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. And in 2016, we launched BarShift, the next evolution in our company.
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. Also, start a 2-week trial of BarShift and you'll wonder how you ever survived without it.
We guarantee Bigger Crowds in Your Bar. It's not just a slogan - it's a time tested, tried and true fact!
Meet the Bigger Crowds Team
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!
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!)
Lead BarShift Consultant
Marie, who also owns her own WTE Franchise in New Jersey (see below), 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.
Guru of Games
Scott joined WTE in 2020. An avid WTP player since 2015, his love of games brought him to the team.
Scott LOVES board games, with over 200 in his collection. That passion will serve him well in this role!
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).
The Numbers Guy
Tavares joined World Tavern in November of 2015 and is in charge of accounting for all World Tavern promotions. An avid debater and easy going guy, Tavares coaches high school women's basketball and is married with 2 kids.
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.
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!
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 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 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!
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
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.
Mark & Sarah Thomas
Mark and Sarah have been long-time World Tavern Poker players in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area. They became the franchisees for the state in 2011 and recently became grandparents for the first time!
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.
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 recently retired computer specialist and manages his World Tavern Poker franchise with his wife Debbie.
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.
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.
Kevin & Rachel Ferry
Kevin has been playing World Tavern Poker for nearly 10 years. In 2015, he and his wife Rachel moved back to Northeast PA. Within a year, they purchased a franchise and have been managing the area ever since.
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.