- Andrew Feldman, ESPN.com
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Earlier this summer, ESPN offered poker fans more than 36 hours of nearly live coverage of the WSOP main event from Days 3-8. The WSOP broadcasts, seen on ESPN's family of networks on a 30-minute delay, featured hole cards once hands had been completed and commentary by top poker professionals that highlighted the real strategy element involved in every hand. It was groundbreaking, innovative and really, just the start. The way the industry viewed coverage of the world's largest poker event had been changed forever.
When we left the Rio in July, the November Nine had just been determined on ESPN2. When play resumes in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 6, the action will resume, for the first time, on ESPN2. Beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET, the cards will be in the air and broadcast virtually live on ESPN2. Play-by-play will be provided by Lon McEachern and David Tuchman with analysis offered by a soon-to-be-announced cast of professional poker players. Norman Chad and the ESPN Inside Deal team will provide coverage during the breaks.
Sunday's final table play will continue until three players remain. Monday, November 7 will be a day off for the players and three-handed action will begin at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 8, on ESPN with McEachern, Norman Chad and Antonio Esfandiari calling the action. On both days, in compliance with gaming regulations, the tournament will be broadcast virtually live on a 15-minute delay. Hole cards will be seen after the hand has been completed for any player who voluntarily enters the pot. Players who fold their hand preflop without putting any chips into the pot will not have their hand revealed.
"We had great success with our live WSOP main event shows this summer and this kind of unprecedented coverage of the final table on ESPN will allow fans to experience the culmination of the biggest event in poker," said Doug White, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions.
Coverage of both days of play will also be found on ESPN3.com, WSOP.com and on smartphones using the WatchESPN application.
"There are moments when you realize you're turning an important corner," said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. "This coverage shifts the paradigm for poker's potential on television and will showcase our championship with unprecedented richness and scale."
This year's November Nine will offer new, historic moments and as the final table gets closer, don't forget to catch up with the WSOP final table action every Tuesday night on ESPN from 9-11 p.m. ET.
World Series of Poker main event final table to be broadcast nearly live on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3.com