This marks the ninth straight season that the WSOP has been shown exclusively on ESPN. Similar to the way the tournament was shown in the past, in 2012, ESPN will feature one new show per week, which will air every Tuesday night, from July 31 through October 30. Many nights will include two hours of fresh coverage. The series will run in chronological order.
To kick-off ESPN’s WSOP programming schedule, the conclusion of the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop: No-Limit Hold’em final table will air ( almost) live—on a 15-minute delay on Tuesday, July 3rd at 8:00 PM PST. The winner of this debut event is expected to walk away with the largest prize ever awarded in poker history. ESPN plans to cover this historic event similar to the way a major sporting contest is broadcast.
As has become a popular tradition, broadcasters Norman Chad and Lon McEachern will call all the action, alongside Kara Scott.
It started in 2006 and quickly became one of the WSOP’s most anticipated events of the year. Taking on added significance with the passing of the first-ever champion, Chip Reese, the “Poker Players Championship” is Event No. 45 on this year’s schedule.
The tournament – which begins on Sunday, June 24th, requires participants to play a rotation of eight popular forms of poker – including Limit Hold’em, Omaha High-Low Split, Razz, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High- Low Split 8, No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball – to determine the game’s greatest “all-around” player.
During the 2012 World Series of Poker, WSOP.com (the event’s official website) will live stream all gold bracelet event final tables. This means poker fans can watch every single gold bracelet being won.
Up to three final tables a day may be streamed, but in most instances, two different final tables will stream daily, with scheduled start times of 1 pm PT and 2 pm PST.
This marks the fifth straight year of the so-called “delayed” Main Event final table. Years ago, the finale was played in the summer, at the conclusion of the long series of gold bracelet events.
However, in 2008, the WSOP revolutionized everything by delaying the final table more than three months, ultimately playing the championship in the fall. While initially controversial, this format has proven to be popular with players and fans alike. 2012 marks another challenge for the “November Nine” concept since the finale would otherwise conflict with the U.S. Presidential Election, which falls in early November.
Gold Bracelet Event #55 on this year’s WSOP schedule is unlike anything in history. The special No-Limit Hold’em tournament will have the astronomical buyin of one-million dollars – which is four times the buyin of the previous high-mark for a tournament entry fee.
This tournament, called the “Big One for One Drop” has all the makings of an instant classic. It has been called insane, audacious and incomprehensible. But one thing is for sure, this event will capture the attention of the poker world like no event before it. The Big One for One Drop is a madefor-television, charity poker tournament that will award the largest first-place prize ever, and feature the most unique collection of millionaires (and billionaires) ever assembled together.
A week ago today the 43rd annual World Series of Poker got underway at the Rio All-Suites Resort and Casino in Las Vegas with the traditional closed Event 1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em. Since then, six bracelets have been awarded. Attendance has been slightly down from last year, but the return of superstar Phil Ivey and the presence of dozens of other famous names and faces has still invigorated the poker community, still reeling over a year after Black Friday.
With four different women making the final table at four different events, hopes are high that we might soon have another female open-event bracelet winner, breaking the dry spell since Vanessa Selbst's 2008 win. But the biggest news of the week was that perennial bridesmaid Andy Bloch won his first WSOP bracelet, in Event 7: $1,500 Seven Card Stud.