ESPN TO DEVOTE MULTI-PLATFORM COVERAGE IN U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD INCLUDING LIVE COVERAGE ON ESPN360.COM
Four Bracelet Events Set for September 19th to October 2nd in London
– July 1, 2008 – The second annual World Series of Poker Europesm presented by Betfair.com has solidified its tournament schedule, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., owner and operator of the world’s most prestigious poker tournaments announced today.
The 2008 World Series of Poker Europe Presented by Betfair.com (the WSOPE) will feature four bracelet tournaments, including a new addition, the £1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event that will open the tournament. The complete event schedule is as follows:
September 19th, 2008 - Event #1 - £1,500 – No-Limit Hold’em Day 1A (3-day event/2 opening days)
September 22nd, 2008 - Event #2 - £2,500 – H.O.R.S.E. (3-day event)
September 24th, 2008 - Event #3 - £5,000 – Pot Limit Omaha (3-day event)
September 27th, 2008 - Event #4 - £10,000 – World Championship No-Limit Hold’em (5-day event/two opening days)
All the above tournaments will be sanctioned gold bracelet events. Five additional non-bracelet events will also be scheduled during the tournament. Visit www.wsope2008.com for more details.
The WSOPE will be held from September 19th to October 2nd, 2008 in London, England. This year’s tournament will again be hosted by London Clubs International (LCI) at their London locations.
Players can pre-register for the WSOPE at any LCI venue in the UK and all Harrah’s venues in Las Vegas. Alternatively they can try and qualify online exclusively at Betfair Poker. www.betfairpoker.com.
For the first time, and subject to the execution of a definitive agreement, ESPN, the exclusive World Series of Poker telecaster, is scheduled to air eight original hours of coverage of the World Series of Poker Europe in the United States and distribute the tournament globally. ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network, is scheduled to provide live coverage in the U.S., Europe, Mexico and Brazil.
Harrah’s Entertainment will distribute the World Series of Poker Europe programming in non-ESPN markets, which in 2007 totaled over 100 million households including U.K. host broadcaster Sky Sports.
“We have enhanced the schedule to build on our initial success and provide a richer experience for players,” said World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. “If this year’s World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas is any indication, the level of tournament play is increasing worldwide and we expect the second annual WSOPE to be hotly contested.”
During the WSOP in Las Vegas, players can pre-register for WSOP Europe at the tournament cage as well as lock in poker player hotel rates via www.worldseriesofpoker.com. In addition, $1,570 Mega Satellites for the WSOP Europe Main Event will be held July 10th and 11th at the Rio® All-Suite Hotel and Casino.
“We are extremely excited to be working alongside Harrah’s and the World Series of Poker brand for a second year, said Betfair.com CEO David Yu. “Betfair Poker is now the only place players can qualify online for the tournament – this exclusivity shows how confident we are that WSOPE 2008 will be even bigger and better than before.”
"London Clubs offers five unique casino experiences in the heart of London including The Rendezvous, The Casino at the Empire (in world famous Leicester Square), The Sportsman, Fifty and the Golden Nugget, “said Michael Silberling, COO, London Clubs International. ““We look forward to hosting the second annual WSOP Europe.”
WSOPE in London complements the WSOP held annually in Las Vegas. The inaugural 2007 event featured 623 entrants compete for £1,305,215 over three tournaments including the Main Event that saw Norway’s Annette Obrestad best a field that included Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan to win the largest amount ever for a female, £1 million – or U.S. $2,013,102.
Launched in 2007 by Harrah’s Entertainment, owner of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the WSOPE is the first tournament extension of the world’s richest and most prestigious gaming event. WSOPE is held in London, England annually at London Clubs International (LCI) properties and awards the same coveted gold bracelets that the WSOP awards annually in Las Vegas. In 2007, WSOPE awarded three gold bracelets, the first bracelets ever awarded outside the United States. A total of 623 entrants competed for £1,305,215 in prize money over three different events: H.O.R.S.E, Pot Limit Omaha and No-Limit Texas Hold’em. Germany’s Thomas Bihl became the first-ever bracelet winner of the WSOPE, while Norway’s Annette Obrestad took home the £1,000,000 first place prize in the Main Event. Italy’s Dario Alioto won the Pot Limit Omaha tournament, meaning Europeans won all three events of the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe Presented by Betfair.com. Please visit www.wsope2008.com for more information.
ABOUT HARRAH’S ENTERTAINMENT
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 70 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now owns or manages casinos on four continents. The Company's properties operate primarily under the Harrah's®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names; Harrah's also owns the London Clubs International family of casinos and the World Series of Poker®. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. For more information, please visit www.harrahs.com.
Betfair is the world’s leading online betting exchange, a concept it pioneered in June, 2000. The Exchange enables customers to choose their own odds and bet against each other. Betfair.com is a registered bookmaker in the UK and also licensed in Australia, Austria and Malta. Betfair.com has since established a significant gaming portfolio based in Malta and is the proud sponsor of the World Series of Poker Europe. For more information, visit www.betfairpoker.com.
ESPN360.com is ESPN's signature 24/7 broadband sports network, and the online home for live sports – delivering more than 2,500 live global sports events a year. The service is available at no additional charge to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider, and is currently available in nearly 24 million homes nationwide. It has nearly tripled its distribution in the past 18 months, and is available via more than 20 Internet service providers around the country including AT&T, Verizon, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and many more. It is also available at no cost to approximately 18 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational and military networks (those with ".edu" or “.mil” domain). In Brazil, ESPN360 (www.espn.com.br/360) is currently available to sports fans via Terra. In Mexico, ESPN360 is currently available via TelMex’s Prodigy Media Infinitum Service. In continental Europe, ESPN360 is currently available to millions of broadband users in over 40 countries.
ABOUT THE WSOP
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2007, the event attracted more than 54,000 entrants from 87 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and awarded just under $160 million in prize money as players competed for game’s most coveted trophy, a WSOP bracelet. Harrah’s License Company, LLC., an affiliate of Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., has owned and operated the WSOP since 2004 and over the last four years, fostered an increase in player participation by nearly 300-percent. In addition, the WSOP has experienced groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit our website at www.worldseriesofpoker.com.