Posts Tagged ‘PokerStars’

On May 8th, the 2011 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker, or SCOOP, will commence. This year’s running, the third overall, is monstrous. A total of 38 events will be held over the course of two weeks and, for each, three levels of buy-ins will be available: Low, Mid, and High.

In 2010, a total of $63 million was ultimately distributed across 38 SCOOP events. This year, $45 million is guaranteed and the actual prize pool is sure to soar much higher. Why should you play in the 2011 SCOOP? What’s the point? Text found on the PokerStars Blog explains, “If you’re just tuning in, SCOOP is a different kind of online tournament series. Instead of being for little, medium, or big bankrolls, it offers three buy-in levels for every one of its events. You can play one or all of them, depending on your ability to multitask and such.”

Satellites to 2011 SCOOP tournaments will kick off on March 14th on the world’s largest online poker site. On the popular poker forum PocketFives.com, several new players were looking forward to their first ever PokerStars SCOOP. One poster wrote, “Not bad. Depending on my work schedule, I may be able to get 5 or 6 events in! This will be my first ever major online poker event, or any major poker event for that matter.”

The three SCOOP Main Events will pan out on May 22nd beginning at 17:00 ET and offer a combined $9 million in prize money. Without further delay, here’s the complete 2011 PokerStars SCOOP schedule:

Sunday, May 8th

Event #1: 13:00 ET
Low: $22 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max, $300,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max, $750,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max, $1,000,000 Guaranteed

Event #2: 17:00 ET
Low: $22 No Limit Hold’em, $300,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 No Limit Hold’em, $1,500,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 No Limit Hold’em, $1,500,000 Guaranteed

Monday, May 9th

Event #3: 14:00 ET
Low: $5.50 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max Rebuy, $250,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $55 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max Rebuy, $500,000 Guaranteed
High: $530 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max Rebuy, $750,000 Guaranteed

Event #4: 17:00 ET
Low: $16.50 Badugi, $25,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $162 Badugi, $25,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,575 Badugi, $50,000 Guaranteed

Event #5: 20:00 ET
Low: $11 Pot Limit Omaha Turbo Cubed, $75,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $109 Pot Limit Omaha Turbo Cubed, $200,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,050 Pot Limit Omaha Turbo Cubed, $350,000 Guaranteed

Tuesday, May 10th

Event #6: 14:00 ET
Low: $11 Pot Limit Five Card Draw, $25,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $109 Pot Limit Five Card Draw, $50,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,050 Pot Limit Five Card Draw, $75,000 Guaranteed

Event #7: 17:00 ET
Low: $16.50 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Match Play, $100,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $162 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Match Play, $200,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,575 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Match Play, $400,000 Guaranteed

Event #8: 20:00 ET
Low: $11 No Limit Hold’em, $100,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $109 No Limit Hold’em, $300,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,050 No Limit Hold’em, $600,000 Guaranteed

Wednesday, May 11th

Event #9: 14:00 ET
Low: $22 Mixed Hold’em Six-Max, $75,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 Mixed Hold’em Six-Max, $150,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 Mixed Hold’em Six-Max, $250,000 Guaranteed

Event #10: 17:00 ET
Low: $33 Seven Card Stud High, $25,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $320 Seven Card Stud High, $50,000 Guaranteed
High: $3,150 Seven Card Stud High, $100,000 Guaranteed

Thursday, May 12th

Event #11: 14:00 ET
Low: $22 Pot Limit Omaha Heads-Up Match Play, $50,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 Pot Limit Omaha Heads-Up Match Play, $100,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 Pot Limit Omaha Heads-Up Match Play, $200,000 Guaranteed

Event #12: 17:00 ET
Low: $27 No Limit Hold’em Knockout, $200,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $265 No Limit Hold’em Knockout, $400,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,600 No Limit Hold’em Knockout, $600,000 Guaranteed

Friday, May 13th

Event #13: 14:00 ET
Low: $16.50 No Limit Hold’em Ante Up, $100,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $162 No Limit Hold’em Ante Up, $200,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,575 No Limit Hold’em Ante Up, $300,000 Guaranteed

Event #14: 17:00 ET
Low: $55 Omaha High/Low, $75,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $530 Omaha High/Low, $125,000 Guaranteed
High: $5,200 Omaha High/Low, $225,000 Guaranteed

