzzles achieving record revenues and bookings. Last year also saw Zynga branch further out into the gambling arena with the release of its Game of Thrones Slots Casino, though this is classed as a social game social game rather than a standard gambling title.