You no longer have to be in Las Vegas to watch the final table of the World Series of Poker.
ESPN announced today that it has extended its deal with Harrah's Entertainment to televise the WSOP on ESPN until 2010. In addition to the regular television coverage, poker fans will be able to watch the final table live through ESPN PPV.
For $24.95, poker enthusiasts will be able to see all the action as it happens with "The World Series of Poker Live!" from the 2006 final table on their TV screens or via live video stream at ESPN.com. Viewers can catch the action as players vie for an estimated $10 million first prize, with live coverage running from 3 p.m. ET on Aug. 10 until the champion is crowned.
The pay-per-view special will be offered in addition to ESPN's regularly televised presentation of the 2006 World Series of Poker, including circuit championships, bracelet championships and the entire main event on ESPN as well as content and preview episodes on ESPN360 (broadband) and coverage on ESPN.com.
"This agreement signifies our commitment to provide both our core and casual viewers with programming that offers the highest levels of competition and entertainment value across a variety of media assets. We look forward to continuing to build this premier franchise with our partners at Harrah's," said John Wildhack, ESPN senior vice president, programming acquisitions and strategy.
WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack said, "Since 1993, ESPN has been the exclusive telecast partner of the World Series of Poker. Its programming expertise and global distribution has helped our tournament become the biggest and the best. This new agreement -- by far the largest television deal in poker history -- affirms our mutual commitment to growth and further establishes the World Series of Poker as the No. 1 brand in poker and as a leader on the sports and entertainment landscape."
Viewers who want to purchase "The World Series of Poker Live!" can order ESPN pay-per-view online on ESPN.com (search "PPV" or "poker"), at espnpayperview.com/espnppv or by contacting their pay-per-view provider.
Regular television coverage of the 2006 WSOP, presented by Milwaukee's Best Light, will begin July 18 and will include 32 one-hour episodes.
Andrew Feldman is the ESPN Poker Club's columnist, editor, producer and tournament director. Andrew is also the co-host of the Poker Edge on ESPNRadio.com. To contact Andrew, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.