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Poker News: July 4, 2006

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Copyright © 2006 North Jersey Media Group Inc.

HEADLINE: World Cup of poker on CBS

Henry Orenstein, the Verona resident who created the card camera, continues to provide innovative ways to present poker on TV.

While most of the poker world is focused on the 2006 World Series of Poker, which began last week, Orenstein has his own summertime coup -- a weekly poker series on CBS.

"The Intercontinental Poker Championship," which airs at 3 o'clock today and continues the next three Saturday afternoons, features 21 of the world's top players, all from different countries, battling for a $350,000 top prize.

"There were no weak spots. I knew everybody, I just didn't realize the countries they were from," said Doyle Brunson, the U.S. representative. "I think it was interesting because it was different."

That difference was important to Orenstein, who also produces "High Stakes Poker" on GSN and "Poker Superstars" on Fox Sports Net and NBC and handles the logistics for NBC's "National Heads-Up Poker Championship."

The Intercontinental's format is not a freeze-out tournament, such as the WSOP events where once a player loses his chips, he's eliminated. Instead, it's a series of matches in which players receive points for finishes other than first and get a second chance to advance.

"It increases the element of good play and diminishes the value of luck," Orenstein said.


ESPN unveiled its telecast schedule for the World Series.

In a change from previous years, the main event will not be shown last. Instead, the 12 one-hour shows will begin airing in two-hour blocks at 8 p.m. Aug. 22, just 12 days after the tournament concludes.

ESPN also will offer live action from the final table for $24.95 via pay-per-view. Action begins 3 p.m. Aug. 10 and will be available through cable TV or computer.


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