After nine long years of running, the November Nine concept of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event is over and out. From this year onward, the WSOP Main Event champion will no longer be decided in November, instead it will all be over in July itself.
The current format, in operation since 2007, had the Main Event final table played out in November. That means the final nine players who made it there had to wait over three months to resume fight for the bracelet in order for television coverage to catch up.
Poker Central and ESPN have now reached an agreement and together will oversee live (on a 30-minute delay per gaming regulations) televised coverage and original episodes throughout the year. The arrangement marks the first-time ESPN will air same-day coverage of the WSOP from Day 1 of the Main Event to the conclusion of the final table. This model of coverage has been agreed upon for a period of four years.
The final nine will thus play down to a champion over the span of three days from July 20-22 this year.
The new deal will see ESPN broadcast an estimated 40 hours of live (on delay) main event coverage every year, including a commitment to 130 hours of produced TV coverage as has been seen on ESPN since 2003. WSOP also noted that any coverage not aired by ESPN will be streamed exclusively through Poker Central’s digital distribution channels.
“ESPN has been our home since 2002 and we’re delighted to extend the relationship into the next decade,” said WSOP executive director Ty Stewart. “Having everyday live coverage of the WSOP Main Event is truly a huge commitment on behalf of ESPN and Poker Central and we look forward to delivering to our faithful audience wall-to-wall action from the outset for the very first time.”
“The World Series of Poker has been a longstanding staple of ESPN programming,” said Dan Ochs, ESPN’s director of programming and acquisitions. “We are pleased to reach an agreement to continue to carry the sport’s most prominent event and modernize our coverage with the new same day live coverage throughout July each year.”
“We are thrilled to add the preeminent poker brand, the World Series of Poker, to our growing portfolio of poker-related content,” Chief Digital Officer Poker Central JR McCabe said. “We have major plans to reinvent the WSOP offering to greatly expand how, when and where fans of the game of poker can watch and engage with the game.”
Changing an almost decade old arrangement, this year’s WSOP will have the tournaments played out in the summer. Also now, a two-day hiatus is built into the schedule; July 18 and 19 will be days off for the final nine players. Starting from July 20, the finals will be three days long and the Main Event champion will be crowned on July 22.
|No Tagged Player Found under this Category!|