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How Bigger Crowds (and 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. Just 3 years after World Tavern Poker took off, we launched World Tavern Trivia.

We knew that in order to make our ventures 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 plus to run poker tournaments and trivia nights, any profits 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 add World Tavern Poker and World Tavern Trivia to your promotions.


We guarantee Bigger Crowds in Your Bar. It's not just a slogan - it's a time tested, tried and true fact!


Best Wishes,



Mike Matsinger


Meet the Bigger Crowds Team

Mike Matsinger


Mike grew up in Southern New Jersey and lived near Atlantic City during college. He has always worked for himself, (because who the hell would hire him?) He loves creating companies, playing poker, and taking shots with players at the OPEN!

John Owens

Tech Guy, Handler of Mike

John is a long time player and great friend to the league. He 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 on a sofa!)


Carleigh Magee

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!

BARSHIFTER AD Create Amazing Calendars_2

Marie McCarthy

National Sales Director

Marie, who also owns her own WTE Franchise in New Jersey (see below), is the National Sales Director for Bigger Crowds in Your Bar. Not to be outdone, she also operates her own company Paint2Party, the originator of Paint Party in a Box.

Thomas Gidlow

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.


Josh Bardwell

Regional Sales Director

Coming soon!

Kathy Kennedy

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!

Nancy Matsinger


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.

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 we said YES! Thank gosh for his beautiful wife Teresa or we would have kicked him to the curb years ago!


Office Bartender

Heidi joined the team in 2009 after we realized we needed a bartender to truly be in the Bar Promotions biz. She has been voted "least likely to talk back" 9 years running and has a niece (Hannah) who travels with the team to special events.

Meet our Franchise Groups


Marie McCarthy

New Jersey Central/West

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.

Christi Bowers

Northern Virginia

Christi was been a long time World Tavern Poker player in Maryland and was the first to ever reach the Million Point mark in a single season. She has managed the Northern Virginia market since April of 2011.


Brad Baker

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.

Cindy Moses

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 the awesome Bar Wars promotion in her markets.


Robert Harper

Central Tennessee

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.

Want to join the Bigger Crowds team?

We have been in the bar promotions business for 15+ years, and we operate in an incredibly fun and exciting environment. Want to be a part of it? Just email us here for more info, or click here for Franchise opportunities.

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