Event #15: 20:00 ET
Low: $16.50 No Limit Hold’em 2X Chance Turbo, $150,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $162 No Limit Hold’em 2X Chance Turbo, $400,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,575 No Limit Hold’em 2X Chance Turbo, $750,000 Guaranteed

Saturday, May 14th

Event #16: 14:00 ET
Low: $22 No Limit Hold’em Quadruple Shootout 10-Max, $125,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 No Limit Hold’em Triple Shootout 10-Max, $150,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 No Limit Hold’em Double Shootout 10-Max, $150,000 Guaranteed

Event #17: 17:00 ET
Low: $16.50 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Max Rebuy, $100,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $162 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Max Rebuy, $250,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,575 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Max Rebuy, $400,000 Guaranteed

Event #18: 20:00 ET
Low: $22 Triple Stud Turbo, $25,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 Triple Stud Turbo, $50,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 Triple Stud Turbo, $75,000 Guaranteed

Sunday, May 15th

Event #19: 13:00 ET
Low: $22 No Limit Hold’em, $300,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 No Limit Hold’em, $1,000,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 No Limit Hold’em, $1,000,000 Guaranteed

Event #20: 17:00 ET
Low: $22 No Limit Hold’em, $350,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 No Limit Hold’em, $2,000,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 No Limit Hold’em, $2,000,000 Guaranteed

Monday, May 16th

Event #21: 14:00 ET
Low: $16.50 No Limit Hold’em / Pot Limit Omaha, $75,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $162 No Limit Hold’em / Pot Limit Omaha, $150,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,575 No Limit Hold’em / Pot Limit Omaha, $300,000 Guaranteed

Event #22: 17:00 ET
Low: $33 No Limit Hold’em Four-Max, $100,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $320 No Limit Hold’em Four-Max, $300,000 Guaranteed
High: $3,150 No Limit Hold’em Four-Max, $500,000 Guaranteed

Event #23: 20:00 ET
Low: $11 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Rebuy, $250,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $109 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Rebuy, $500,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,050 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Rebuy, $1,000,000 Guaranteed

Tuesday, May 17th

Event #24: 14:00 ET
Low: $11 Triple Draw 2-7, $25,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $109 Triple Draw 2-7, $50,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,050 Triple Draw 2-7, $75,000 Guaranteed

Event #25: 17:00 ET
Low: $22 Seven Card Stud High/Low, $25,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 Seven Card Stud High/Low, $75,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 Seven Card Stud High/Low, $150,000 Guaranteed

Event #26: 20:00 ET
Low: $11 No Limit Hold’em, $100,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $109 No Limit Hold’em, $300,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,050 No Limit Hold’em, $600,000 Guaranteed

Wednesday, May 18th

Event #27: 14:00 ET
Low: $22 Razz, $25,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 Razz, $75,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 Razz, $150,000 Guaranteed

Event #28: 17:00 ET
Low: $11 No Limit Hold’em Big Antes Rebuy, $200,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $109 No Limit Hold’em Big Antes Rebuy, $400,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,050 No Limit Hold’em Big Antes Rebuy, $600,000 Guaranteed

Thursday, May 19th

Event #29: 14:00 ET
Low: $33 Eight Game, $50,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $320 Eight Game, $100,000 Guaranteed
High: $3,150 Eight Game, $250,000 Guaranteed

Event #30: 17:00 ET
Low: $11 Pot Limit Omaha High/Low, $50,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $109 Pot Limit Omaha High/Low, $125,000 Guaranteed
High: $1,050 Pot Limit Omaha High/Low, $250,000 Guaranteed

Friday, May 20th

Event #31:14:00 ET
Low: $22 No Limit Hold’em Cubed, $300,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 No Limit Hold’em Cubed, $500,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 No Limit Hold’em Cubed, $800,000 Guaranteed

Event #32: 17:00 ET
Low: $55 Limit Hold’em Six-Max, $75,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $530 Limit Hold’em Six-Max, $150,000 Guaranteed
High: $5,200 Limit Hold’em Six-Max, $250,000 Guaranteed

Event #33: 20:00 ET
Low: $22 No Limit Omaha High/Low Turbo, $50,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 No Limit Omaha High/Low Turbo, $100,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 No Limit Omaha High/Low Turbo, $150,000 Guaranteed

