Federated Sports and Gaming Announces New Pro Poker League

The recently formed Federated Sports and Gaming (FS+G) company announced today in a press release that they will be rolling out the world’s first professional poker league this summer. For its inaugural year, the league’s events will take place exclusively in Las Vegas. Since the Palms Casino Resort is a partner on the venture, it should come as no surprise that all four of the league’s first season events will be hosted at their poker room.

In related news, FS+G also announced today that popular female pro and TV personality Annie Duke has been tapped to act as Commissioner of the new league. Duke will oversee three tournaments between August and December with a fourth tournament and season one championship scheduled for January of 2012. It’s a smart move for Duke who already proved her ability to spearhead new poker brands in her several successful years of service to the poker room UB.com.

Unlike existing poker tours like the WSOP and the WPT, FS+G’s new poker league will be an invitation-only series of tournaments which will only be open to the top 200 poker players. The rankings will be determined using an equation similar to the ones already employed in professional golf and professional tennis leagues. A handful of pros have already stated their approval of the new league. Eight-time WSOP bracelet winner and recent HOF inductee Erik Seidel even contributed a supportive quote to the FS+G’s press release, saying that the league “has been a long time coming.”

Besides Duke and Seidel, who’s behind this new poker league? FS+G’s three founders already have considerable experience in the gambling industry. Jeffrey Pollack is the former President of the WSOP and his colleagues Michael Brodsky, David Goldberg and Jeffrey Grosman co-founded and operated the United States’ most successful online betting portal, YouBet.com.

Some critics have suggested that the league may just be a way for outmoded poker pros to protect their reputations and their bankrolls in an industry that is increasingly dominated by the new wave of young online players. That said, industry experts agree that the sport of poker is past due for an organized professional league on par with those already offered in virtually every other major sport.

While FS+G has not yet revealed which network they’ll be working with, the press release made it clear that the new league’s creators fully expect all events to be televised live, promising excellent exposure for the fledgling league and a front row seat for curious fans that can’t afford to watch the historical action live in Las Vegas.

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