Top US talkshow host and television producer Montel Williams has announced his latest venture, a new format television show titled "International Team Poker League" that will combine online qualifiers with bricks and mortar casinos.
The show, starting with satellite tournaments in March and set to be televised from November this (2009) year, will combine fast-paced No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em games with ‘reality TV’ style segments about the players. Creator, commissioner, and CEO of ITPL, Montel Williams comments: “I love poker – it’s a game that has everything, played by kings and leaders and regular joes alike. It crosses boundaries and borders, now, thanks to technology and the Internet, a global phenomenon that brings people of different ethnicities and origin together around the world. It is truly international, and the time is right for the International Team Poker League to take poker to a new level and a wider audience.”
In a similar format to the more familiar talent shows, the series will begin with a selection process through regular NLTH satellite tournaments in both land-based casinos and online poker sites. Entrants play to win entry into a three-day Draft Pool Seeding Tournament at a Las Vegas host casino at which the leading players will be selected into six teams before fighting it out to build chip stacks for the final one-day SuperTable team event.
The six winners will become the ITPL Team for the season, and will be filmed as they live the poker lifestyle, play the pros and possibly find or create celebrity for themselves.
Specifically designed to fit a one-hour TV slot, the show will air each week for a season and offers high profile strategic partnerships and affiliate activity for both the casino and remote gambling industries. A number of global brands have already shown interest in taking part, says Williams, although no announcements of partnerships are being made at this stage.
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