Antonio Esfandiari, the winner of two World Poker Tour (WPT) championships and three World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, is one of many poker legends who will be featured in Poker Central’s new docu-series, “Beyond the Rail.”
The new short-form series, which includes players Chris Moorman and Mori Eskandani, a 2018 Poker Hall of Fame inductee, highlights the people involved in producing, broadcasting, and participating in the 2018 World Series of Poker. Produced in cooperation with Primal NY, the series gives fans the full scope of the tournament that brings thousands of hopefuls to Las Vegas every year who aim to compete for a WSOP title. Each episode highlights a specific behind-the-scenes personality, with the final episode showcasing the WSOP Main Event final table.
“The 2018 World Series of Poker is behind us, but the entertainment continues as fans get more access to the tournament than ever before,” said Sam Simmons, VP of content for Poker Central. “‘Beyond the Rail’ shows poker enthusiasts the intricate work of poker producers, the day-to-day humanity of the players themselves, and the sheer heart that everyone involved puts into making WSOP an annual success.”
Poker Central will make the first episode of the series, which follows Esfandiari, available for free on its YouTube channel today. If fans want to continue watching the series, they’ll need to sign up for Poker Central’s $10 per month streaming service PokerGO.
YouTube isn’t the only distribution channel Poker Central uses to draw consumers to its OTT service. In addition to streaming select content on Twitch via a partnership with the Amazon-owned company in May, the company has also signed a programming partnership with NBC Sports where its poker coverage will be broadcasted and streamed across the NBC Sports’ linear and digital channels, including NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. The company also recently partnered with the multi-platform sports network, Stadium, on “Friday Night Poker,” an interactive series made exclusively for Facebook Watch.
Other programs on Poker Central — including the original series “Super High Roller Club,” from Believe Entertainment, the Academy Award-winning company behind Kobe Bryant’s “Dear Basketball” — will be shown on PokerGO’s subscription service.
Launched in May 2017, PokerGO features a mix of video on-demand (VOD) and live coverage of some of the largest events in poker, such as the Super High Roller Bowl and the World Series of Poker. The streaming service also has a 10,000+ square-foot Las Vegas-based studio, created to be the exclusive home for all Poker Central-owned live events which are then distributed on the over-the-top service.