WPT North American Final Tables to Stream Live on PokerGO
On Tuesday, the World Poker Tour (WPT) announced that it has inked a deal with Poker Central to have the North American final tables of its current season, WPT Season XVI, live stream on Poker Central’s PokerGO subscription service.
PokerGO launched in May, its first live broadcast being Poker Central’s Super High Roller Bowl. The real coup, though, came around that same time when Poker Central announced that it had agreed to a broadcast deal with ESPN for the World Series of Poker.
Let’s remember that when Poker Central debuted, it billed itself as the first 24/7 poker television channel, but aside from a small regional cable network in Ohio, it was unable to actually get itself on television proper, only gaining access to eyeballs via internet streaming.
Fortunately, it looks like Poker Central has finally accepted and embraced the fact that it likely won’t become a “real” cable channel and has devoted itself to becoming a top-flight poker streaming service, the Netflix of poker, if you will. Or, to give a nod to Dana Gould, Poker Central is attempting to become the Beatles of poker streaming.
Poker Central has been around for two years now, but it was PokerGO and the WSOP deal that really put the online network on the map. ESPN has been the home of the World Series of Poker since basically eternity and while the Worldwide Leader did air a few hours per day of the Main Event and the entirety of the final table, it was PokerGO that filled in the rest. PokerGo also its coverage of the WSOP available on-demand as well as the broadcast of the Main Event final table for those in non-ESPN markets (read: outside the United States).
Before the WSOP deal, PokerGo was mostly a source for re-runs of old, popular poker programs like “Poker After Dark” and “High Stakes Poker,” but it has ramped things up in a hurry. It has revived “Poker After Dark,” streaming new, live episodes from the ARIA Resort & Casino, and will soon be launching the Poker Masters $50,000 event.
The subscription service also produces a number of original shows, such as “Pokerography,” a biographical program featuring poker celebrities, “Poker Nights,” comedy featuring Chris Parnell of “Saturday Night Live” and “Archer” fame, and more.
And now, of course, there is the World Poker Tour, starting with the WPT Legends of Poker at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino, which kicks off today. The final table, streamed on PokerGo, will be held on August 31st.
“The World Poker Tour delivers the thrilling and action-packed poker programming our audience loves,” said Joe Kakaty, president of Poker Central, in a press release. “This partnership is part of our commitment to adding the best live poker programming to our already robust library of content and bringing it to our viewers around the world.”
“The World Poker Tour is pleased to partner with Poker Central to bring live streaming of televised WPT Main Tour events to the global poker audience,” added Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour. “Poker Central shares the World Poker Tour’s vision of high-quality, entertaining poker content, and we are proud to have such a committed partner to showcase our events. We look forward to continuing to elevate the WPT product and invite poker fans from around the world to watch the World Poker Tour live on PokerGO.”
As noted, PokerGO is a paid subscription streaming service. It costs $10 per month or $99 for an annual pass. Both options are automatically renewed (bleh). PokerGO can be watched via a mobile app on iOS or Android, on a computer right in the web browser, or with any number of streaming devices like Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV. The PokerGO website says that it will be coming to Xbox and Playstation soon.
Frankly, I was skeptical when PokerGO was introduced, thinking there was no way such a niche streaming service would be able to build a customer base at $10 per month (or $99 per year). Who knows if it will succeed, but I must say that I am impressed with how quickly Poker Central has been able to put together a programming lineup for PokerGO. Poker Central used to be essentially just old poker programming packaged onto one site, but the site is rapidly widening its breadth.
There is still probably a ways to go in terms of programming for PokerGO, but the service’s trajectory certainly seems to be upward.