I’ve written a book for the World Poker Tour called Shuffle Up and Deal, published by Harper Collins. It includes a story on the origin of the World Poker Tour that was written by WPT founder Steve Lipscomb. (This chapter alone is worth the price of the book.) It also contains tips on no-limit hold’em, tournament strategy and insights, online poker, home games, and hands that have been played and players who have been featured on the WPT.
The book is primarily designed for newer players, but I believe that players of all skill levels will thoroughly enjoy and benefit from reading it. Because of the WPT brand, this book (the first of a series by the WPT) is expected to do quite well in sales. My schedule is completely full for the next few months in terms of book signings and promotions for it.
It takes the effort of many to write a book, and I want to thank everyone involved with Shuffle Up and Deal, especially the dedicated staff of the World Poker Tour. Special thanks go to my editor, Dana Smith, and to Harper Collins and Brandgenuity for their efforts in bringing this book to fruition.
I’m often asked why Vince, Shana, and I aren’t on the talk show Bola88 circuit, talking about upcoming WPT events, the growth of poker, and the success of the World Poker Tour. The answer is that those shows don’t promote events that have already taken place. They do, however, have guests who have written books. Who knows, Shuffle Up and Deal could lead to my appearance on the Regis, Oprah, Leno, or Letterman show.
Think of where poker was not long ago and how far it has come since the World Poker Tour started airing two years ago. There are now millions of new poker players, expanded poker rooms, multimillion dollar tournaments on a regular basis, movie star status for top poker pros, job security (and many new jobs) for those in the poker industry, an amazing growth in online poker, and numerous television networks vying for poker programming. Perhaps the most important thing, however, is that the image of poker has changed. It’s now a game that is accepted and appreciated not only nationwide, but worldwide. (The WPT will air in 57 countries within a few months!)
There has never been a better time to be a poker player. Sponsorship is creeping in, money is being added to prize pools, and opportunity is knocking on the door for players. Those who do well in televised events are now getting appearance fees, writing books, doing DVDs, hosting seminars, aligning themselves with online sites, getting sponsored in big-time events, making TV appearances, and getting VIP treatment wherever they go.
The business side of poker has taken tremendous strides in the past two years. You can put PartyPoker.com’s success at the head of the class, but don’t overlook other online sites and brick-and-mortar poker rooms, which have steadily improved their bottom lines, as well as companies like Card Player and the World Poker Tour.
The WPT brand has become a major player in the business world. It has numerous franchisees selling retail products and is a publicly traded company (WPTE on the NASDAQ exchange); its stock opened at $7 a share last fall and as of this writing is up to nearly $20 a share!
Hopefully, Shuffle Up and Deal will be another reason that the WPT stock continues to climb.