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2011 WSOP Coverage Begins on ESPN

Poker fans can look forward to a weekly dose of World Series of Poker action starting this week as ESPN airs its coverage from this summer’s festivities at the Rio in Las Vegas.


The first episode, which aired on Tuesday evening, featured Team PokerStarsPro Chris Moneymaker and Sam Farha in their epic WSOP Main Event Grudge match. Three-time 2011 WSOP runner Phil Hellmuth also starred, taking on Johnny Chan.


Action from the $25,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em event and the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship will play out during August before the $10,000 Main Event takes pride of place from August 16 through November 8. Two episodes are set to air each week.


The decision to show fewer preliminary events this year follows a trend which began in 2009. Ten preliminary events featured on the schedule during 2007 but that was cut down to just three two years later. The Tournament of Champions and $50,000 Poker Players Championship were covered in 2010.


ESPN and ESPN2 offered an unprecedented first this year, airing coverage from the showpiece Main Event in a semi-live format which featured hole cards at two feature tables.


The newly edited episodes will concentrate on 'action' hands only with instances, such as Matt Giannetti's ten minute decision on whether to make a 4 million chip call against Ben Lamb on Day 8, cut down for a more polished viewing experience.


For a recap of all the results from the 2011 World Series of Poker, visit the PokerPages Tournament Database.