Fresh off the broadcast of the Super High Roller Bowl, Poker Central has announced its broadcast schedule and crew for the 2017 World Series of Poker. The team will include names familiar to poker fans, including ESPN’s Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, part of a rotating group of talent calling the bracelet action for Poker Central’s recently-launched subscription service, PokerGO.
Poker Central will air WSOP events from June 3 to July 17 on PokerGO, and action will then continue from July 20-22 on ESPN. The full PokerGO WSOP live streaming schedule (see below) includes 28 days of coverage including major tournaments such as $111,111 High Roller for One Drop, $10,000 Heads Up Championship, $1,500 Millionaire Maker, $10,000 H.O.R.S.E., and portions of the $10,000 Main Event not being broadcast by ESPN.
For the Main Event on ESPN, McEachern will continue to serve as play-by-play analyst with Chad will continue on color commentary. The two will be complemented by a mix of poker’s big-name players and broadcasters including Daniel Negreanu, Kara Scott, Antonio Esfandiari, and Joe Stapleton. For PokerGO’s Main Event coverage, those duties will be handled by Ali Nejad and Nick Schulman on the live stream. Other bracelet events covered by PokerGO will be led by McEachern, Chad, David Tuchman, Tatjana Pasalic, and others.
"We’re looking forward to having some of the industry’s best broadcasting talent cover the most thrilling poker action of the year," said JR McCabe, Poker Central chief digital officer. "Our team – spanning both ESPN and PokerGO – will bring the WSOP viewing experience to life for millions of people tuning in across the world."
Complete PokerGO WSOP Broadcast Schedule
|Saturday, June 3||2:30 p.m.||WSOP $111,111 High Roller for One Drop: Day 2|
|Sunday, June 4||2:30 p.m.||WSOP $111,111 High Roller for One Drop: Day 3|
|Monday, June 5||2:30 p.m.||WSOP $111,111 High Roller for One Drop: Day 4|
|Wednesday, June 7||3:30 p.m.||WSOP $10,000 Heads Up: Day 1|
|Thursday, June 8||12:30 p.m.||WSOP $10,000 Heads Up: Day 2|
|Friday, June 9||12:30 p.m.||WSOP $10,000 Heads Up: Day 3|
|Saturday, June 10||12:30 p.m.||WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold'em 6-Max|
|Wednesday, June 14||11:30 a.m.||WSOP $1,500 Millionaire Maker|
|Friday, June 16||12:30 p.m.||WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold'em 6-Max|
|Saturday, June 17||2:30 p.m.||WSOP $10,000 H.O.R.S.E|
|Sunday, June 18||11:30 a.m.||WSOP $1,000 No Limit Hold'em (Seniors)|
|Wednesday, June 21||2:30 p.m.||WSOP $5,000 No Limit Hold'em 6-Max|
|Friday, June 23||2:30 p.m.||WSOP $10,000 No Limit Hold'em 6-Max|
|Saturday, June 24||12:30 p.m.||WSOP $5,000 No Limit Hold'em|
|Tuesday, June 27||2:30 p.m.||WSOP $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha 6-Max|
|Thursday, June 29||12:30 p.m.||WSOP $1,500 No Limit Hold'em|
|Friday, June 30||12:30 p.m.||WSOP $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha|
|Sunday, July 2||12:30 p.m.||WSOP $5,000 No Limit Hold'em|
|Saturday, July 8||11 a.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 1A (Part A)|
|Saturday, July 8||5 p.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 1A (Part B)|
|Sunday, July 9||3 p.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 1B|
|Monday, July 10||11:30 a.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 1C|
|Tuesday, July 11||11:30 a.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 2A/B (Part A)|
|Tuesday, July 11||8 p.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 2A/B (Part B)|
|Wednesday, July 12||12:30 p.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 2C|
|Thursday, July 13||11:30 a.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 3|
|Friday, July 14||11:30 a.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 4 (Part A)|
|Friday, July 14||8 p.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 4 (Part B)|
|Saturday, July 15||1 p.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 5|
|Sunday, July 16||3 p.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 6|
|Monday, July 17||11 a.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 7 (Part A)|
|Monday, July 17||7:45 p.m.||WSOP Main Event: Day 7 (Part B)|
Under the terms of Poker Central’s new deal, ESPN will telecast 40 hours of live WSOP Main Event coverage each July plus original packaged shows totaling 130 hours annually. WSOP coverage not aired by ESPN will be streamed exclusively through PokerGO. This marks the first time ESPN will air same-day coverage of the WSOP from Day 1 of the Main Event to the conclusion of the final table, a model that will continue through 2020 under the deal.