Saturday, May 21st

Event #34: 14:00 ET
Low: $55 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Max, $100,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $530 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Max, $300,000 Guaranteed
High: $5,200 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Max, $500,000 Guaranteed

Event #35: 15:30 ET
Low: $270 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Match Play, $300,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $2,600 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Match Play, $450,000 Guaranteed
High: $25,500 No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Match Play, $600,000 Guaranteed

Event #36: 17:00 ET
Low: $22 HORSE, $50,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 HORSE, $100,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 HORSE, $150,000 Guaranteed

Sunday, May 22nd

Event #37: 13:00 ET
Low: $22 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max, $300,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $215 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max, $1,000,000 Guaranteed
High: $2,100 No Limit Hold’em Six-Max, $1,000,000 Guaranteed

2011 SCOOP Main Event: 17:00 ET
Low: $109 No Limit Hold’em, $1,000,000 Guaranteed
Mid: $1,050 No Limit Hold’em, $3,000,000 Guaranteed
High: $10,300 No Limit Hold’em, $5,000,000 Guaranteed

After making the final table of the Fifth Anniversary PokerStars Sunday Million tournament last weekend, one of the finishers will allegedly not be paid due to a violation of the Terms of Service of the site.

According to several reports, including the Netherlands’ second largest newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, the website Make Poker Legal, and the TwoPlusTwo forums, the sixth place finisher in Sunday’s historic tournament, “zeurrr,” will not receive the $518,402.33 he earned due to a dispute over who actually played the account.

The Dutch newspaper opened up the issue after seeking an interview with “zeurrr” following last weekend’s historic event.

A reporter from the newspaper apparently tried to contact Jimmy Jonker, who was supposed to be the man behind the “zeurrr” moniker, earlier this week by phone. When the reporter reached Jos Jonker, however, he claimed to be the player who took down the sixth place prize. After further investigation, it was learned by the newspaper that the 47-year-old Jos Jonker was the father of Jimmy, whose account listed him as being 19; in actuality, he was just 17.

The Terms of Service of PokerStars clearly address this issue. Under Clause 1.2, it states, “The Software is licensed to you by PokerStars for your private personal use. Please note that the Software is not for use by (i) individuals under 18 years of age, (ii) individuals under the legal age of majority in their jurisdiction, and (iii) individuals connecting to the Site from jurisdictions from which it is illegal to do so.”

Furthermore, the Terms of Service state what actions PokerStars can take if it finds that a player on the site is in violation. Under Clause 5.9, which addresses what PokerStars calls “fraudulent behavior,” it states, “PokerStars shall be entitled to take such action as it sees fit, including, but not limited to: immediately blocking a User’s access to the Service; terminating a User’s account with PokerStars; seizing the funds within a User’s account; disclosing such information (including the identity of the User) to financial institutions, relevant authorities, and/or any person or entity that has the legal right to such information; and/or taking legal action against a User.”

At the website Make Poker Legal, it is reported that a representative of PokerStars for the Netherlands appeared on a national television program to discuss the situation. The website reports that, during the interview, PokerStars rep Simon Keijzer stated, “Jimmy Jonker is registered as a 19-year-old, while he is 17-years-old at the moment… An underage person shouldn’t have played the tournament and he will not be entitled to the prize money.”

TwoPlusTwo posters have been discussing the incident fervently, as whoever was playing the “zeurrr” account was posting about it on the forum and Tweeting heavily on Sunday. By press time, a 700-post thread regarding the situation had emerged. Throughout the thread, there seemed to be a division of opinion as to whether the account should be paid the windfall.

Poster “Moximal” seemed to have a solid grasp of the situation when he posted, “He shouldn’t have been in the tournament to start with. He made the decision to play underage and took the risk. He should absolutely not be paid. The right thing for them to do is to keep the money and lock the account until he’s 18.”

Another poster, “pkz,” agreed: “PokerStars obviously has to act once this became public, otherwise there would be no point in having the TOS at all. I assume they would be able to lose their gaming license as well.”

Although it is believed that PokerStars has withheld the sixth place money “zeurrr” was able to negotiate in the nine-way chop, this is not confirmed. Attempts by Poker News Daily to obtain confirmation of PokerStars’ official decision have gone unanswered as of press time.

