ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Televised Poker

27 September 2006

The ESPN broadcast of the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event wrapped up last night, and the network once again outclassed all the other televised poker programs.

While other poker shows offer a more critical analysis of play, ESPN is the most entertaining.

By weaving in expertly-crafted player biographies between hands and adding short entertaining features like "The Nuts," ESPN created a show that anyone can enjoy -- including people who don't know how to play the game. Add in the witty repartee of commentators Lon McEachern and Norman Chad and the most intense action in the world and you get the best poker show on television.

Who can forget the poker players impersonating other players edition of The Nuts? Or even better, the edition that pits Daniel Negreanu and Erick Lindgren against Doyle Brunson and Barry Greenstein in a three-hole golf match for $50,000 a hole? If you didn't see it, watch the reruns. Doyle has maybe the best line of all time. You have to see it to be believe it. (I can't find it on YouTube … if you see it, please send me a link.)

But beyond entertainment, ESPN did something I wasn't sure the self-proclaimed "Worldwide Leader in Sports" would do: The broadcast noted that the tournament wasn't all "Golden."

Early on in the final table coverage, a graphic lists the players remaining and their chip stacks. McEachern notes: "If you are really quick with math you might notice there are more than $2 million extra chips in play that may be due to a miscount during the color up of chips. So now there's a little more than $90 million chips at the final table."

Harrah's is currently investigating how the extra chips were put in play, and while no formal announcement has been made, including it in the broadcast was the right thing to do.

In addition, after showing Jamie Gold's phone call to his father immediately following his victory, the network added an ESPNEWS segment that addressed the lawsuit filed against Gold by a person seeking half of his winnings.

"Since the final table of the World Series was taped things have not gone so smoothly for Jamie Gold," said David Lloyd in the report. "Bruce Crispin Leyser is suing Gold, claiming that Gold entered into an agreement to split half of his winnings with Leyser. There is no written agreement, but Leyser allegedly has a voicemail left by Gold which states: 'I promise you, you can keep this recording on my word, there's no possible way you're not going to get half after taxes.' Leyser says the deal was made when Leyser helped Gold recruit celebrities to wear a poker Web site's apparel. Half of Gold's winnings have been withheld pending the case."

While these seem like obvious details to include, ESPN hasn't always had the best judgment when it comes to poker. And while the blemishes that ESPN pointed out may tarnish the prestige of the WSOP, it would be more damaging if the televised broadcast ignored them completely.


AT OffSuite

Related Links
World Series of Poker Gaming Vendor Information
Bodog Poker Site Details
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Details
Nevada Gambling
Ranked Online Poker Rooms

Featured Vendors
Global Gaming Expo (G2E)
Kallop
Global Gaming Expo (G2E)
The largest gathering of global, commercial and tribal gaming professionals in North America.
Kallop
Reward every play like a VIP with exclusive luxury brands at affordable prices.
Casino Network
Plastic Card ID
Casino Network
20+ years experience selling refurbished slot machines, parts & glass for all major brands
Plastic Card ID
The World’s Lowest Prices on Printed Plastic Cards and Card Printers!
Casino Schedule Ease
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) Conference
Casino Schedule Ease
Get a 90-Day Free Trial of 100% contactless, customizable table game & full casino scheduling
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) Conference
The biggest little show in Indian gaming! Save the date: Aug 9-11, 2022 in Tulsa!
Sunkist Graphics, Inc.
TribalHub
Sunkist Graphics, Inc.
Specializing in the creation of best-of-breed gaming graphics - slot glass, sign faces, and more
TribalHub
23rd Annual TribalNet Conference Sept 12-15, 2022 Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, NV
Casino City Press
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
Casino City Press
A leading publisher and distributor of casino and gaming business data and market research reports.
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
Your one stop shop for all your gaming and OEM needs!
AmericanChecked
TOP ONE TECH LIMITED
AmericanChecked
Background checks for the gaming industry with key & non-key packages & fingerprinting solutions
TOP ONE TECH LIMITED
GLOBAL TOUCH SOLUTION PARTNER OF CHOICE,10+ years OEM manufacturing,100+ thousand units application
Broadband Hospitality
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Broadband Hospitality
Improve these critical guest-facing amenities: In-room TV, Wi-Fi, Mobile App. Priced right. All here
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Leader in creating award winning player & employee loyalty programs & events proven to increase ROI
Talisman Group Creators of EZ Baccarat
.Dot-iGaming.com
Talisman Group Creators of EZ Baccarat
With over 800 tables in 150+ casinos, EZ Baccarat is the number one brand in baccarat.
.Dot-iGaming.com
Fully loaded advanced casino platform. One time (low) fee, 100% your property, start now!
TDN Money Systems
Imagine This
TDN Money Systems
Cage, cash/chip handling experts representing CountR, ARCA, AccuCASH, Fujitsu & NCR
Imagine This
Imagine This #1 Source for Player Gifts. Over $50 million in stock ready to ship! Let us serve you!


Your Guide to 15,524 Gaming Industry Suppliers