Friday, May 11, 2007

Degree Poker 2007 Details

Canada's Most Watched Poker Tournament Returns to TSN for Third Season
Toronto, ON (April 19, 2007) – Armchair poker players from across Canada have the opportunity to showcase their card playing talents in front of a national TV audience once again, as TSN and Degree Men today announced the return of Canada's most watched poker tournament, the Degree Poker Championship. Now in its third season, the TSN original production will air in September in seven, one-hour prime-time episodes on TSN, TSN HD and TSN Broadband.
A group of 72 contestants (see contestant breakdown below) will compete in this annual Texas Hold 'Em event. This year's smaller playing field allows for a more intense atmosphere, as participants in the Degree Poker Championship compete for the grand prize of $100,000 as well as a chance to win an additional $1 million (all figures Canadian), and a paid seat at the 2007 World Series of Poker.
The 72 participants will play in one of two preliminary rounds for a limited number of seats in the tournament's televised playoff and championship rounds. Each of the six playoff broadcasts features a table of six players, with the winner of each table moving on to the final championship round.
"The success of the 'Degree Poker Championship' has paved the way for the type of tournament activity we see in Canada today," said Adam Ashton, Vice-President of Marketing, TSN and TSN Events. "To have this original Canadian programming property flourish the way it has would not be possible without our devoted team of partners."
Last year's Degree Poker Championship was the most watched poker tournament in Canada, attracting a national average audience of 126,000 viewers per premiere telecast. The show attracted an impressive 247,000 viewers per episode when the premiere and two encore broadcasts were taken into account.
This year's event will be held June 25 to 29 at Casino Rama, a world-class casino-resort located 90 minutes north of Toronto. Casino Rama is Ontario's Favourite Casino*, a first-class entertainment facility specializing in gaming, concerts and production shows.
"At Casino Rama we're known for dealing big-time excitement and this tournament is exactly the edge-of-your-seat, thrilling event we love to be part of," said Jeff Craik, Vice-President of Marketing, Casino Rama.
New to the event this year is the return of past Degree Poker champions and finalists, creating the potential for a repeat champion. This year, the event also welcomes Bic Inc. as a new sponsor and official lighter of the Degree Poker Championship.
Contestant Breakdown:
The following is an outline of how the group of 72 players will be determined:
Last year's winner Jim Rich of Sarnia, ON, and 2005 inaugural champion Liam Greig of Vancouver join nine other finalists from the past two tournaments (11 players)
Casino Rama will be giving away five seats to winners of a select in-house poker tournament (5 players)
Degree is giving away a pair of seats through contests associated with its products sold at retailers Pharma Plus and Safeway (2 players)
The remaining players will be randomly selected in an online draw on May 29 (54 players)
Registration for the online draw is free and open to all Canadians over the age of 21 (excluding residents of Quebec). Those interested can visit to enter the contest.
"The Degree Men brand is a natural fit for the guy who isn't afraid to take a calculated risk. And going 'all-in' on a national stage against Canada's best poker players, what could be more exciting?" said Izabela Kvesic, Brand Manager, Degree Men, which is the title sponsor of the event for the third consecutive year. "Our consumers are into playing poker with their friends and always get into the game. Combine that with Degree's commitment to providing men with the protection they need to take on risk and challenge, not to mention the chance to partner with TSN, and it was something we just had to do again."
A general overview of the tournament, photos from previous years, poker strategy tips and trivia, and Degree Men product information are also available on the Degree Poker Championship's designated website at
TSN Events owns the Degree Poker Championship broadcast, which is managed in conjunction with Segal Communications acting on behalf of Unilever, Degree Men's parent company. TSN has retained the services of WhistleStop Productions to handle TV production for the event.
Casino Amusements Canada (CAC), a registered, non-gaming related supplier with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, continues its valued partnership with the event by once again managing the championship component. CAC is the developer and implementer of this world class event in Canada and, this year, the sponsor of the $100,000 first place prize.
TSN has been televising poker since 1998 and viewers can look forward to more than 150 hours of poker coverage on the network in 2007. TSN has a full slate of poker on the schedule in addition to the Degree Poker Championship, including such high profile tournaments as the World Series of Poker, Poker Million, U.S. Poker Championship, as well as the Legends Cup of Poker and European Poker Tour.

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