"This year’s WSOP will deliver the most live broadcast coverage ever with ESPN and Poker Central’s commitment to premier poker," said Ty Stewart, WSOP executive director. "We can’t wait to provide the new storylines, surprises, and amazing moments of the WSOP with the help from our talented broadcast teams."
The WSOP is only a part of PokerGO’s plans for poker. The core of the platform is live poker streaming and the company has plans to stream more than 100 days of live poker every year.
“We hope to revitalize the way poker is viewed – showcasing it as an entertaining sport of skill and mind,” Vice President of Content Sampson Simmons said. “We’ll not only provide superior coverage of the most well-known poker events out there, but also feature those that have never been covered, in addition to creating entirely new formats that will be immensely entertaining. We’re going to satisfy poker’s most loyal fans and casual viewers alike.”
Growing the game is a necessity, Simmons says, and one of the biggest ways to achieve that is through complementary broadcast television partnerships that work in tandem with the PokerGO and reach a more casual audience. Along with the ESPN deal, over the past two months Poker Central has announced agreements with broadcasters like NBC Sports Network, which will dedicate primetime coverage on Monday nights to poker including the Super High Roller Bowl, Super High Roller Cash Game, and more.
Simmons says the Poker Central and PokerGO brands will work in tandem to provide a wide variety of poker coverage and entertainment across different mediums. Poker Central will remain a socially-driven editorial and video platform to highlight the lifestyle, storylines, and personalities featured within PokerGO programming.
PokerGO will exist as an app on mobile, OTT (meaning over-the-top content describing audio, video, and other media transmitted via the Internet as a standalone product), and console devices. PokerGO is now available via mobile on Apple and Android as well as AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV. Simmons expects rolling out the service to Xbox and PlayStation within the next few weeks.
Poker Central has partnered with several big name partners to serve as ambassadors to the brand and Simmons says they will play an integral part in the growth of PokerGO and will appear frequently in live events and original programming. The Super High Roller Bowl served as a preview, with Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Esfandiari, Tom Marchese, and Brian Rast all playing in the tournament with Maria Ho providing sideline coverage.
PokerGO will also offer programming beyond live poker streaming. Not only will all events be available as full-length Video On Demand (VOD) and digestible recap episodes, but the service will feature a wide variety of original programming. The first series offering is Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story, showcasing the story of Matt Berkey and his unlikely journey to cashing the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl for more than $1 million. More is planned throughout the summer with new episodes of Pokerography scheduled to premiere. Fan favorites like Poker After Dark, Doubles Poker Championship, Face the Ace, and more will also be offered.
Company officials have been pleased with where the service is headed so far.
“The initial reception of PokerGO has been overwhelmingly positive,” Simmons says. “We couldn’t have scripted a better launch to the service than the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl. With Kevin Hart bringing the laughs early in the tournament to Christoph Vogelsang putting on a poker clinic to take home the title, the event was a huge all-around success. We’re looking forward to diving into a full slate of WSOP coverage throughout the summer – we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s to come.”
Broadcast talent for WSOP bracelets events via PokerGO:
- Lon McEachern - play by play
- Norman Chad - color commentary
- David Tuchman - break desk host
- Tatjana Pasalic - sideline reporter
- Jeff Gross - break desk pro
- Jonathan Little - color commentary, break desk pro
- Doug Polk – color commentary, break desk pro
- David Williams - color commentary
Broadcast talent for WSOP Main Event:
- Lon McEachern - play by play, ESPN
- Norman Chad - color commentary, ESPN
- Kara Scott - break desk host and sideline reporter
- Joe Stapleton - sideline reporter
- Ali Nejad - play by play, PokerGO
- Nick Schulman - play by play, PokerGO
- Antonio Esfandiari - color commentary
- Daniel Negreanu - break desk pro
- Phil Hellmuth - break desk pro
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