888poker has renewed its sponsorship of poker’s largest annual event, Caesar Interactive’s World Series of Poker (WSOP).
The sponsorship covers the 2017 WSOP and includes an additional two-year option, continuing a successful collaboration which began in 2015.
The agreement will see 888poker maintain the exclusive right to host official online satellite qualifiers and online WSOP-themed promotions, and gives the operator extensive TV exposure through ESPN's coverage of the WSOP Main Event.
“WSOP is delighted to have renewed our agreement with 888poker,” said WSOP executive director Ty Stewart. “We’ve seen 888poker really up the stakes in the past few years, with a refreshing new online and offline approach which aims to give the power back to the players.
“This shared vision and love of the game means it’s a natural partnership for both our brands. I believe this mutually beneficial approach will continue to enhance our user experience and wish our players the best of luck in the tournament.”
Qualifiers for the 2017 WSOP are already underway at 888poker, with the 48th running of the contest officially opening on Tuesday May 30th at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
A variety of cash games and tournaments will run for 49 consecutive days of the contest, with the Main Event reaching its final nine players on July 17th. The November Niners will return for the final table as usual in November.
In 2015, 888poker sent 128 players to the WSOP Main Event, which was eventually won by 888poker-sponsored pro Joe McKeehen. Last year, more than 250 players were sent to the Main Event, including November Niners Fernando Pons and Griffin Benger.
“As part of our wider mission to empower all players, and in the interests of giving everyone a shot at winning big, we’ll once again offer our members the incredible opportunity to enter the world’s biggest and most prestigious live tournament, from as little as 1¢,” said 888’s senior vice president and head of B2C Itai Pazner. “I’m confident that this year we’ll introduce another record-breaking number of players to the WSOP and look forward to seeing some of them on the final table.
“Our extended partnership with the WSOP is a testament to our increasingly dominant position in the industry and our longstanding commitment to making poker more exciting and accessible for players around the world,” Pazner added.
888poker ambassador and veteran television personality Kara Scott will return as host of ESPN’s coverage of the WSOP. Alongside Lon McEachern and Norman Chad, Scott and 888poker will remain the exclusive telecast partner.