Early Monday morning, the battle in the Fifth Anniversary PokerStars Sunday Million came to a close, setting records for both its prize pool and player count.

Last week, when PokerStars announced that the guaranteed prize of the fifth anniversary of its Sunday Million would be $5 million, it was safe to assume that it would draw huge numbers. When the site added on a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 as another reward for the victor, it added fuel to an already sizzling fire.

By the time late registration had ended in the early rounds of the tournament, an astounding 59,128 players had coughed up the $200 buy-in to participate in the event. The prize pool – $11,825,600 – was the second largest in online poker history, eclipsed only by last year’s World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event. Adding in the cost of the car, the Fifth Anniversary PokerStars Sunday Million featured a prize pool that bested $12 million.

Even though the tournament was one of the largest online events ever, the pace of play was rapid. It took slightly less than five hours to get to the 7,450th place player, who would earn a minimum cashout of $354.76. The main goal, of course, was the top prize of over $1 million and that Italian sports car.

Seven hours into the tournament, players continued to drop by the wayside as the event reached the 1,000-player mark. Although the elimination of 58,000 players came quickly, the final 1,000 battled it out for the next five hours to determine the final table. Once “pbrsquad” was vanquished in tenth place, the final table was set.

According to the PokerStars Blog, this is where the tournament became more interesting. With “Syndrome1977” holding the chip lead with 107.7 million over “Bdbeatslayer” (92.6 million), the final table players took some shots at thinning the herd. After a few hands in which “Syndrome1977” gave up the chip lead to “wrzr123,’ the table was paused and discussion of a chop began.

After almost an hour of chatter, the players were able to divvy up the roughly $4.7 million remaining in the prize pool. Taking the lion’s share was the chip leader, “wrzr123,” who walked off with over $844,000, but every player came away from the deal with at least $263,000. Set aside as the remaining prize was the Lamborghini.

Over the span of the next hour-and-a-half, the combatants for the Lamborghini came down to two players. “Bdbeatslayer” went on a massive run after the deal was struck and came into heads-up play holding a 4-1 lead over “sheppyshape.” The duo battled for roughly another half-hour before “sheppyshape,” holding pocket sevens, committed his stack to the center of the table. Unfortunately for him, “Bdbeatslayer” held a dominating pair of nines. After an uneventful board, “Bdbeatslayer” was the victor of the largest PokerStars Sunday Million in history.

1. Bdbeatslayer – $671,093.81 and a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
2. sheppyshape – $465,647.02
3. wrzr123 – $844,209.87
4. guccyka – $411,090.13
5. Syndrome1977 – $799,842.09
6. zeurrr – $518,402.33
7. nhar818 – $441,541.06
8. Jan10004 – $311,023.33
9. Battmeister – $263,888.06

Last week, it was revealed that the PokerStars North American Poker Tour (NAPT) stop at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles would lose its title sponsor. The show must go on, however, as the series is currently taking place and has become known as the Big Event. Poker News Daily sat down with Bicycle Casino’s Director of Marketing Kelley O’Hara to discuss the last-minute change.

O’Hara revealed that the event would continue as planned despite the exodus of PokerStars: “The event is scheduled and still going from March 5th to 10th, but it’s not an NAPT branded event. That turned out to be a voluntary decision to hold it without the branding because of the California gaming regulators. We value the relationship we’ve started with with the NAPT and I think the NAPT appreciates our spirit of partnership as well. We believe these events are good for our industry as a whole and we hope to continue with them.”

The Main Event, a $5,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament, kicked off today at the Bike with the first of two starting days. O’Hara explained what issues California gaming regulators had: “They’re linked to PokerStars, and the lines are drawn on that issue. That’s a topic of discussion across the country no matter what state. We’re taking a conservative approach trying to honor their concerns and they’re doing the same thing.” At the time of writing, the Main Event’s Day 1A field numbered 240.

The PokerStars NAPT stopped off at the Bicycle Casino for the first time last November. Joe Tehan walked away with the top prize of $725,000 in the Main Event after besting a field of 701 players, while UB.com pro Eric “basebaldy” Baldwin triumphed in the 81-man Bounty Shootout. The former lost its ESPN coverage this year as a result of the NAPT’s pullout, but the $10,300 Bounty Shootout will still air on the cable sports station and film between March 10th and 12th.

