They were the first network to ever televise a poker tournament live and, come Thanksgiving, Fox Sports Network will do it again!
In 2004, FSN broke new ground in the poker world when they broadcast the American Poker Championships from Turning Stone Casino in New York. They followed that up with the live broadcast of the FullTiltPoker.net Championship at the Wynn the week of the finale of the World Series of Poker this year. Now, Fox Sports heads international as they team up with Full Tilt again for the FullTiltPoker.net Invitational Live from Monaco on Thanksgiving evening.
The list of players lined up for the event looks like it will be one of those sit and goes that you don't want any part of! Confirmed entries for the event in Monte Carlo include former World Champions Phil Hellmuth and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, who will be joined at the table by fellow professionals John Juanda and David "DevilFish" Ulliot. Three other players have been extended invitations, Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen and Mike Matusow, but we'll have to wait until showtime (live at 6PM on the East Coast) to see what the actual final lineup will be.
Each player will be putting up $120,000 and Full Tilt will add in another $160,000, bringing the total purse to a cool $1 million. Only the final three players left at the table will walk away with any of the bounty, with third place getting their buy in back, second taking $280,000 and the first place winner walking off with $600,000. FSN will also be bringing back the always popular heart monitors that will be worn by each player, for those fans at home to see the calm (or lack thereof) that the players bring to the tables with the high stakes they are facing.
Fox Sports Network has truly been one of the vanguards of poker broadcasting on television. Not only are they (so far) the ONLY network to ever attempt to broadcast a live poker tournament final table, they have also been at the forefront to bringing other tournaments to the public. FSN has been the home of the Poker Superstars International tournaments (a third is set to begin in March 2006), and will also be the home of the Monte Carlo Millions event (due in January 2006) and the Aussie Millions tournament (coming in April 2006).
"Poker is one of the most durable pieces of programming to ever hit cabletelevision. It rates well and it repeats well," said George Greenberg, FSN's Executive Vice President of Programming and Production. This is an obvious factor when, in looking at a list of FSN's top ten programs for 2005, seven of them are poker-related programming. "Poker sponsors are fabulous collaborators and are singularly focused on how to grow the game of poker. FSN is pleased to be a part of the rapid expansion of the game," added Greenberg.
Barry Tompkins will once again provide the draw by draw action, with the color of the game being provided by the "Professor of Poker", Howard Lederer. Lederer is ready, as well, for the continuation of poker programming on Fox Sports Network. "FSN has always been a great partner for Full Tilt and, with the FullTiltPoker.net Invitational Live from Monaco, we will continue to push the envelope of televised poker, this time on international soil," said Howard. So after you've entered your tryptophan-induced Thanksgiving respite, be sure to have the dial turned to Fox Sports Network's third live event with the FullTiltPoker.net Invitational Live from Monaco, starting at 6PM (Eastern Standard Time) on Thanksgiving night!
Ed Note: You don't need an invite to play at Full Tilt