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ESPN Antes Up For WSOP Europe

ESPN, looking to draw on the success of its World Series of Poker franchise, will televise the main event from the World Series of Poker Europe for the first time.

Coverage will begin Sunday, Feb. 1 with World Series of Poker commentators Lon McEachern and Norman Chad reprising their roles from the Las Vegas tournament.

ESPN will televise new installments every Sunday, with the winner crowned March 1.

One notable addition to the European tournament is the “Mobile Hole Care Camera,” which will take the hole card camera from the featured tables to the outer tables of the tournament, allowing viewers at home a chance to see what the players have in their hands.

“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.

The European tournament is a much smaller affair, boasting only 362 players and a $1.5 million top prize, compared to over 5,000 players and an over $9 million top prize in the stateside tourney.

ESPN was able to boost ratings for the 2008 installment of the WSOP by holding the final table the same day as it aired on the network, ensuring that there is suspense on who the winner is. Previously, the entire tourney was held over the summer, with the program airing on ESPN later in the fall.