Ante Up celebrates five years!

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With our commemorative September issue, Ante Up Poker Media is proud to celebrate its five-year anniversary as a company. From our early days as Florida’s Poker Magazine, Ante Up has taken great pleasure in highlighting players and poker rooms.

And quite a lot has happened over the 60 months since that first issue in September 2008, including the highs of record-shattering tournament numbers and incredible performances, to the lows of Internet cheating scandals and Black Friday. But, like a short-stack player in a field of chipleaders, we survived it all and made the final table.

This month’s cover story couldn’t be a more fitting personification of the success of our company after our long, arduous journey. Our Ante Up Poker Tour, which has been around in some form for a few years, experienced its first AUPT World Championship at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. As one of the smaller stacks at the main-event final table, Don Bates of Sarasota, Fla., hung around all afternoon and into the evening before some timely bluffs, fortunate folds and quality play allowed him to emerge as our inaugural world champion. Congratulations, Don!

As we sat in the corner of the poker room on the penultimate day of this truly international series, a feeling of joy and accomplishment overtook us. We gazed at a packed room full of excited players from all over the world (Aruba, America, Dominican Republic, England, Sweden, Spain and Germany to name a few) and just couldn’t believe how far we’ve come. We’ll let the actions, testimonies and comments of our players speak for us, but suffice it to say we heard nothing but positive things from them.

Was it the largest tournament poker series in history? Of course not. Was it the most successful? No. But that’s just fine, because it has motivated us to bring you an even better AUPT event when our 2013 season concludes at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, Calif., in November. And next year our AUPT will be even bigger. If you want to be a part of it, especially if you’d like your poker room to be on the schedule, be sure to drop us a line so we can tell you all about our big plans for 2014! We’ll see you at the tables.

— Christopher Cosenza and Scott Long