The true state of the newly founded Epic Poker League and its parent company, Federated Sports and Gaming, has been revealed. In February this year, it filed for bankruptcy, initially indicating that it had 100 creditors and over $5 million in liabilities.
A statement of affairs submitted in the first week of April 2012 shows that its position is much worse than first thought, with it owing nearer $8 million and just earning $37,052 in its 14-month history.
The accounts indicate that since the end of November 2011, until it announced closure, the company paid $2.4 million to vendors and over the last year, it had run three tournaments, each time putting money into the prize pool and paying the CBS Corporation to televise the events.
Five of Federation Sports officials were paid over $1.1 million and there were liabilities for a further $662,801 in unpaid wages and expenses. Its largest debts are to PNK Development 10, which is owed $2,093,447 and the sum of $1,966,052 to All In Productions for the purchase of the Heartland Poker Tour.
While Heartland Poker Tour limps on hosting its 100th event at the River City Casino in St Louis, Missouri, it has managed to generate $800,000 for the group since its acquisition 9 months ago.
The revelations will not come as welcome news to Annie Duke, who has been at the forefront of promoting the tour and raising interest and the profile of the events. Although the organisation is still just about able to continue, the writing does seem to be on the wall and unless something radical happens, the whole organisation will come tumbling down. Duke’s belief in a professional league always seemed a good idea but the organisation behind the scenes seems to have been seriously lacking, leading to an over exposure financially and too higher expectations from the tour.