The WPT is launching a real-time NFT marketplace in partnership with Theta Labs in conjunction with the beginning of the Tour’s new season. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
NFT launches with WPT Season XVIII
The World Poker Tour (WPT) has announced that it is launching the first-ever real-time marketplace for NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in partnership with decentralized video delivery network Theta Labs.
WPT will help launch this new marketplace through WPT.THETADROP.COM alongside the beginning of World Poker Tour Season XVIII on April 18, which will air nationwide on Bally Sports Networks.
The first episode of the Theta Network WPT Cash Game will take place on April 18, with another part airing each Sunday for a total of four episodes. With each weekly episode, viewers will see promotional segments and in-show ads relating to the NFT marketplace. The filming for this season took place last October, with Ben Lamb, Bill Perkins, and Darren Elias among the participants.
limited-time packs that contain famous WPT moments
Viewers will be encouraged to head over to the NFT marketplace to have a chance of buying limited-time packs that contain famous WPT moments. As part of the premier, a 3 for 3 moment involving legendary poker player and commentator Mike Sexton will be offered through a live auction. This is in tribute to the icon of the game who sadly passed away last September. Other poker-themed packs with varying levels of rarity will also be available on the day; the signup and pre-registration process is already open.
An enthusiastic response to the announcement
In the press release for this new marketplace, WPT CEO Adam Pliska spoke about how the launch will be one of the company’s largest-ever digital initiatives. He looks forward to giving “fans an interactive, real-time opportunity to collect a piece of the WPT poker action.”
The Theta Network powers the eco-friendly ThetaDrop NFT marketplace, with the Theta protocol built from the ground up using a proof-of-stake (POS) model. Speaking about the upcoming launch, Theta Labs CEO and co-founder Mitch Liu said: “We’re excited to launch the next-generation NFT marketplace with WPT, a unique opportunity to bring digital collectibles synchronized to live TV and cable broadcast to an audience of millions worldwide.”
I’m really happy to see a continued fusion between the poker and crypto spaces.”
One poker star who is looking forward to the launch of this new NFT marketplace is two-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner and current WPT commentator Tony Dunst. Speaking to VegasSlotsOnline News, he said: “I’m really happy to see a continued fusion between the poker and crypto spaces, and I’m excited to get my hands on the WPT NFTs being launched by Theta Network.”
Rise of NFTs
NFTs have been taking the world by storm in recent months. These blockchain-based tokens usually represent different types of digital files, such as videos, audio, and art.
People can buy or sell NFTs through marketplaces, with the token’s underlying blockchain providing solid proof of ownership to the current holder of the unique token. “Non-fungible” means that each NFT is unique as it has its own blockchain identity and cannot be easily replaced with something of equal value. Some people have explained NFTs as simply being digital collectibles.
Mike Winkelmann, who produces digital art under the Beeple name, sold an artwork collage NFT for a cool $69m in March. Other popular types of NFTs are sports-related, capturing iconic moments in games. In February, one person spent $208,000 on an NBA Top Shot NFT of LeBron James dunking a basketball.