It has been a busy week in the world of poker, and if you like to watch the card game expect to see it more than ever thanks to an extension between the World Poker Tour and Fox Sports. Here’s a recap of three big poker stories from the past week.
Fox Sports Extends WPT for Five Years
The World Poker Tour just completed its sixth event of the 15th season for the Tour and it’s done so well that broadcaster Fox Sports has decided to extend the relationship. Fox Sports will have the Tour on their airwaves through the 19th season, which is a five-year extension. The WPT is also going to produce 13 more hours of original entertainment for Fox, so there will not only be more coverage in the coming years, there will be more poker on the network per year. Some of the WPT will find its way to the mobile streaming app, Fox Sports GO. Fox is also going to air at least two WPT marathons a season, which started this past Labor Day, and both sides are thrilled to take their deal to the next level.
The WPT first paired up with Fox in 2009 and averages about 900,000 viewers per week, so the numbers are fairly strong. The WPT has a number of high-end sponsors such as Hublot, FIAT, Monster Headphones, and that has helped facilitate this deal.
Tsang Claims Big One
In other poker news, Elton Tsang won the biggest buy-in tournament in the history of poker, claiming the Big One for One Drop Invitational. The tournament allowed players to get in on the action for a cool million Euros, which is about $1.1 million in US dollars. A total of 28 players were invited to play in this tournament, but each entry threw in about $122,000 for One Drop, a charity devoted to improving water around the globe. That means about $3.4 million went to One Drop, which is a huge win for them.
But Tsang was also a big winner as he took home about $12.2 million in US dollars, and even though this was his first-ever tournament win Tsang is now 21st on the all-time list from this win. Not a bad week. Only six players finished in the money as Tsang beat out Anatoly Gurtovoy in a heads-up battle to take home the grand prize. Gurtovoy won $5.9 million while sixth-placed Andrew Pantling won a mere $1.6 million.
Negreanu to Coach?
Also coming out of One Drop was the story that Daniel Negreanu was the coach for Guy Laliberte, who organized the high-stakes tournament. Negreanu, of course, is royalty in the world of poker as the Canadian has six World Series of Poker bracelets. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014. Negreanu is also one of the most popular and well-liked players in poker and he is very easy to get instructions from. There is some speculation that he could be doing more coaching as he’s a great communicator. Recently, he spent time with Jason Somerville on the latter’s Twitch channel, essentially providing a four-hour coaching session, so maybe he’s looking to do more of that. There would be a long lineup to hire his services, so keep an eye on if he decides to move into an advising role full-time.