The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event coverage on ESPN always has an interesting mix of players and amateurs. It also has an interesting mix of stars.
Each year, pre-established celebrities from Hollywood and the sports world make an appearance at the Rio and inevitably spend some time in the limelight, even if they may not make a deep run. Lou Diamond Phillips, Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Paul Pierce, Tobey Maguire, and Matt Damon are just some of the notables that have taken part in the Main Event festivities, but none of them were able to put together much of a run.
This year, it is comedian Kevin Pollak's turn to prove his poker chops in the Main Event and his quest for glory is much of the focus of tonight's two-hours of Day 3 coverage of the 2012 WSOP Main Event on ESPN, starting at 8pm ET/5pm PT. Pollak serves as the court jester at the feature table, but in addition to cracking jokes, Pollak is also racking up chips trying to survive the day and return for Day 4 and a shot at making the money. The secondary table on tonight's ESPN coverage features the other type of star you see at the Main Event each year -- the poker-made celebrity. Young pro Jason Somerville has spent the better part of four years establishing himself as one of the top young players in the game. With a WSOP gold bracelet to his credit and numerous other final tables, Somerville is no stranger to WSOP success. His Main Event is off to a fast start and his chip stack just keeps growing as he aims to make a deep run in the very event that inspired him to take up the game in the first place. "It's pretty cool to be featured on the show that first hooked me on poker eight years ago," Somerville says of his ESPN appearance tonight. "It feels like a dream to go from a kid at home to being featured on poker's biggest stage."
The Main Event appearance is the latest accomplishment in a memorable year for Somerville, who began 2012 by coming out to the poker community via a post in his personal blog. Somerville was concerned how the poker community would accept him once he revealed he was gay, but the outpouring of support within the poker world was overwhelming. Even more mainstream media outlets like The Advocate and Perez Hilton picked up Somerville's story, which will also be included in tonight's coverage.Somerville is a young player that the WSOP Main Event coverage might turn into a star. Pollak is a star looking for affirmation as a poker player in the biggest tournament of the year. These two are just a couple of a number of poker players featured in tonight's coverage along with Pius Heinz, past Main Event Champion Dan Harrington, Vanessa Selbst, and reinging WSOP Player of the Year. All of them have their sights set on not only surviving the day, but making the money and, beyond that, securing a spot in the elusive October Nine.
Plus don't forget, you can become next year's star, as the WSOP's Watch & Win promotion continues throughout ESPN's coverage of the Main Event. Watch for the special code given out during the telecast and then get back here to WSOP.com to enter it and enroll yourself in the sweepstakes to win a free 2013 WSOP Main Event seat.Here is a sneak peek of what to expect from the second installment of Day 3 Main Event coverage on ESPN, airing tonight at 8pm-10pm ET/5pm-7pm PT: