CBS debuts Intercontinental Poker Championship today

CBS will broadcast the first installment of the Intercontinental Poker Championship today which brings together 21 poker players from all over the world to compete for a $350,000 first place prize and a trophy. Different from the World Series of Poker (WSOP), this will be more like the Olympics with each player representing their country in the tournament.

The players are broken into three seven player groups that play a single table tournament, with the winner advancing to the semi finals. The remaining three groups of six then play another set of single table tournaments with each winner moving on, presenting a double elimination style tournament.

The final six players then play down to two who will square off in a best of three heads-up match to determine the champion.

The 21 players and countries represented are:

The international flavor of the event will also be played up in the broadcast with the display of each country's flag and the playing of each country's national anthem as part of the presentation.

"Poker is hot," said Henry Orenstein, who helped create the show and is credited with creating the "hole camera" that allows television viewers to see a player's hole cards. "It rivals soccer and tennis as a pastime of worldwide appeal. Poker is now watched by tens of millions of people around the world."

The remaining seven episodes in the series will air June 24 and 25, and July 1, 2, 8, 15, and 22. Sportscaster Jeff Medders will handle the play-by-play with multi-talented poker player and analyst Gabe Kaplan providing commentary.

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