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!
Emperor, Dir. of Operations
John began playing World Tavern Poker in 2007 and has helped us out at National Events for many years. In 2013, he joined our team full time. John served in the Navy for 22 years and is married with 3 children (2 sons and a daughter)
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!)
Nancy grew up in Brick, NJ and co-founded World Tavern Entertainment in 2004. She has years of experience in sales and marketing, and while Nancy is not active with the company, she was a huge part of getting World Tavern to where it is today.
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.
Master of Designs
Tyrale joined the World Tavern team, in June 2016. He's brought a fresh and dynamic approach to our designs.
Tyrale graduated from The Art Institute of Raleigh/Durham and NC A&T State University. He is married and has one child.
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! :) :) :)
Graphic Design/Mr. Fix It
Ian joined the World Tavern team in September 2018 after graduating from UNC Asheville as an Animator. Moving from Phoenix to NC in 2005, Ian says he continues to be living proof that being a 'generalist' (someone who is versatile in many things) is a good thing!
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.
SCOTT "Scooty" BOOTH
Director of Bar Promotions
Scooty began playing World Tavern during our first year and has always been a great friend of the league.
In 2015 he joined our team full time and is in charge of all Bar Owner and TD relationships. If you have an issue, he has a solution!
The Numbers Guy
Tavares joined World Tavern in November of 2015 and is in charge of the Accounting.
He coaches high school Women's basketball, is married and has 2 young children.
Amanda joined the World Tavern team in the summer of 2018.
Originally from Baltimore but now residing in North Carolina, Amanda started playing WTP in 2017 and is currently a 'Big Brain' Trivia director at a local venue in Mebane, NC.
NJ-Central/North Franchise Owner, Lead BarShift Consultant
Marie, who also owns her own WTE Franchise in New Jersey, is the lead BarShift consultant and works with the WTE team in all facets of the product. From helping bar owners to helping to chart its course, Marie is a pivotal part of the BarShift team.
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!
Greater Buffalo Area (NY)
Bob has been a World Tavern player in Buffalo for many years and became a franchisee in 2013.
Bob is a full time computer specialist during the day and manages the franchise with his wife Debbie at night.
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.
Kevin & Rachel Ferry
North Eastern PA
Kevin has been playing World Tavern Poker for nearly 10 years. In 2015, he moved back to North East PA and it was perfect timing to begin managing that market. He has even taught Rachel to play and after only 3 months she is the best poker player in the house!
Marie started her franchise in 2009 and now manages most of New Jersey.
Marie started playing World Tavern Poker over a decade ago but also runs the largest franchised area for World Tavern Trivia in the country.
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.
Mark & Sarah Thomas
Mark and Sarah have been long time players in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The became the franchisees for the state in 2011 and recently became grandparents for the first time!
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.