Activision and Harrah's play their cards

Publisher acquires license to World Series of Poker; card games get dealt this fall.

Activision will soon be saying, "Shuffle up and deal." The publisher today acquired the rights to the World Series of Poker from Harrah's Entertainment, the world's largest casino gaming company. The deal grants Activision the rights to develop, publish, and distribute WSOP-themed games on consoles, PCs, and handhelds. Activision has not yet revealed which platforms the game will be on, but expects the first to arrive in stores this fall.

The WSOP has become the center stage for the incredibly popular game of poker, with entrants now numbering in the thousands. This year's tournaments are currently under way in Las Vegas and Harrah's Rio Suites.

As poker's popularity has swelled, so has the number of poker licenses purchased by game companies. The World Poker Tour license was bought by 2K Games, ValuSoft signed 2003 WSOP Cinderella story Chris Moneymaker, Crave scooped up Howard "The Professor" Lederer for World Championship Poker 2: Featuring Howard Lederer, and Myelin Media is betting its chips on Stacked with Daniel Negreanu.

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