The folks who brought us the World Series of Poker, 441 Productions and David Neal, have created a brand new poker league: the Epic Poker League. And broadcasters of EPL events include none other than CBS Sports.
The Velocity Network, the new HD cable “male upscale lifestyle” network of Discovery Communications, will also be airing footage of Epic Poker League tournament action. Between the two broadcasters, over 20 hours of EPL coverage will be presented to fans at home: 13 hours from Velocity and 7 hours from CBS Sports. Broadcasts on the latter station will be hosted by Emmy Award-winner Pat O’Brien and the off-screen announcer at the National Heads-Up Poker Championship and NBC television’s Poker After Dark, Ali Nejad.
The first EPL event takes place August 9 – 12 at the Las Vegas Palms Casino. This inaugural season of the tour will consist of four main events, all of which culminate in 2012 in a $1 million guaranteed freeroll final at which only 27 players will remain.
Comprising the Epic Poker League will be 218 of poker’s biggest names, including Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan, Phil Hellmuth, Erik Seidel, Barry Greenstein and Phil Ivey.
The parent company of the tour, Federated Sports & Gaming (FS+G), which is headed up by chief executive Jeffrey Pollack, paid CBS Sports to buy time to broadcast the Epic Poker League, not unlike an infomerical producer buys time to air their material, while the Velocity Network agreed to air footage as part of a promotional tie-in deal in.
Tonight, June 27th, 2011, the second season begins of Poker Stars The Big Game, a chance for 5 poker bigwigs and 1 poker unknown to face-off in high-stakes cash game action.
The 5 bigwigs starting of season 2 of The Big Game are David “Viffer” Peat, Tony G. (of Team Party Poker) Scott Seiver and Team PokerStars’ own Daniel Negreanu. Former NBA men’s basketball superstar Bobby Sura will also be at the table, which boasts a $100,000 buy-in. As will be Gonzales Cannon, the aptly-named first Loose Cannon of season 2, whose entry comes courtesy of Poker Stars.
The Loose Cannon of the week in The Big Game is a player who wins that spot via qualifier tournaments on the PokerStars site. The Loose Cannon is allowed to keep any amounts they win above $100,000 (the cost of their buy-in) at the end of the week. The lineup of pros and Loose Cannons alike changes each week. Upcoming stars to look for in future weeks of The Big Game, which airs now until August 5, include Phil Hellmuth, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Barry Greenstein Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Vanessa Selbst and reigning World Series of Poker champion Jonathan Duhamel. Among the non-poker pro players appearing in future weeks of The Big Game Season 2 are Guy Laliberte, creator of Cirque du Soleil, and Nick Cassavetes, famous film director.
All episodes of The Big Game air on pokerstars.tv at noon on weekdays. Extra footage will also be available online, including detailed player statistics, unseen hands, and moments that couldn’t be shown on regular Internet television.
ESPN will start airing The 2010 World Series of Poker Tuesday July 27, 2010. Each show will be two hours long and will be on the main ESPN channel. We already missed the preview show, but for most forum players, they do not need an introduction to the players. Each episode will air on Tuesdays. below is the schedule with each show’s focus. As most of you know, there are re-airings on ESPN2 as well. I am not familiar when the reruns will be scheduled and leave that to you to report on if you spot them while channel surfing.
July 20: WSOP Preview Show, 8 p.m.
July 27: Players Championship, 8-10 p.m.
Aug. 3: Tournament of Champions, 8-10 p.m.
Aug. 10-Aug. 24: Main event, 8-10 p.m.
Aug. 31-Nov 9: Main event, 9-11 p.m.
Notice that the last entry will encompass Tuesdays all the way to the WSOP Main Event which is going to be played on November 06, 2010. that last November 09, 2010 Tuesday night will be the final table broadcast. I will be interested to see which poker sites do the heaviest advertising since Pokerstars already sponsors the ESPN web show The Inside Deal.