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Viewer interaction an important element in new show

In a deal with PokerZone Television, Two Way TV and Zone4Play’s betting brand, The Winner Channel are launching a play-along TV poker show branded Face Up Hold ‘Em. The two hour play-along show will be broadcast daily on Sky on the PokerZone TV channel.

During the show, produced by Two Way TV, a Texas Hold ‘Em poker game is played live with every hand revealed to viewers at home. Viewers can play-along by predicting which player will win at the start of every round. At every step of the game viewers get to see the mathematical strength of each players’ hand to help make their predictions. The show features live expert commentary from PokerZone TV’s pundits.

Interaction is via IVR and home players can play for fun, or can bet on the outcome of each game for real money. The minimum stake is GBP 1. The betting component of the show is run under Two Way TV’s bookmaking license and adds another betting platform to Two Way’s portfolio of betting products. These include mobile, on-line, red button and IVR-based betting.

Jim Sibcy, managing director of PokerZone TV, commented: “Face Up Hold ‘Em adds a new dimension to poker programming – it’s educational for players, and it offers everyone at home the chance of playing along for fun or for real money. We think this is a great addition to our channel”.

Jean de Fougerolles, Two Way TV’s chief executive officer, added: “The TV show is a great piece of entertainment for all types of poker players. By showing the strength of each hand as the game is played, even seasoned players will learn a thing or two – for example, it’s revealing to see how dramatically the strength of a great opening hand, like a King / Ace can change when another King appears in one or your opponents’ pocket cards. You just don’t get this in regular poker shows.”

Two Way TV launched its betting brand, The Winner Channel, on the ntl and Telewest broadband cable platforms last year and also offers betting products on mobile phones and the internet. This new deal follows last week’s news that Endemol UK granted Two Way TV the rights to create and run a betting format on The Winner Channel based on Channel 4’s game show Deal or No Deal. In May The Winner Channel announced an exclusive partnership with Teletext. Other affiliates of The Winner Channel include Flextech TV, Channel 4 and Mad4Games.


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