Friday, May 22, 2009

On ESPN’s Coverage of the WSOP, Continued

ESPN360.comFollowing up on yesterday’s post regarding ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker comes the good news. Yesterday came the announcement that 24 of the preliminary events will be streamed live on either ESPN360 or Bluff.

Of the 24 events on the schedule, 19 are hold’em (one limit, three pot-limit, 14 no-limit, and one mixed limit/no-limit). Three more are pot-limit Omaha events, and one is the $2,500 buy-in PLO/PLH mixed event. I recall there was a similar principle of selection followed last year for the televised final tables, with stud and draw games being excluded entirely.

It’s understandable, for instance, why they wouldn’t want to show a draw event where no cards are seen until the showdown (if then), although I remember saying on the blog last summer how cool it would be to have, say, a Daniel Negreanu or Mike Caro or Billy Baxter or some other old schooler do some commentary for such an event.

Actually, now that I look back I’m recalling a small furor that arose after the final table of the $5,000 Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw w/rebuys event went down without being streamed live. The reason why people were griping was because the final table for that one included Jeff Lisandro, Mike Matusow, Tom Schneider, Erick Lindgren, Barry Greenstein, Tony G, and David Benyamine.

The WSOP put out a press release shortly after that, explaining how “draw poker of any kind is a difficult sell for both viewers and spectators.” So none of that is going to go out on the intertubes, nor will there be any stud events. There will, however, be coverage of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E., the lone televised event to feature games without flops. So there will be some pictures to go along with PokerNews’ live blog. provides free access to their live streaming coverage of sporting events if you happen to be accessing the web via one of ESPN360’s affiliated internet service providers. Here on my home computer, I apparently do not. As I recall, the word was last summer a lot of other folks didn’t have access to ESPN360, either. Which is a damn shame.

Twelve of the 24 events that will be streamed live are scheduled for ESPN360 (including the $50K H.O.R.S.E.). The other dozen will be shown over on the Bluff site. I’m not certain, but I think this means the rest of the world may get to see these final tables no matter what affiliations yr ISP’s do or do not have. (Kevmath, do you know?)

By the way, these live streams don’t use hole card cameras, of course, but do show every hand, just as those of us sitting tableside will be seeing.

Meanwhile, tomorrow is the second of the two events scheduled for PokerListings’ Run Good Challenge 3: WSOP Edition. The event kicks off over at PokerStars at 2 p.m. Eastern. There were 25 runners out for last Saturday’s event, so I’m assuming there will something in that neighborhood again this time. The top two finishers win spots in $1,500 WSOP preliminary events.

Unfortunately, there will be no live streaming of the final RGC 3 event anywhere. However, I do have an exclusive preview of the event. Click below to watch. Speaking of running good, it is my plan to run exactly like Bugs Bunny does in the latter part of this, one of the best poker/gambling films ever made:

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Blogger Unknown said...

The site is accessible to everyone, so don't see a reason why they'd be stopping people from trying to view their stream.

For those outside the US, is carrying the ESPN360 stream. Last year, bwin had the European rights to almost all events streamed on ESPN360 (I believe they signed up for Euro rights after the 1st or 2nd streamed FT), and those in the US were still able to see those final tables thru their link.

I guess we'll find out on June 2nd if PKR is going to geoblock US IP's from seeing the 1k final table (which is not on June 3rd as noted in the WSOP Calendar).

5/22/2009 8:32 AM  

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