Tuesday, July 27, 2010

2010 WSOP on ESPN Tonight

2010 WSOP on ESPNESPN starts airing its coverage of the 2010 World Series of Poker tonight. There was an hour-long preview show last week, but today’s the day we start seeing some of the actual poker played at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino over the last couple of months.

Tonight there will be two hours’ worth of coverage of Event No. 2, the $50,000 Players Championship. A total of 116 players entered that one, played as an “8-game mix” tournament (a.k.a. S.P.L.E.N.D.O.R.) up until the final table, at which point the tourney reverted to no-limit hold’em only.

I imagine the show tonight might give some reference to the fact that other games were played, but we’ll likely only see no-limit hold’em hands.

(If somehow you are reading this and do not already know who won Event No. 2 -- and you wish not to know before tonight -- you might skip down to the schedule below.)

Kind of serendipitous for ESPN, given how both Event No. 2 and the Main Event played out. They get both Michael and Robert Mizrachi at the final table for the Players Championship, and so get to play up that angle which then gets reprised big time in the Main Event when four Mizrachis (Michael, Robert, Danny, and Eric) make the cash, and one (Michael) survives all of the way to the November Nine.

The Grinder was already known as a poker TV star before thanks to his two WPT victories, but after the next few months his celebrity status will elevate considerably as he becomes known by even the most casual fans.

Event No. 2 is actually the only preliminary bracelet event that ESPN is giving any attention to this time around. Next week will be the Tournament of Champions (a non-bracelet event), then it’ll be the Main Event all of the way to November.

Here’s the full schedule (all times Eastern). I’ve linked to PokerNews’ coverage of each event/day along the way:
  • Tuesday, July 27, 8-10 p.m.: Event No. 2, $50,000 Players Championship

  • Tuesday, August 3, 8-10 p.m.: WSOP Tournament of Champions

  • Tuesday, August 10, 8-10 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship (Main Event), Day 1a & Day 1b

  • Tuesday, August 17, 8-10 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 1c & Day 1d

  • Tuesday, August 24, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 2a

  • Tuesday, August 31, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 2b

  • Tuesday, September 7, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 3

  • Tuesday, September 14, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 4

  • Tuesday, September 21, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 5

  • Tuesday, September 28, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 6

  • Tuesday, October 5, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 6 (continued)

  • Tuesday, October 12, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 7

  • Tuesday, October 19, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 7 (continued)

  • Tuesday, October 26, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship Championship (Main Event), Day 8

  • Tuesday, November 2, 9-11 p.m.: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship (Main Event), Day 8

  • Tuesday, November 9, 9 p.m.-until: Event No. 57, $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship (Main Event), final table
  • This schedule is, of course, subject to change. Indeed, as far as the Main Event is concerned, this is a little different from what was given to us in the WSOP Official Media Guide, where it was suggested there would be four weeks (eight hours) devoted to the Day 1 flights. However, we were also advised there to consult the ESPN MediaZone site for the most up-to-date info on the schedule, and there it says we’re only going to have two weeks (four hours) of Day 1 coverage, and more time devoted to Days 6 and 7.

    It could be the Mizrachi brothers’ story was one reason for that shift in emphasis. In any event, I think I like having more attention given to the later days of the event, when there was much more drama, relatively speaking, than early on.

    All360PokerMeanwhile, if you can’t wait for ESPN to air its coverage of the 2010 WSOP, you can head over to All360Poker where you can watch some of the more exciting hands from the Main Event right now. Also available over there are some hands from many of the preliminary events as well -- just keep clicking on “Older Entries” to go back.

    Pretty cool stuff -- you can click and drag the image around to change the point of view as the hands play out. You can even download and save video files, if you wanna (although they are quite large).

    I had a chance to meet and hang out some with the All360Poker guys at the WSOP. There are big plans in the works for this new technology -- not just for covering poker, but other sporting events, too. Incidentally, if you want to read more about the technology used for the All360Poker stuff and some of the ideas behind its current and future uses, check out this article by Dan Michalski over on the WSOP site.

    Meanwhile, happy viewing.

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