Poker Tournaments — Weekly Round-up for May 19, 2017

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated May 26, 2017

WSOP November Nine No Longer

As new contracts agreed with Poker Central and ESPN until 2020

A World Series of Poker (WSOP) advisory notes significant changes to the annual WSOP tournament format following new global television and digital media rights contracts agreed with ESPN and Poker Central.

Expanded programming will include live event coverage and original episodes throughout the year, the organisation said, and for the first time same-day coverage on ESPN from day one of the Main Event to the conclusion of the final table.

Beginning with the 2017 WSOP, several notable changes will take place, including the elimination of the “November Nine” format, which will be replaced by live coverage of the WSOP Main Event final table on ESPN/ESPN2 over three-days in July.

Live coverage will broadcast on a 30-minute delay as  per gaming regulations.

ESPN will telecast an estimated 40 hours of live WSOP Main Event coverage each July, plus a commitment of original packaged shows totaling 130 hours annually.  Any coverage not aired by ESPN will be streamed exclusively through Poker Central’s digital distribution channels.

“ESPN has been our home since 2002 and we’re delighted to extend the relationship into the next decade,” Ty Stewart, executive director, WSOP, said. “Having every day live coverage of the WSOP Main Event is truly a huge commitment on behalf of ESPN and Poker Central and we look forward to delivering to our faithful audience wall-to-wall action from the outset for the very first time.”

“We are thrilled to add the preeminent poker brand, the World Series of Poker, to our growing portfolio of poker-related content,” added JR McCabe, chief digital officer, Poker Central. “We have major plans to reinvent the WSOP offering to greatly expand how, when and where fans of the game of poker can watch and engage with the game.”

“The World Series of Poker has been a longstanding staple of ESPN programming,” concluded Dan Ochs, director of programming and acquisitions, ESPN.  “We are pleased to reach an agreement to continue to carry the sport’s most prominent event and modernize our coverage with the new same day live coverage throughout July each year.”

The new broadcast agreement runs through to 2020.

Canadian Pro Wins Partypoker Million North America

Jean-Pascal Savard bests field of 1,188 to claim Cdn$ 956,000 top prize

Canadian professional poker player Jean-Pascal Savard almost doubled his previous career earnings top score this week when he claimed the Cdn$ 956,000 after besting a field of 1.188 in the inaugural Cdn$ 5,300 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Party Poker Million North America event, hosted by the Montreal Playground Poker Club in his home province of Quebec.

The Cdn$ 5,709,750 prize pool generated by the event enabled 119 players to cash for at least Cdn$ 10,000 each, and makes for a new Canadian poker tournament record, according to local news reports.

Attrition whittled a stellar field down to a final table of 8 headed by chip leader Ari Engel after around 10 hours of action, but the leader’s run did not last long and he was eliminated at fifth. By the time the heads up started Savard held a chip advantage of 2 to 1 over fellow Quebecois finalist Jonathan Bussieres, but the two agreed a deal to bring a speedy end to the contest.

The duo agreed to reduce blinds to just 20 minutes and skip a level to begin at 6,000,000/12,000,000, and that brought play to a conclusion and victory for Savard after a further 30 minutes of play..

Bussieres’ spirited opposition was rewarded with a second placing prize of Cdn$ 693,950.

Other final table cashes included:

Philippe D’Auteuil – Cdn$ 450,000
Louis Boutin – Cdn$ 335,000
Ari Engel Cdn$ 238,350
Niall Farrell – Cdn$ 160,000
Matthew Waxman – Cdn$ 110,000
Rayan Chamas – Cdn$ 80,000

Pokerstars Delays Indian Venture

Online poker giant still seeks a suitable partner

The CEO of Pokerstars’ parent group Amaya Inc, Rafi Ashkenazi, has revealed that the company’s plans to enter the Indian market in H1-2017 have been delayed “by at least one or two quarters” whilst it finds a suitable local partner.

Ashkenazi said last year that his company was in talks with several possible joint venture partners but has not yet signed any agreements.

Pokerstars Crowns Another Millionaire

In PokerStars Makes Millionaires promotion

Another PokerStars Sit&Go player has become a millionaire on a mere $10 stake as part of the company’s Makes Millionaires promotion.

“meks2410” won the massive jackpot after hitting a full house in a $1 million Spin and Go tournament at PokerStars this week.

“Spin and Go remains one of our most popular games. Sitting down at a $10 game and walking away with $1 million a short while later shows why this format remains so popular. We look forward to creating even more winning moments for our players,” a PokerStars press statement reads.

InfoPowa readers will recall a similar report, just last week, detailing Check^On123’s million Dollar rise on a $100 Spin&Go.

PokerStars created three Spin & Go millionaires in 2016 and has made 16 millionaires since the first $1 million Spin & Go launched in January 2015.

Pokerstars Launch First Sunday Million Live With Euro 1 Million Guarantee

Hosted at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic

PokerStars’ virtual Sunday Million tournament is embarking on a special live terrestrial edition dubbed the €1 million guaranteed Sunday Million Live.

The special event will run from August 24 to September 3, 2017 at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.

PokerStars has introduced a structure enabling players to choose one or multiple Day 1 play either online or live at King’s Casino from June 18, 2017 with a buy-in of Euro 215.

Live Day 1’s start from August 24 at King’s Casino with a buy-in of Euro 220.

“The Sunday Million Live is a great addition to PokerStars’ rich and varied live events calendar, blending the best of our online and live poker offerings to create a truly unique and exciting event,” David Curtis, Live Events Manager, Europe for PokerStars, said.

More information on PokerStars inaugural Sunday Million Live can be accessed here:

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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