On why PokerStars’ involvement in NAPT L.A. didn’t derail November’s event, O’Hara told Poker News Daily, “Our California state regulators had new people coming into play, so it was put on the backburner at the time. I can’t say they were enthusiastic about it then, though.” PokerStars sent representatives to Los Angeles for this year’s tournament in order to assist players.

Could we see the NAPT head to another California gaming market like San Jose or to one of the state’s Indian casinos? O’Hara weighed in: “We have an exclusive in the L.A. market, but I’m sure they’re pursuing other venues. It’s a great state to put on a poker event. PokerStars wants to continue with these events and that’s their focus.” The next NAPT stop is scheduled for April 9th to 13th at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

Last July, Commerce Casino Board members Tom Malkasian and Haig Papaian issued a joint letter that dubbed internet gambling lobbying organizations “special interest groups receiving funds from illegal offshore gaming operators.” At a hearing in the House Financial Services Committee in July, Malkasian drew a comparison between the internet gaming industry and Tijuana drug cartels.

Malkasian and Papaian claimed to represent the opinions of not only the Commerce Casino, but also the Bicycle Casino, Hawaiian Gardens, and Hollywood Park in Los Angeles. Needless to say, the rift between online gaming sites and California’s brick-and-mortar casinos widened. O’Hara gave us the lay of the land today in the Golden State: “”It’s a heated issue, but the discussion continues, and that’s a good thing. It did affect Commerce’s event where Full Tilt was a much heavier player last year.”

On Monday night, look for the Pro Invitational on Live at the Bike. The popular web series will also provide coverage of the Main Event.

PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room, made changes to its No Limit Hold’em ring games this week. After receiving plenty of feedback from players, the site decided to add “cap” tables as part of the standard offering across a wider variety of games and stakes, following a move made by Full Tilt Poker quite some time ago. PokerStars also introduced six-max tables of No Limit Omaha High/Low as part of its latest update.

According to a thread created by a PokerStars representative at the TwoPlusTwo forums, PokerStars had been testing cap tables at certain stakes and game types for the past several months. Cap tables place a limit on how much each player can bet over the course of a single hand. Once the cap has been reached, the player is considered to be all-in for the remainder of the hand.

The cap will always be the same for each hand and player at the table. There will initially be a limit of 20 big blinds at cap tables, but that number may be increased in a later update. For now, cap tables will be listed alongside other tables in the No Limit and Pot Limit lobbies.

The following buy-in options will be the standard at No Limit Hold’em tables with six or more seats:

$0.01/$0.02 and $0.02/$0.05 blinds
40bb-250bb tables, unlabeled. This offering is unchanged.

$0.05/$0.10 and $0.10/$0.25 blinds
40bb-100bb, without lobby labels. This will include all Euro currency tables.
100bb-250bb tables, labeled as deep

$0.25/$0.50 blinds and above
20bb cap, allowing buy-ins of 20bb-50bb, labeled “CAP”
40bb-100bb, without lobby labels. This will include all Euro currency tables.
100bb-250bb tables, labeled as deep

As many will notice, the update eliminated the 20bb-50bb for six-max and nine-max No Limit Hold’em games. This decision has received mainly positive feedback from players; however, one TwoPlusTwo poster complained, saying, “This is going to make thousands of players generate much less rake (many of them will just stop playing at PokerStars). And also, there were thousands of players that had plans to reach a certain amount of VPP for this year and now they won’t be able to do it.”

Tool tips explaining the exact minimum and maximum allowable buy-in at each table will still be displayed when your mouse is hovered over a table name in the PokerStars lobby. Several players have requested that the cap games be placed in a separate tab in the client to make them easier to distinguish from the regular games, so look for that update in the future.

The other major change made by PokerStars this week was the addition of six-max tables of No Limit Omaha High/Low at stakes ranging from $0.10/$0.25 to $3/$6. These games were offered immediately after the update was in place and have been a huge hit with players thus far. While the No Limit Hold’em cap tables will be installed at limits of $0.25/$0.50 and above, No Limit Omaha High/Low six-max tables will be installed at all currently offered stakes.

