New pro poker league gets television deal with CBS

By OSKAR GARCIA | July 27, 2011 | 9:29 AM EDT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A new poker league hoping to become the equivalent of professional tennis or golf to card sharks has a television deal with CBS, with seven hours of network programming planned for the league's inaugural year.

Epic Poker League officials tell The Associated Press that the deal will include 20 hours of programming from five poker tournaments, including a $1 million freeroll no-limit Texas Hold 'em championship planned in February in Las Vegas.

The shows will be hosted by sports announcer Pat O'Brien, a current Fox Sports Radio host and former Emmy-winning CBS sports announcer who covered Olympics, Super Bowls and other sports and entertainment.

Most of the Epic tournaments will air on Velocity, a Discovery Communications network launching in October.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.