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ESPN to broadcast WSOP Europe

5 January 2009

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Beginning on Sunday, Feb. 1, ESPN will devote eight original hours of coverage to the World Series of Poker – Europe Main Event from the Casino at the Empire in the heart of downtown London's theater district.

This tournament was among the most grueling and exciting of all of the tournaments played in the WSOP, and attracted an extremely formidable field of 362 top players from Europe, the United States, and around the world. Play took place over a six-day period, with the initial field divided into two starting days, and culminated in a final table which took more than 19 hours to complete. At stake was the first place prize of more than $1.5 million and the highly coveted WSOP – Europe Main Event bracelet.

ESPN's coverage of the World Series of Poker – Europe will begin on Feb. 1 with the first four episodes beginning at 6 p.m. ET, followed by an encore presentation of episodes 1 and 2 on ESPN2 at 10 p.m., co-hosted by Lon McEachern and Norman Chad.

"The intimate look and feel of this tournament is different from other WSOP events we produced in the United States," said Doug White, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions.

The cavernous Amazon Room at the Rio in Las Vegas, which housed all of the tournaments held last summer, has given way to a small club where players are seated at tables on two different levels; off in a side room, under the stairs, behind the bar, near the roulette tables, and in front of an ice cream shop.

Thanks to a new innovation called the Mobile Hole Card Camera, for the first time ever, ESPN will be able to show the hole cards from key hands at many of these outer tables in addition to the feature table.

"We believe the Mobile Hold Card Camera will provide fans a great understanding of the overall story behind the tournament, and how the players advanced to the final table," said Jamie Horowitz, ESPN senior sports producer.

The ESPN2 air dates listed below: (ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN)

10pm Episode #1
11pm Episode #2

10pm Episode #3
11pm Episode #4

10pm Episode #5
11pm Episode #6

10pm Episode #7
11pm Episode #8

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