How I Grew BBO Poker Tables to Become the Industry Leader

By George Chao
July 27, 2017

At the height of the poker boom, back in 2006, I noticed a gap in the U.S. poker table market. Either you could purchase a very cheap fold out table or it would cost you a pretty penny to customize your own. It was at that point that I had the idea to create a brand of poker tables with the mission of “Poker for the People”. My goal would be to produce a line of high-quality poker tables that were nonetheless still reasonably priced for mid-market customers. With poker enjoying immense popularity, especially among recreational players and home game enthusiasts, the need for such a line of products was clear to me.

In order to succeed, I knew that my company would have to address a couple of the “pain points” that poker enthusiasts faced in buying tables. Poker tables are big and cumbersome. People don’t want to have to deal with schlepping them home from the store. They want to be able to place an order and have the table arrive at their homes. Understanding this, way back in 2008 BBO Poker Tables began investing in e-commerce knowledge and technology, allowing customers to easily purchase tables online, at home. We were among the first poker companies to harness the innovations in commerce and transport logistics to really bring the idea of quality and affordability to the masses.

One other thing we understood about poker enthusiasts is that each home game host has his/her own style. It’s one thing to own your own poker table, but it’s entirely another to own a customized poker table – something that really shows off your personality. I wanted to ensure that anyone who wished to customize their own poker table would have the smoothest possible experience in doing so. BBO Poker Tables thus became the only company having full-time Art Institute graduate designers on staff to create custom art for the tables. Moreover, we ensure a top-quality finished product by having partnered with leading materials suppliers to bring in the best materials, cutting-edge hardware, and gaming technology.

Of course, no company that sells products can get anywhere without first-rate customer support. Providing our customers with quick and efficient service is something my company takes tremendous pride in and has been one of our hallmarks ever since we were founded.

BBO Poker Tables Starts Getting Noticed – Big Time!

Over the years, our company was fortunate to grow not only in size and scope, but also in terms of mainstream recognition and appeal. We’re grateful that positive word of mouth and an excellent reputation have served us well. One might say that we first “struck it big” when movie makers and TV producers started calling. Our products were featured in segments on HGTV as well as the hit show NCIS. We’ve always said that we’re proud of our pricing – well that proved even truer when BBO Poker Tables were included as part of the prize package on the Price Is Right’s famed Showcase Showdown! To top it off, one of our custom-made poker tables even earned a spot in the 2015 Box Office hit Focus, starring Will Smith.

Partnering Up with the World Poker Tour

It’s incredibly gratifying to have witnessed how far my company has come since I originally conceived the mission of “Poker for the People”. Since we scored big in Hollywood, as mentioned earlier, we’ve been fortunate to have one hit after another, as BBO has continued rising to new heights. One perfect example of this is how we ended up partnering with the World Poker Tour.

Towards the end of 2015, the World Poker Tour reached out to us. I’m a big fan of their CEO, Adam Pliska, and I love the work he does to make the WPT such a fantastic and entertaining show. The WPT, being a premier organization, wanted to make sure that their suppliers also shared their commitment to excellence. So, when Adam told us that the WPT wanted to explore providing winners and headline sponsors of their biggest events of the year with custom poker tables as both a prize and thank you for their biggest VIPs, we were only too happy to get on board! BBO Poker Tables thus became the official poker table brand of the WPT and we’ve been supplying their champions ever since.

WATCH: Interview with WPT CEO Adam Pliska

The Preferred Poker Table of NBA Champions

As can be seen in our company’s story, part of achieving success has to do with being associated with other successful enterprises. BBO Poker Tables has, indeed, been quite fortunate in that regard. I’m proud to say that we’ve been selected to supply professional poker tables for the Golden State Warriors’ charity poker event over the last couple of years. This is especially gratifying as we’re also based out of the Bay Area.

Their biggest philanthropic evening of the year, the $10,000 buy-in event gives fans the opportunity to rub shoulders and go all-in against Warriors superstars such as Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant. Most importantly, the event acts as a tremendous fundraiser for the GSW Community Fund, which helps underprivileged children around the Bay Area with infrastructure and programs. In each of the past two years, the one-night charity spectacular has raised over $1M in proceeds for the Bay Area communities.

The Future Looks Bright

Looking back, I couldn’t be prouder of the road that BBO Poker Tables has taken to become #1 over the past decade-plus. Lots of hard work and good fortune has gotten us to where we are today. At the same time, we’ve always remained steadfast in our commitment to producing top-quality products and providing each and every one of our clients, whether they be individuals or large companies, with the best in customer service.

As poker is once again on the rise, I know that we’ll continue innovating and that will lead to even greater successes for BBO Poker Tables down the road.

LISTEN: Interview with BBO Poker Tables Founder George Chao



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George Chao poker author
Written By.

George Chao

George founded BBO Poker Tables in 2006. His company designs and manufactures premium poker tables distributed through a 100% privately established dealer network and e-commerce presence. BBO Poker Tables is the leading consumer brand of high-end poker and dining game tables in the US. In 2012, BBO Poker Tables opened up international distribution to Canada, […]


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