2011 World Series of Poker Main Event on ESPN

Miscellaneous Sports

2011 World Series of Poker Main Event on ESPN

Unedited Action, Hole Cards on Limited Delay and 40 Hours of Live Coverage Starting July 14

ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the 2011 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event begins Thursday, July 14, from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the first time, ESPN’s presentation of poker’s marquee event will feature ‘live’ unedited hole cards on a 30-minute delay and unprecedented 40 hours of coverage in high definition on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.

From July 14-19, ESPN will offer six consecutive days of coverage of the WSOP Main Event, where every hand will be shown unedited and hole cards will be available post-flop (for all players still in the hand).  Coverage will shift between two feature tables approximately every 30 minutes and will show all “all-in” and “call” situations at both tables when possible.

Lon McEachern and David Tuchman will handle the play-by-play for the live coverage with a rotation of professional poker players providing analysis. ESPN will also use a sideline reporter for the first time with Kara Scott making her WSOP debut.

The 2011 World Series of Poker presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Tuesday night telecasts with McEachern, Norman Chad and sideline reporter Scott will begin Tuesday, July 26 on ESPN for 16 consecutive weeks leading up to the November Nine final table on Nov. 8 (ESPN, 9-11p.m.).

ESPN’s coverage of the 42nd annual WSOP is being handled by executive producer Mori Eskandani and POKER PROductions for the first time, which has been widely praised for producing top-level poker telecasts, including Poker After Dark and WSOP-Europe. Together, ESPN and POKER PROductions will offer a new vision for this year’s WSOP that will bring a major sports event feel to the telecasts. In addition to live hole cards, planned highlights include:

  • Replays and analysis from poker professionals – top poker pros will make guest appearances during the telecasts and examine hands more in-depth to explain how they were played;
  • Sideline reporter – Scott will interview players before they sit down at the tables and after they compete;
  • New set design – The new WSOP set, created by Orlando-based Innovative Show Design, provides a true poker arena with bleacher seating equipped with an enormous lighting grid that resembles a WSOP bracelet. A large jumbotron is part of the structure and poker players will enter the competition area through a tunnel. The entire space is much more open for players and spectators to see the table, and the LED boards throughout the arena add to the big-event atmosphere.
  • Player profile features – Segments will highlight WSOP players away from the table, including Chris Moneymaker in Memphis, poker Triple Crown winner Jake Cody in Las Vegas, and others.
  • Segments with Joe Navarro – The 25-year FBI agent, an expert in non-verbal communication, will analyze body language and other “tells” from hands shown during the broadcasts, to evaluate the strength of a poker player’s hand. Video.

“From unprecedented live coverage to a greater emphasis on analysis and a stunning poker arena, we are introducing a variety of new elements to ESPN’s presentation of the World Series of Poker that will enhance our multiplatform coverage and bring fans even closer to the action at poker’s premier event,” said Doug White, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions.

ESPN’s 2011 WSOP Coverage by the Numbers:

4.5 – Miles of cable

10 – Number of days to build the WSOP bracelet-themed lighting truss structure

40 – Number of live hours of Main Event coverage – a first

55 – Number of ESPN cameras (18 Hole Card cams, 14 feature cams, 9 secondary table cams + others)

85 – Number of LED video panels throughout the room

150 – Number of people involved in the WSOP telecasts

700 – Number of lights used on-set

1,000 – Number of man hours needed to go from an empty room to final set for the telecast

ESPN.com poker editor and blogger Andrew Feldman and other experts will provide complete coverage on location with blogs, podcasts, videos, interviews with the games’ top players and more. Fans can also follow @ESPN_Poker on Twitter for instant updates and tournament coverage.

About ESPN

ESPN, Inc., the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 50 business entities, launched its first network on September 7, 1979 in 1.4 million homes. Today, both ESPN and ESPN2 are available in more than 100 million homes respectively, and ESPN’s media platforms are America’s top source for sports programming, news and information.  ESPN3.com is ESPN’s live sports broadband network, a 24/7 online destination that delivers thousands of live, global sports events annually.  ESPN3.com is currently available in approximately 70 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or cable TV video subscription from an affiliated service provider.  It is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.

2011 WSOP Live Main Event Telecast Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Show Network
Thu., July 14 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. WSOP Day 3~ ESPN3.com
  7 – 9 p.m. and11 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. WSOP Day 3 ESPN2/ESPN3.com
Fri., July 15 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. WSOP Day 4~ ESPN3.com
  7 – 9 p.m. and11 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. WSOP Day 4 ESPN2/ESPN3.com
Sat., July 16 3:30 – 10 p.m. WSOP Day 5, part 1 ESPN2/ESPN3.com
  midnight – 2:30 a.m. WSOP Day 5, part 2 ESPN2/ESPN3.com
Sun., July 17 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. WSOP Day 6~ ESPN3.com
  10 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. WSOP Day 6 ESPN2/ESPN3.com
Mon., July 18 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. WSOP Day 7~ ESPN3.com
  7 p.m. – 10 p.m. WSOP Day 7, down to 27, part 1 ESPN2/ESPN3.com
  Midnight – 2:30 a.m.* WSOP Day 7, down to 27, part 2 ESPN2/ESPN3.com
Tue., July 19 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. WSOP Day 8~ ESPN3.com
  8 p.m. – 10 p.m. * WSOP Day 8, down to 9, part 1 ESPN/ESPN3.com
  Midnight – 4:30 a.m.* WSOP Day 8, down to 9, part 2 ESPN2/ESPN3.com

~ no hole cards

* Play could run long

* TV schedule subject to change

Note: The World Series of Poker presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky weekly taped shows continue in primetime Tuesday, July 26 through Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Visit ESPN’s WSOP press kit for the latest schedules, news, photos, video and audio clips, and more.

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Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s College Sports PR, while also working on ESPN soccer, Around the Horn, PTI and more. Previously oversaw communications for ESPN's Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows.
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