ESPN to Feature 126 Hours of 2011 WSOP Coverage

It has been a rough couple of weeks for TV poker fans, as shows like “The Big Game,” NAPT coverage were cancelled in the wake of Black Friday and several other shows’ futures hang in the balance.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel though, as an announcement from ESPN and the World Series of Poker revealed that the channel will be expanding its WSOP coverage this summer, including near-live coverage with hole cards of the Main Event.

The coverage plan for this summer’s WSOP includes 32 hours of the WSOP coverage viewers have come to know and love airing from July to November, but will also feature 126 hours of near-live coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3.  This year’s coverage is more than twice the amount of programming

The near-live coverage on ESPN and ESPN2 will be streamed on a 30-minute delay and will include hole cards post-flop. The coverage of the Main Event will begin on Day 3 and feature anywhere from three and a half to nine hours of content each day. On Tuesday, July 19th, ESPN and ESPN2 will be airing all the action from 4:30PM onward as the final three tables play down to the November Nine.

The ESPN3 coverage will be very similar to the live streaming of the WSOP fans have enjoyed in past years. The channel will provide additional Main Event coverage as well as streaming of the WSOP Grudge Matches, $25,000 Heads-Up event, and $50,000 Poker Players Championship. Those three events will also be featured on ESPN’s regular coverage of the event, starting with the Grudge Matches on Tuesday, July 26th.

The near-live coverage will be anchored by Lon McEachern and Live at the Bike Host David Tuckman. Those fans of Norm Chad need not worry though. He will still be part of the weekly coverage airing in the fall.

This year’s WSOP is less than four weeks away. Action begins on May 31st with the Casino Employee’s Event and the $25,000 buy-in Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em Championship.

ESPN has the complete broadcast schedule for this summer’s festivities.

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