The removal of all No Limit Hold’em 20bb-50bb tables and the changing of Euro No Limit Hold’em tables from 35bb-100bb to 40bb-100bb will take place on February 10th. Changes to table labels will also take place on this date. Tables of discontinued types will slowly be closed as they empty, but some may exist until the next server restart.

PokerStars also mentioned that it is considering making changes to table buy-in minimums and maximums for heads-up No Limit Hold’em and all Omaha games. Any changes to these tables will be announced and employed in February.

Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest PokerStars updates.

On Saturday, the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) Main Event final table will play out from the sunny Bahamas. If you’re stuck at home, however, you can still follow the action on a one-hour delay complete with hole cards. The festivities begin at 5:00pm ET on ESPN3.com and 10:00pm ET on ESPN2 featuring commentary from players like Chad Brown and Daniel Negreanu, both PokerStars pros. Also on tap is studio analysis from Lon McEachern and David Williams during breaks.

Poker News Daily sat down with ESPN Manager of Programming and Acquisitions Matt Volk to discuss the preparations for the near-live finale, which is now a scant 48 hours away.

Poker News Daily: Thanks for joining us. Talk about what viewers of Saturday’s broadcast on ESPN3.com and ESPN2 can expect to see.

Matt Volk: Daniel Negreanu will serve as one of our primary analysts with James Hartigan and David Tuchman. In addition, having a live studio presence will be an exciting element to the show. This is the first time we’ve brought a live studio to one of our poker events.

We’re using the studio because there are natural breaks in poker. You can look at it like a hockey game where there’s coverage during intermission. We wanted to treat this like a live event and give people something different to watch during the breaks. The dinner break might be a little different, but during the shorter player breaks, we plan to talk about what you’re seeing. The live studio is on site in the Bahamas.

PND: Why was the decision made to broadcast the 2011 PCA Main Event on a one-hour delay?

Matt Volk: We started doing this last year at WSOP Europe. We did it on a five-hour delay and we’re continuing to dip our toes in the water and see how it gets received. We got favorable reception for the event in Europe and want to try to push the envelope a little more. We also have a great partnership with PokerStars.

PND: What lessons learned from the WSOP Europe broadcast can be incorporated into the PCA’s final product?

Matt Volk: When you do traditional linear shows, you have a chance to show who people are over episodes and weeks. When you’re doing a live show, you realize that some of the viewers watching at 10:00pm, for example, aren’t the same as at Midnight or 2:00am. So, it’s important to do table resets constantly, flaunt players as much as you can, give constant chip count updates, and do your best to inform the viewer that it’s occurring plausibly live in front of them.

PND: The broadcast on ESPN2 is set to air between 10:00pm ET and 6:00am ET. Talk about airing poker during the overnight hours.

Matt Volk: Poker has always fared well for us in the late hours. We don’t have a set expectation for what it will deliver ratings-wise, but we feel pretty good.

PND: What are some of the challenges of showing hole cards?

Matt Volk: It’s ensuring the sanctity of the sport. You want to make sure that the information isn’t getting back to the players and that’s why the hour delay is there. We want to make sure that the hand being played isn’t showing up on TV at the same time. Poker is an interesting sport because it’s in some ways played in secrecy. We brought hole cards to TV about 10 years ago and that was certainly a big deal in the industry. Now, we’re showing every single hand, so it’s another step in the evolution.

PND: Are there any concerns about collusion given the airing of hole cards? Players could talk with friends back home during breaks about the hands shown, for example.

Matt Volk: There’s nothing to say that a player couldn’t do that. In some ways, it’s a slight change in the way the game is played and just because someone bluffed you an hour ago doesn’t mean they’ll do it again. So, it just adds to the complexity of poker because you have more information. More information helping someone wouldn’t surprise me if it were a multi-day event, but to digest everything in one day and then turn it around would be a challenge.

PND: The ESPN family of networks airs a number of different poker shows, including coverage from the PCA, NAPT, and WSOP. Why has the network fallen in love with the game?

Matt Volk: We’ve always felt that poker is real-life drama. It’s high-stakes. The event we’re showing has a $10,000 buy-in and what’s great about the sport is that anyone can win. No matter your age, background, or country, you can win. It’s anyone’s game. It’s reality TV.