CINCINNATI, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Try going in to Sam's Club to buy an
"Official World Poker Tour(TM)" (WPT) Poker Set this holiday season. You
might find one if you just happen to be there when the merchandisers bring out
a new palette. But don't wait too long while you're making your decision. If
your store is like most of them across the country, the display will be empty
"Sam's cannot keep the Official WPT product in stock. The minute the
stores put it out, it's gone," said Scott Kling, Vice President of Sales and
Marketing for U.S. Playing Card Company, the world's leader in playing cards
for more than 100 years and the manufacturer of the best-selling Bicycle and
Bee brand cards. "Sam's buyers report that poker products are the biggest hit
of the holiday season and the WPT is sure making us feel like we played our
cards right betting on this one."
The products, manufactured by U.S. Playing Card Company, a division of
Jarden Corporation (NYSE: JAH), under a license from WPT Enterprises, Inc.
(Nasdaq: WPTE), the creator of the hugely popular World Poker Tour which airs
Wednesday nights on the Travel Channel, have taken the retail marketplace by
Sam's Club is carrying the "Official World Poker Tour(TM)" (WPT) Poker Set
in a handmade wood case with a suggested retail price of $199.99. It features
400 11.5-gram heavyweight, professional quality clay-filled poker chips
(125 blue, 100 red and 75 black). The 11.5-gram chip, known as the "true"
poker player's chip, is similar to those used by the top casinos on the WPT
tour. An exclusive WPT spade design and casino stripes are molded into the
chip using two colors. USPC WPT chips are easier to shuffle and manipulate
than other poker chips in the market because they have specially designed
rounded edges and a rough clay surface. Two colorful decks of casino quality
WPT cards are included, along with Texas Hold 'Em instructions.
From Hawaii to Florida, Sam's Clubs are reporting the same phenomena, as
have other retailers. In a Honolulu Advertiser article, Hawaii Costco store
manager Robert Loomis said of the poker sets with heavy clay chips, "If we
could have the quantities, it would easily be our No. 1-selling non-food item
in the store. No one expected them to be selling the way they are."
Internet search engine Lycos lists poker items as its No. 1 researched
topic on its annual list of "Top 10 Most-Researched Toys of 2004," upending
video games from 2003. In issuing the list, Lycos cited, "The popularity of
poker gifts has been fueled by the global phenomenon of the World Poker Tour,
which continues to average a 'millionaire a month' in its 16-tournament
Among the chain retailers selling selected WPT products are Academy Sports
& Outdoors, Albertson's, Associated Grocers, Costco, CVS/Pharmacy, Discovery
Stores, Hallmark Stores, Kroger, Lewis Drug, Nordstrom, Rite Aid, Sam's Club,
ShopRite, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.
"We have stepped up our production in a major way to meet the demand of
our retail partners," said Kling. "The World Poker Tour products are a class
unto themselves and we are pleased that the market recognizes that these
authentic branded items are the premium gifts for this holiday season."
The complete line up of other poker products from US Playing Card
* "Official World Poker Tour" Poker Set (SRP/$199.99) with 400 chips, a
fine-wood case, two decks of cards and The Official World Poker Tour
Rules Book available exclusively at Sam's Club through the end of the
* "Official World Poker Tour" Tournament Set (SRP/$149.99) with
300 chips in a metal briefcase lined in padded black velour, with the
embroidered WPT logo inside the lid and on a metal logo plate above
the handle. Two decks of WPT cards along with Texas Hold 'Em
instructions are included.
* "Official World Poker Tour" Texas Hold 'Em Book Set (SRP/$20.00) with
The Official Poker Rule Book, plus one white and one black WPT logo
deck of cards.
* "Official World Poker Tour" Plastic Playing Cards (SRP/$35.99) -- A
two deck set for avid players who appreciate the unique feel, smooth
shuffle, and unmatched durability of plastic cards.
* "Official World Poker Tour" 11.5-Gram Clay Chips (SRP/$35.99.) --
100 chips with specially designed rounded edges and a rough clay
surface that make a robust click, just like the sound heard at
* "Official World Poker Tour" 8-Gram Clay Chips (SRP/$19.99) --
100 chips that bear molded WPT spade logos and authentic casino
* "Official World Poker Tour" Logo Decks (WPT logo on white or black
background) and "Official World Poker Tour" Decks (WPT logo combined
with traditional Casino Bee diamond back). (SRP/$3.49 each)
* "Official World Poker Tour" Table Top (SRP/$75.00) features a
reversible felt with poker on one side and blackjack on the other, has
room for eight players, includes reversible cup holders, and folds for
Many of these products are also available online at
www.worldpokertour.com. For more information, go to www.worldpokertour.com or
About US Playing Card Company
Founded in 1876, The United States Playing Card Company ("USPC") is the
world's largest manufacturer and distributor of playing cards and a leader in
the marketing of poker chips and sets, collectible tins, puzzles, and card
accessories for the North American retail market. USPC is also the largest
supplier of premium playing cards to casinos worldwide. USPC brands include
Bee (R), Bicycle (R), Hoyle (R), and Aviator (R). USPC's International
holdings include Naipes Heraclio Fournier, S.A., a leading playing card
manufacturer in Europe. USPC is a division of Jarden Corporation (NYSE: JAH).
About The World Poker Tour(TM)
The World Poker Tour is a series of 16 high stakes poker tournaments
filmed in exotic locales and leading poker rooms. The show is the highest
rated series in the history of the Travel Channel and continues to increase
its viewing audience worldwide. With its mix of expert commentary, on-screen
explanatory graphics and 17 cameras -- including the revolutionary WPT cam
revealing the players' hole cards -- the WPT has transformed poker into a
televised spectator sport. It has also inspired the poker boom among fans and
amateur players, who play at home with friends, and others who are now coming
out to compete in WPT tournaments. Last season, the WPT offered more than
$35 million in prize money. Filming for Season Three has already begun and
prize money is projected to reach $70 million. The Season Three shows will
begin airing in March 2005 on Travel Channel. For more information on the
World Poker Tour, go to: www.worldpokertour.com.
About WPT Enterprises, Inc.
The World Poker Tour is a creation of media and entertainment company WPT
Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: WPTE). WPT Enterprises is engaged in the
formulation of branded entertainment through the development, production and
marketing of televised programming based on poker and other gaming themes. To
date, operations have principally revolved around the creation of the World
Poker Tour brand through the production and licensing of a television series
exhibited on the Travel Channel that is based on a circuit of previously
established high-stakes poker tournaments under the "World Poker Tour" brand.
WPT Enterprises, Inc. is a majority owned subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment,
Inc. (Nasdaq: LACO). Photos and media information can be found online at:
SOURCE US Playing Card Company