Poker on Hi-Definition TV

by Lou on May 6, 2006

The “Vegas Open,” slated for June 2, marks the start of the National Poker League’s inaugural season of poker on the INHD Network, one of the most widely distributed HD networks on cable today.

Tournament executives are hoping that smaller buy-ins will lead to a broader player base who will post their blinds in hopes of appearing on national television.

“What we’re striving for,” said NPL President Nene Gonzalez, “is to be the poker tournament for players with smaller bankrolls and lots of game. They may even become TV stars in the process.”

The series will consist of 10 separate, $1,060 buy-in tournaments, with each winner advancing to the semifinal heads-up round. The five heads-up winners will advance to the final table to play for $100,000 in bonus cash, winner take all, which is added to the prize pool. Each stage of the tournament offers prize money and will be televised.

The new 14,500 sq. ft. poker room at Caesars Palace, one will host the Vegas Open. In addition to the poker action, each episode will also feature player profiles, a Poker Pro “Tip of the Day,” a Tournament “Play of the Day,” and a Las Vegas segment titled “Las Vegas: High Rolling and High Living Mojo Style.”

I wish them well. While poker on television is saturated, to say the least, perhaps the fact that it will appear in high-definition will be enough of a competitive advantage to help it find its own market niche.

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