ESPN broadcasting WSOP Main Event final table live

26 June 2007

Live coverage of the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event final table will be available through ESPN pay-per-view and will feature interactive services such as viewer call-ins and text-message polls.

This is the second year ESPN is providing live coverage. The broadcast begins July 17 at 3 p.m. ET and will continue until the championship is over.

Subscribers can watch on either their television or their computer for $19.95. Cox, Time Warner, Comcast and Dish Network all plan to offer the event.

"Last year's demand for and reaction to our PPV telecast was very good and prompted us to offer this PPV event for a second year in a row," ESPN Senior Producer Jamie Horowitz said. "With enhanced production elements and a heightened focus on bringing poker fans into the game, we expect this year to be even better."

Ali Nejad will provide play-by-play commentary. Nejad is the voice of NBC's Poker After Dark and the National Heads-up Poker Championship.

Professional poker player Phil Gordon, who hosts a radio show and writes a syndicated column, will provide analysis and color commentary. Gordon made the 2001 WSOP Main Event final table has a World Poker Tour title.

"Ali Nejad and Phil Gordon were our announcers last year and did a fantastic job," Horowitz said. "Ali has extensive experience as a poker announcer working on many poker shows and Phil is one of the most recognizable names in all of poker."

New this year is "sideline" reporter Marianela Pereyra. Marianela is a model and an entertainment-news celebrity. She was the host for Fuse's Daily Download and has appeared as an occasional correspondent for Access Hollywood.

"We wanted someone in the center of the action who would be irreverent, fun and personable," Horowitz said. "She will give a sense of place to the viewer and relay what's happening at the periphery of the tables."

The broadcast will also feature several new interactive services.

Fans will be encouraged to email or call-in questions for the hosts to answer live. Additionally, viewers can text in their elimination predictions throughout the final table. ESPN will update and display these polls in real-time.

"We will promote this interactive option during the telecast, instructing fans how to text in their predictions," Horowitz said.

The traditional hole-cam will not be used during this broadcast because of World Series of Poker security restrictions. However, ESPN will use StatsTracker, a computer program that will continuously update chip counts and player action.

Casino City will be providing live coverage of the 2007 World Series of Poker final table including a running blog and feature commentary from our reporters.


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