ESPN is expanding its coverage of the 2011 WSOP Main Event by adding a live broadcast which will include vision of hole cards.
This will be the first live broadcast of the WSOP, with ESPN planning to show every hand unedited, while only players active in the hand will have their hole cards shown and only after the flop.
ESPN will broadcast 30 minute blocks from two feature tables and will show all-in and call situations at both.
ESPN has positioned itself as the leader in poker broadcasts and adds live WSOP broadcasts to its bulging poker catalogue which now includes a live stream of the WSOP classic re-matches, the $25,000 Heads Up No Limit Championship and the $50,000 Poker Players Championship.
ESPN head of programming Matthew Volk said this year, home viewers will have the best seat in the house for pokers premier event.
“Fans will see hole-cards post flop and get an inside look at all of the strategy, angst and competition of the world’s best players vying for a seat at the most prestigious final table in the sport,” said Volk.
WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart is calling the new coverage a historic milestone for both the WSOP and ESPN.
“The addition of live event-style coverage, with hole cards in July, and prime time shows leading up to the crowning of a champion in November, provides our fans more access than ever before, and we are extremely proud to be with a company dedicated to realizing the potential of the game,” said Stewart.
Norman Chad will not be a part of the live WSOP Main Event broadcasts, with Lon McEachern and David Tuchman providing the play-by-play comments, while professional players will provide cutting edge insights during the live broadcast.
As usual the WSOP Tuesday night telecasts with Lon McEachern and Norman Chad will begin airing on ESPN on July 26 and will run for 16 weeks leading up to the November Nine final table, which will take place on November 8th.