USA Today is reporting tonight that the World Series of Poker Main Event will be stretched out all the way until November.
The Main Event will start on July 3rd and play down until the final table on July 14th. Then, there will be a multi-month pause in the tournament, and the players will re-convene on November 9th.
On November 9th, the final table will begin. They will then play down from 9 players to 2. The final heads-up battle will take place on November 10th.
Then, ESPN will televise the final table just a few short hours later on November 11th, to allow for an "almost virtually real-time telecast".
This means that there will be a 117-day pause in the tournament.
ESPN have said that they will also air a "special" on November 4th that will talk about what the final table players have been doing between July and November.
The reason for the change is fairly obvious - higher ratings.
This change will impact the tournament and players in a number of ways, including:
-it will allow players more time to negotiate lucrative sponsorship deals for the final table
-it will allow players to receive extensive coaching from July to November
-it enhances the possibility that a player might not be able to participate at the final table due to illness, death or another reason (how bad would it look if a player were simply blinded off at the final table?)
-it will allow players more time to sell "pieces" of themselves at the final table
-it will allow players to review footage of the Main Event up to the final table and adjust their play accordingly
The people behind this decision say that it is good for the game and good for the "growth of poker".
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so here is mine: I don't think that this is a good move at all. I already posted some of my thoughts about it here.
Apparently there will be a news conference at 11 am on Thursday morning to discuss this change. We'll have a more in-depth article once we listen to this news conference.
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Filed Under: The World Series of Poker