The US government attempted to scare online poker players off their computers several weeks ago when the Department of Justice issued an indictment against executives of Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars. That scare tactic, however, may have backfired.
Now that millions of Americans are scurrying to find places to enjoy the game of poker, the World Series of Poker has supplied one outlet, and it is on the computer. Fifty-five tournament final tables will be streaming live on the Internet.
It is never possible to go full live in poker, with so much of the action hinging on what cards players are holding in their hands. This year, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky will be sponsoring the Internet coverage of the final tables that will run on a five minute tape delay.
ESPN3 will be streaming the Main Event, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, and the $25,000 Heads-up events. With the other fifty-five final tables being shown on WSOP.com, this will be the first year that all of the events at the WSOP will be shown live. It is a step that poker fans everywhere are excited about.
“I used to sit in front of my computer and re-load the WSOP results and update pages so I could see who was being knocked out of the tournaments,” said poker enthusiast Glenn Pratts. “I can’t wait to watch some of these final tables play out live this year. You can learn so much from just watching the game.”
One advantage viewers will not be afforded is to see players’ hole cards. When ESPN shows their taped and edited coverage, viewers can see the hole cards and also receive commentary from the analysts following the action. Even without that capability, poker fans were thrilled with the news this week.
“It is going to be amazing to watch these tournaments play out, and all the drama that goes with a final table,” said Sierra Jones. “I just hope I don’t get too hooked like it is a reality show or something.”