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ESPN Plans Live WSOP Broadcast
ESPN is expanding its coverage of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event by adding a live broadcast with hole cards.
From July 14-19, ESPN will present the live broadcast, on a 30-minute delay, in HD on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
This marks the first time ESPN will be offering daily coverage of the WSOP Main Event and the network plans to show every hand unedited with hole cards post-flop for players still in the hand.
The coverage will shift between two feature tables every 30 minutes and will show all-in and call situations at both.
Lon McEachern and David Tuchman will handle the play-by-play with a rotation of pros providing analysis.
The live stream of the Main Event will air online at ESPN3.com and on TV at ESPN2.
Plus, a live stream of the WSOP Grudge Matches, the $25,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship and the $50,000 Poker Players Championship will air online at ESPN3.com in early June without hole cards.
“For the first time viewers at home will have the best seats in the house for The World Series of Poker, poker’s premier event," said Matthew Volk, ESPN manager of programming and acquisitions.
"Fans will see hole cards post-flop and get an inside look at all of the strategy, angst and competition of the world’s best players vying for a seat at the most prestigious final table in the sport.”
As usual, the 2011 World Series of Poker presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Tuesday night telecasts with McEachern and Norman Chad will begin airing on ESPN July 26 for 16 consecutive weeks leading up to the November Nine final table on Nov. 8.
WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart is calling the new coverage a historic milestone for ESPN and the WSOP.
"The addition of live event-style coverage with hole cards in July, and primetime shows leading up to the crowning of a champion in November, provide our fans more access than ever before, and we are extremely proud to be with a company dedicated to realizing the potential of the game,” he said.
Poker legend Barry Greenstein, a member of WSOP Players Advisory Council, said its about time.
“This is a long-awaited step to get live poker on television, and it represents another good collaboration between Caesars, the WSOP Players Advisory Council and ESPN to create a production format that maintains the integrity of the tournament while giving fans what they want to see,” he said.