World Poker Tour to air on prime time TV in UK - Monday 31st of October 2005

The cult US TV series, World Poker Tour (WPT), is the first poker show to be broadcast on prime time television in the UK. ITV4 has licensed series I and II of the World Poker Tour for prime time Friday night viewing, first airing on Friday 4 November 2005 at 10:00pm.

World Poker Tour is a massive hit show in the USA based on a series of 16 high-stakes international poker tournaments and is widely credited with bringing poker to the masses. Unlike other poker programmes it combines entertainment and celebrity with nail-biting action that even the most uninitiated can enjoy. The popularity of the programme is unquestioned and it is currently aired in over 120 countries and territories and has a enormous global fan base. This made it a natural first choice for prime time viewing.

CEO and founder, Steve Lipscomb said: We are very happy to be working with ITV4. Now, with the poker craze sweeping the UK anybody will be able to tune in and learn a lot about poker from our show as well as be entertained. WPT’s focus is on educating the public and making an exciting two hour show. With WPT merchandise now available in the UK and our online tournaments growing quickly - we are ready to help the UK shuffle up and deal.

Poker season kicks off 4 November 2005. We are extremely pleased to make the World Poker Tour part of ITV4s exciting launch line up, said ITV4 Channel Editor Steve Arnell. We have seen what the show has done for broadcasters in the U.S. and abroad. It has developed a large and devoted fan base worldwide and we believe it will be an important addition to the ITV4 schedule.

Steve admits: World Poker Tour was a gamble from the start. Originally a lawyer, then a documentary/ film maker Steve decided that he would televise poker. Everyone thought he was crazy, and predicted that filming a long poker game would not make for exciting TV. After eight months of trying everything they could think of - Steve and his team cracked the format. Suddenly a never ending poker tournament was gripping TV, and attracting more viewers to the Travel channel than it had ever received – regularly beating audience figures for televised sports events such as professional basketball and golf.

WORLD POKER TOUR - A WPT Production - ITV4 Friday 4 November 10.00pm - 11.50pm

The original and best poker brand on the planet comes to ITV4 as World Poker Tour makes its debut. Responsible for fuelling the current poker explosion sweeping the world, the series has been shown in over 100 countries, transforming the game into a stylish and riveting spectator sport watched by millions each week. Kicking off with Season 1 and presented by MIKE SEXTON, VINCE VAN PATTON and SHANA HIATT, this series of high stakes poker tournaments broke new ground by injecting high concept, cutting edge production values with thirteen WPT Cams showing the players hole cards to the audience. With cunning poker stars, fierce competition and record-breaking prize pools, The World Poker Tour tournaments are set in some of the worlds most glamorous locations and now, ITV4 viewers have a front row seat to catch all the action.

Other WPT series to watch out for: Professional Poker Tour

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