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According to a press release by ESPN.com, the 51st annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 NLHE World Championship, popularly known as the WSOP Main Event, will be broadcasted on ESPN2 on February 28 at 8 PM EST (March 1 at 6:30 AM IST).
This is the 19th consecutive year, the most prestigious poker tournament of the year will be broadcasted on the ESPN network. However, unlike previous years it won’t be the recurring show fans have gotten used to. Instead, the telecast will feature four hours of hand-to-hand action from the International and Domestic Final Tables, climaxing with the first-ever Heads-Up World Championship.
Commenting on the upcoming broadcast, the executive director of the WSOP, Ty Stewart, said, “We could not be more excited to deliver poker fans new primetime content on ESPN.”
Stewart added, “With compelling storylines and unpredictable action, these episodes remind us all why there was a poker boom in the first place.”
Senior Vice President, programming & acquisitions for ESPN, Tim Bunnell, shared: “We are ecstatic that even in an unprecedented year, we can give our audience another fantastic World Series of Poker event to look forward to.”
“The format may be different, but the action remains captivating,” he added.
Calling the action on the broadcast will be legendary announcer Lon McEachern. Joining him as co-host for the first-ever time will be Jamie Kerstetter. Poker Hall of Fame nominee and legendary commentator Norman Chad will not be a part of the show this time as he is still recovering from health issues due to the pandemic.
I would like to let our poker friends know that our colleague and pal @NormanChad is still recovering from some long-haul COVID-19 health issues thus preventing him from working on the upcoming @WSOP Main Event shows. We all wish him a full and healthy recovery.
— Lon McEachern (@lonmceachern) February 25, 2021
2020 was an unprecedented year for the poker industry, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing all live poker stops to either postpone or cancel. Resultantly, the 51st WSOP Main Event played out in a unique hybrid online-live format on WSOP.com and GGPoker before shifting to a live setting for final table play on two continents. The series’s domestic leg was championed by Louisiana native Joseph Hebert, who navigated his way across a 705-strong field to win $1,553,256. Argentinian pro Damian Salas conquered the Main Event’s international leg, topping 674 entries for $1,550,969.
The Heads-up Finale took place live at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on January 3. Damian Salas came out on top after defeating Joseph Hebert to claim $1 million in additional prize money added by Caesars Entertainment, Inc. and GGPoker, and the 2020 diamond and gold encrusted WSOP Main Event bracelet.
Does Damian Salas’ victory count as the official WSOP Main Event title, or was Stoyan Madanzhiev wronged is still up for debate. That said, poker fans will definitely have an exciting time watching the broadcast.
Content and Image Courtesy: ESPN.com