ESPN announces WSOP taping schedule

17 April 2007

Eleven World Series of Poker tournaments will be taped by ESPN this summer, and the Main Event and the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament will receive expanded coverage on the network.

The Main Event will be broadcast over 16 one-hour episodes, while the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament will be broadcast in six one-hour episodes. Nine other bracelet events will be taped and will air in one-hour episodes.

"We're delighted the ESPN is bringing even more depth to its already superb coverage of the WSOP," said Jeffrey Pollack, Commissioner of the WSOP in a statement. "No one produces poker better than ESPN, and its powerful audience of sports fans will see all the thrills, drama and excitement that make us so unique."

Last year, ESPN produced 12 hours of Main Event footage and two hours of $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. final table footage.

Very little H.O.R.S.E. play was seen in last year's coverage of the event, as the tournament format switched to No Limit Hold'em for the final table. That will change this year, as the final table will continue to play H.O.R.S.E.

"Now that the public has become familiar with H.O.R.S.E., I think switching it back to a purely limit game should work fine for television," said Daniel Negreanu, who lobbied Pollack to add the large buy-in event last year. "The commentators will have a little more work to do, but I think the event will, once again, be a huge success.

"Having said that, I prefer the idea of making it No Limit Hold'em at the final table. The more games the better as it will truly test a players overall poker skills, skills that include both limit and no limit poker."

At least six of the other nine bracelet events will be Hold'em events, including the $5,000 Mixed Hold'em World Championship and the $5,000 Heads-Up tournament. ESPN will also tape the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha World Championship, and may tape two other Pot Limit Omaha tournaments.

Broadcast dates for the WSOP will be announced at a later date.


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