- Andrew Feldman, ESPN.com
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The second-largest $10,000 buy-in main event on the poker calendar is now even bigger with the announcement on Thursday that the final table of the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will be broadcast with hole cards on a one-hour delay.
Coverage of the final table of the first event of the 2011 North American Poker Tour will begin on ESPN3.com on Saturday, January 15 at 5 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will then join the coverage at 10 p.m. ET and fans will be able to watch all the unedited action until a champion is crowned.
"For the first time viewers at home will see a poker telecast from start to finish, with all the strategy of world-class poker players playing in real time and completely unedited," said Matt Volk, ESPN manager, programming and acquisitions.
This is a big step taken to provide fans with same-day coverage and a chance to watch exactly how those who are playing for a massive prize pool are able to maneuver their stack in order to take down a final table and a top prize estimated over $2 million.
"This is one of the most exciting announcements ever in televised poker," said PokerStars.net North America Regional Marketing Director Joe Versaci. "This is the first time people watching online or on TV will be able to see everything that happens at a poker table. So much happens in poker that never makes it to the final TV edit, but this will show exactly how top-level players go about winning a massive tournament. There's so much money on the line - it's going to be gripping."
The tournament will take place at the Atlantis Hotel and Resort in the Bahamas. Last year's champion, 19-year old Harrison Gimbel won $2.2 million by defeating a field of 1,529 players.
ESPN.com will have full coverage of the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure including video updates, Poker Edge podcasts and blogs. The edited version of the final table will be broadcast later in 2011 on ESPN2.
5hEric D. Williams