ESPN will continue its longstanding tradition of broadcasting the WSOP Main Event, which begins July 2.
The sports media giant will also televise, live, the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop charity event starting on July 16.
PokerGO, a subscription-based app, will livestream many WSOP events for the second straight year, including Main Event coverage when the ESPN cameras aren’t rolling.
The digital network owned by Poker Central hasn’t released its full schedule, but if the network’s plans are in tune with last year, many final tables will stream live throughout the series with announcers such as David Tuchman, Norman Chad, David Williams, and Lon McEachern handling the commentary duties.
Prior to 2017, WSOP.com streamed nearly every final table live, for free. Some poker fans were unhappy they had to pay to watch the series last year, and they will again this coming summer. But JR McCabe, the chief digital officer of Poker Central, said the 2017 WSOP was a rousing success for his company.
“Last year, both ESPN viewership and PokerGO subscription numbers were very strong throughout the WSOP Main Event,” he said in a press release.
Poker Central doesn’t publicly release exact subscription figures.
Main Event Coverage
ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast the Main Event live starting on Day One for the second consecutive year, and the first two years the network has aired poker’s most prestigious tournament live prior to the final table.
ESPN Main Event Broadcast Schedule (all times PT)
July 2 Day 1A (5:00 PM – 10:00 PM) ESPN2
July 3 Day 1B (5:00 PM – 8:00 PM) ESPN2
July 4 Day 1C (5:30 PM – 9:00 PM) ESPN2
July 5 Day 2A/B (7:00 PM – 9:00 PM) ESPN2
July 6 Day 2C (5:30 PM – 9:00 PM) ESPN2
July 7 Day 3 (3:00 PM – 7:30 PM) ESPN2
July 8 Day 4 (11:00 AM – 3:00 PM) ESPN
July 9 Day 5 (7:00 PM – 11:00 PM) ESPN2
July 10 Day 6 (5:00 PM – 8:00 PM) ESPN
July 11 Day 7 (9:30 PM – Final Table Achieved) ESPN2
July 12 Day 8 (6:00 PM – Play Down to Six) ESPN
July 13 Day 9 (6:00 PM – Play Down to Three) ESPN
July 14 Day 10 (6:00 PM – Play Down to Winner) ESPN
Last year, the final table participants were given a three-day break following Day Seven. This year, there won’t be a break.
One Drop Coverage
For the third time, and first since 2014, the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop charity event is back, and ESPN will handle much of the broadcast duties.
ESPN Big One for One Drop Broadcast Schedule (all times PT)
July 16 (Live) 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM (ESPN)
July 17 (Replay) 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (ESPN2)
July 18 (Live) 6:00 PM – Play Down to a Winner (ESPN2)
July 21 (Replay) 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM (ESPN2)
Antonio Esfandiari won the inaugural Big One for One Drop in 2012 for what is still a record $18.3 million.
Dan Colman then took it down two years later for $15.3 million. This year’s winner could very well overtake Daniel Negreanu as the all-time winningest live tournament player unless, of course, Kid Poker scoops the bracelet.