ESPN Releases 2013 WSOP Broadcast Schedule

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ESPN released the television schedule for the 2013 World Series of Poker (WSOP) on Wednesday, revealing that once again, “Tuesday is Poker Night” on America’s behemoth cable sports network.

The home viewing fun starts in about a month, when ESPN broadcasts the final table of the inaugural World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) Main Event. The telecast will run through two consecutive hours on Tuesday, July 23rd, starting at 9:00pm ET. That tournament kicked off one of the best runs of Daniel Negreanu’s career, as he won the event, cashing for just over $1 million. Shortly thereafter, he finished fourth in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final and followed that one up with a seventh place effort in the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship. Negreanu currently sits atop the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year standings.

A week after the WSOP APAC episodes comes the airing of the WSOP National Championship final table, the culmination of the WSOP Circuit season.

Then, from August through the Main Event final table at the beginning of November, it is all Main Event coverage, all the time. Each Tuesday from August 6th through October 29th will see two episodes air on ESPN, one at 9:00pm ET and one immediately following at 10:00pm, just like with the WSOP APAC final table. The one break in that pattern will be after August 27th, when two weeks will be skipped before WSOP coverage picks up again on September 17th.

Main Event final table coverage will commence on Monday, November 4th at 8:00pm ET on ESPN2 and will continue until three players of the “November Nine” remain. The conclusion of the final table will air Tuesday, November 5th, at 9:00pm on ESPN. Both telecasts will be “virtually live” on just a 15-minute delay, complete with hole cards and commentary from long-time ESPN poker announcers Lon McEachern and Norman Chad.

“We’re looking forward to showcasing the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific Main Event to our viewers for the first time ever,” said ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions Doug White in a press release. “WSOP events are always filled with drama and the season leading up to the greatest night of poker—the Final Table in November—will definitely be must-watch television for poker fans.”

ESPN used to broadcast many preliminary events in addition to the Main Event, but those tournaments began to be eliminated from the schedule in 2008. Seven preliminary events were shown that year, down from ten in 2007. That number was slashed to just three in 2009 and then two in 2010. Three events other than the Main Event hit television sets in 2011, but last year, the only tournaments broadcast besides the Main Event were the million dollar Big One for One Drop and the WSOP National Championship. There is no Big One for One Drop tournament this year, so the WSOP APAC Main Event final table was inserted in its place.

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