It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, but the World Poker Tour is in the midst of their Season XVII schedule as we speak. As the final few events prepare to wrap ahead of the 2019 WPT Tournament of Champions, the broadcasts of the prior WPT events that make up Season XVII will start their broadcast run on Sunday over the FOX Sports Regional Networks.
Back in the broadcast chairs for their second season together are commentator Vince Van Patten and color man Tony Dunst, who will take the viewers through seven of the Season XVII tournaments. Over 24 episodes, will enter into familiar territory for the WPT such as the Commerce Casino, but will also venture to the very first stop by the circuit in South America in Uruguay. Along with Phil Hellmuth, who handles the “Raw Deal” segments, and show anchor Lynn Gilmartin, the WPT continues to bring the finest broadcasts of tournament poker to the poker audience.
“The World Poker Tour is proud to present a new season of world-class poker and production,” Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the WPT, said. “In our 17th season on the air, the World Poker Tour is one of the longest-running shows ever produced and is, once again, the number-one regularly scheduled program on FOX Sports Regional Networks. Season XVII sends the World Poker Tour to stunning global destinations and further establishes HyperX Esports Arena as the new televised global home of the WPT television show.”
“Fans of the World Poker Tour television show can expect production value like never before in Season XVII,” said Johnny McMahon, the Vice President of WPT Studios. “From our first show ever filmed in South America, to the premiere of the WPT Cash Games at Commerce Casino and HyperX Esports Arena, the WPT remains on the cutting edge of global entertainment.”
Both Pliska and McMahon cite some of the newer changes that will make the Season XVII televised programs something to watch. Over the past year, the WPT has postponed final tables to allow for them to be filmed at one location, the HyperX Esports Arena in Las Vegas. These postponed final tables, which reminded many of the “November Nine” experiment by the World Series of Poker that lasted for a decade, have been met with a mixture of response from the poker community.
The WPT Cash Game is also something that has never been attempted on the WPT before. In the past, the televised broadcasts have focused on the tournament poker world rather than cash games. This could be a response by the WPT to the fans for more in-depth poker that cash games present rather than the “whims of fate” that sometimes occur with tournament poker.
What might be the most interesting of the broadcasts during the Season XVII run of the WPT on FOX Sports will be the ClubWPT Challenge the Champs. Two qualifiers from the WPT’s online poker site, ClubWPT, will earn the chance to play against six WPT Champions’ Club members. At this point, three of those former champions have been announced – Poker Hall of Famers Mike Sexton and Scotty Nguyen and four-time WPT champion Darren Elias, the all-time leader in wins on the WPT circuit. How will the ClubWPT qualifiers fare against the Champions?
The new episodes of the World Poker Tour will appear on Sundays on the individual FOX Sports Regional Networks, but it could be anywhere between 8PM and 11PM. Due to the individual FOX Regional Network contracts, local programming may preempt the WPT broadcast, thus the window is given to be able to get the WPT show on the air. As always, viewers need to check their local outlets for more information and any rebroadcasts that are run throughout the week.