HOW WORLD TAVERN CAME TO BE
The concept of World Tavern Poker was developed in 2004 while I was sitting with Joe Hatch, the owner of a local tavern.
As we enjoyed a few beers, the World Series of Poker was playing on the television screens. He and I were both avid amateur poker players. As I looked around, I noticed that everyone in the place was focused on the poker on the TVs.
“Look how popular this game is”, I said. “Imagine if you could hold poker tournaments for fun right here. Do you know how crowded you would be? We will make it free to all the players so it's not gambling, and give away great prizes to the winners.”
And that was it; Joe agreed to give it a try, and a few weeks later we held the first World Tavern Poker event. With no advertising and only a week of planning, Woody's was packed. We were turning players away and they did 2 to 3 times their normal business.
From that time forward, the success of these tournaments kept growing and led us to take the concept across the nation. We knew that in order to make this venture successful, we would need to focus on 2 critical success factors:
Make It affordable
Make It easy for the bar owners
With other companies charging up to $300/night to run tournaments, any profits from poker are quickly eaten away. We knew that we had to create a system that is so simple, anyone could run it.
Our mission has always been to give bar owners the system and the tools to create, manage and market successful events that result in great excitement and great profits for their business.
So if you are a bar owner looking to take your business to the next level, or simply want to put butts in seats on a slow night, then we encourage you to join World Tavern Poker.
We are America's #1 Poker League. It's not just a slogan - it's a time tested, tried and true fact!
WATCH THE HISTORY
MEET THE TEAM
Over the years, we have had so many wonderful people on our team who contributed to the growth and success of the company. We pride ourselves in providing a true "TEAM" environment in the office and at our events.
Mike grew up in Southern New Jersey and lived in and around Atlantic City during college. He has always worked for himself, primarily because who the hell would hire him? He loves creating companies, playing poker, and taking shots with players at the OPEN!
National Sales Director
Marie has been playing in the league since 2006 at The Cambridge Inn in New Jersey. For nearly 10 years she ran the NJ Franchise and joined our team as Natl. Sales Dir. in 2019.
She loves to put her toes in the sand and the ocean breeze in her hair.
Special Events Guru
Kathy has been a long time player in the league and replied to a help wanted ad for Marketing Assistant in 2005. As a graduate of Duke and long time entrepreneur, she was way overqualified but wanted to join the team. We are so happy she did!
Tech Guy & Handler Of Mike
John is a long time player and great friend to the league. He basically volunteers his time at our special events because a) he loves us and b) he recognized immediately that Mike needed a babysitter (just ask him about the time he found $10,000 laying on a sofa at Trivia Nationals!)
Director of Marketing
Thomas began playing World Tavern Poker in 2006, then jumped ship to work for another league in 2008. Once he came to his senses, he came back and joined our team in 2014.
Thomas also met Sammi, his awesome wife, at the WTP tables.
Lead Graphic Designer
Carleigh joined the World Tavern and One Up Parties team in April of 2021. With a passion for all things creative and learning, she is always happy to make a design or help where it is needed. She is also always silently judging your font choice!
MIKE & TERESA FILIPELLI
Entertainment & Drinking
Mike is a long time player who would call the office all the time offering to be part of our entertainment at the OPENS. The guy was nuts...so we said YES! Thank gosh for his beautiful wife Teresa or we would have kicked him to the curb years ago! :) :) :)
Customer Support & Sales
Josh (and his wife Bonnie) has been playing World Tavern Poker since 2006! He is one of the most passionate players in the league, always the first to Regionals and at almost every WTP OPEN and WLPC event. He also finished 2nd in the 2018 National Championship!
Heidi joined the team in 2009 when we realized that if we are in the Bar Entertainment business, then we need a bartender.
She has been voted "least likely to talk back" 10 years running and also has a niece (Hannah) who travels with the team to special events.
MEET THE FRANCHISE GROUPS
Southern NY & North Jersey
Cindy was introduced to the league through long time player Mike Cassa.
She became the franchisee for Southern NY and Bergen County NJ in 2012 and is the creator of Bar Wars in her markets!
Christi has been a long time player in Maryland and was the first to ever reach the Million Point mark in a single season!
She has managed the Northern VA market since April of 2011.
Your Picture Here?
Franchisee / Player Rep
World Tavern Entertainment is an incredibly fun and exciting business. Want to be a part of it? Just email us HERE for franchise and/or player rep information.
Eastern North Carolina
New to the team, Brad took over the territory from long-time owners Dick & Charlotte Macartney.
Brad is an avid WTP player, a graduate from THE Ohio State University, and founder of East Coast Tavern Entertainment.
Robert started in bar poker leagues in 2018 in the Chattanooga, TN area. In 2021, Robert played in his first WTP event at Ebel's Tavern in Carthage, TN. His great experiences got him hooked, and seeing an opportunity, became a WTP Franchise owner at the start of 2022.
MEET OUR INDEPENDENT POKER REPS
Chris & Susie Ryhard
NJ - South West
NJ - Central
Adam began playing World Tavern Poker in 2016 and became a td at locations in central new jersey Adam has helped us out at or regionals events in New Jersey and National Events for the last 6 years . In 2020, Adam joined our team as a New Jersey rep for central New Jersey.
NJ - West
John started playing WTP around 2010 at BBQ in west NJ. Met Marie in 2011 at Firkin Tavern and stepped up to be the TD, and the rest is history. Been working the NJ Mega Regionals since 2012. Married for 34 years and has 15 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren!