Call it the World Poker Tour on steroids. WPT Alpha8, a series of tournaments with a minimum buy-in of $100,000, was announced Thursday by the WPT with the first event set to take place in August at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida.
A three-year broadcast agreement with Fox Sports 1, the new national sports network debuting August 17, will ensure the new TV show hits plenty of homes. Four one-hour episodes from each Alpha8 tour stop will be broadcast beginning in March 2014.
“Showcasing the world’s poker elite and featuring multimillion dollar prize pools, Alpha8 represents the highest televised treatment of super high-roller tournament poker to date. Playing out over a global stage, this series will give audiences insight into the intensity and skill demanded at the sport’s highest levels,” said Adam Pliska, World Poker Tour President.
The WPT made their first on-air talent announcement, making Lynn Gilmartin as the show’s anchor. No official announcement has been made about other on-air talent but based on the “fresh new talent” approach stressed it the press release it appears that WPT hosts Mike Sexton and Vince van Patten will not be part of broadcast team.
“We’re excited to bring WPT’s new high-roller series to FS1 viewers,” said FOX Sports 1 Vice President of Programming David Sussin. “With this new series, WPT has significantly raised the stakes of televised poker. By increasing the risk and raising the pressure, WPT Alpha8 delivers more drama and bigger personalities, and we’re confident the show will quickly become a habit for our viewers.”
WPT Alpha8’s first season will include events in North America, Europe, Asia, and South Africa with tournament structures designed by WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage.
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