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Poker Central Renews Key Partnerships

Poker Central has renewed partnerships with both 888Poker and the NBC Sports Group, announcing the deals in two separate press releases in the past week. Poker Central, having struggled to establish itself as a true 24/7 poker television network, has successfully revamped itself as an online digital video subscription service for poker. It surprised the poker world last year by cementing a deal with ESPN and the World Series of Poker to broadcast much of the WSOP via live streaming.

Last week, Poker Central announced the renewal of its deal with 888poker that has the online poker room remain the “exclusive in-show sponsor in the real money online poker category” for the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl. 888Poker will also be part of the broadcasts of the U.S. Poker Open, Poker Masters, Poker After Dark, and the ARIA High Roller Series.

On its end, 888Poker will run promos to give its players the chance to compete in Poker Central’s live events.

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Poker Central and look forward to the fantastic initiatives we will pursue together. 888poker’s commitment to ‘taking back the game’ is further strengthened by this renewed partnership,” said Guy Cohen, SVP head of B2C, 888 Holdings in a press release. “This exciting collaboration will connect our players to global poker content of the highest calibre both as fans and participants.”

As for NBC, Poker Central has extended its contract with the NBC Sports Group through 2020, which includes expanded coverage of Poker Central’s events on the television network. The NBC Sports Network (not to be confused with NBC proper, by the way) will broadcast coverage of what Poker Central calls “three of poker’s majors”: the Super High Roller Bowl, Poker Masters, and U.S. Poker Open.

It does not seem, however, that the poker will actually be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network on cable television. Rather, the events will be streamed via NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

“After the success of last year’s Super High Roller Bowl, we are further broadening our poker content by adding more tournaments to our slate,” said Gary Quinn, vice president of programming for the NBC Sports Group. “Our viewers enjoy the extremely competitive nature of Poker Central’s tournaments, and we’re looking forward to delivering more high-stakes action in 2018.”

The U.S. Poker Open is a new tournament series this year, made up purely of high buy-in events. There will be two $ 10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em events, a $ 10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament, three (THREE!) $ 25,000 No-Limit Hold’em tournaments, a $ 25,000 Mixed Games Championship, and the Main Event, which will cost players $ 50,000 to enter. Yikes.

Then again, those tournaments pale in comparison to the Super High Roller Bowl, which has a $ 300,000 buy-in. Only the $ 1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop at the 2018 World Series of Poker will beat that.

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