Jamie Kerstetter has announced that she will reunite with Lon McEachern and Norman Chad for CBS Sports’ broadcast of the 2021 WSOP. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Ssshhh! Do you hear that? That’s the sound of one man’s TV set on mute for the entirety of the next World Series of Poker (WSOP) on CBS Sports.
brings out the best in her co-commentators
Far more importantly, it’s also the sound of tens of thousands of TV sets all across America and the rest of the world tuning into one of the smartest people in poker, a natural commentator who translates complicated poker jargon into easily digestible wisdom nuggets and brings out the best in her co-commentators thanks to her innate understanding of the “yes, and” of improvisational comedy.
Earlier today, Jamie Kerstetter told VegasSlotsOnline News that she will be joining Lon McEachern and Norman Chad on CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2021 WSOP. McEachern and Chad have been covering the WSOP since 2003, the voices of poker for the Moneymaker generation.
In 2018, Kerstetter joined the team to almost universal acclaim. In 2020, with Chad still feeling the effects of Long Covid, she paired with McEachern to cover the hybrid live/online WSOP Main Event won by Damian Salas. Happily, Chad is better and returns to make it a happy trio this year.
McEachern and Chad came together in 2003
McEachern was no longer in the television industry when ESPN reached out to him to cover the WSOP in 2002. The next year, he was partnered with Norman Chad, the same year that a 27-year-old accountant by the name of Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event and the rest, as they say, is history.
Chad was also talent-spotted. He had written for The Washington Post and The National before becoming a syndicated sports columnist. His dry humor and whimsical punditry were his trademarks, but could they translate to the commentary box? Having been initially brought on as a consultant for the show, 441 Productions thought so.
In the early days of the WSOP, the style was more like that of a documentary film with multiple storylines all coming together at the final table. As the tastes of poker viewers changed over the years, mainly because of them becoming a more sophisticated and strategically aware audience, the style of coverage changed with it. Through the 2010s, Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari, Phil “The Poker Brat” Hellmuth and Daniel “The Kid Poker” Negreanu all joined McEachern and Chad to offer their tactical insights.
The breakout star of poker commentary in 2018, Kerstetter was rewarded with a spot on the WSOP coverage. She was an instant hit, keeping the more discerned viewer happy with her neat hand breakdowns while keeping McEachern and Chad on their toes with her witty banter. A fun atmosphere in the commentary booth is a contagious thing and the ESPN audience caught the bug. Kerstetter was re-hired in 2019 and 2020.
we put a mic in front of her and she was a natural”
VegasSlotsOnline News reached out to Chad to get his thoughts on Kerstetter. “Jamie is a remarkable success story,” he said. “Middling college athlete, unhappy lawyer, so-so poker player, and then…bang! I think we literally found her working the street as an organ grinder in a New Jersey suburb and, lo and behold, we put a mic in front of her and she was a natural.”
We also spoke to McEachern, who is equally smitten. “It is really great to have Jamie back in the WSOP booth. She strikes a perfect balance between talking about actual poker strategy and needling Norman. During breaks, I love to share poker war stories with her as we both have the same number of WSOP Circuit Final Tables in poker’s new-age-modern-updated-era (c. 2016). Plus she brings tasty snacks with her. I really couldn’t be happier.”
This past year, Kerstetter has commentated for WPT and on the Doug Polk/Daniel Negreanu grudge match. She has also taken on a role as creative producer for Poker King media. Her broadcasting career is consistently on the rise.
CBS Sports put the band back together
In April, the news broke that ESPN would no longer be partnering with the WSOP and instead it would return to its original home on CBS Sports. With questions flying around about what this meant for the coverage of the event, McEachern took to Twitter to reassure the audience.
One week ago, it was confirmed that McEachern and Chad would be re-taking their seats in the booth but, until today, there was no news about Kerstetter. She did, however, hint at the good news last Tuesday:
VegasSlotsOnline News spoke exclusively to Kerstetter and she spilled the beans, confirming the meaning behind her cryptic tweet. We asked her how she felt about re-taking her seat in the WSOP commentary booth.
“Whoa, wait a second – in the booth???”, replied Kerstetter, “I was told I could work remotely, far away from Norman Chad!”