An Early Idea for the 2009 WSOP

by , Nov 14, 2008 | 12:58 pm

Now that we’ve finished with the 2008 WSOP, and made our various criticisms of the November Nine, it’s time to plan for next year’s WSOP. Most people who watched the final table found it a bit lacking, especially the heads-up play between Peter Eastgate and Ivan Demidov, as 105 hands of headsup play lasted 2 hands on ESPN.

Here’s my suggestion for next year: I suggest a shorter delay from when the final table is established to when we find out who is the winner. Move the start of the WSOP back one week, and with whatever schedule they choose to make up with the last tournament being the Main Event. ESPN starts televising the Main Event July 21, 2009 with the same nine weeks of coverage as this year. You can still do the Final Table preview show September 22, with the final table scheduled for September 27. The other big twist, instead of nine players making the final table, you play it down to six. This way, one-third less players helps increases exposure and sponsorship opportunities to those remaining. You even get an alliterative nickname for the final table:

The September Six

Schedule the final table for September 27th, 2009 with the ESPN final table broadcast on September 29. Having only 6 players should also reduce the stress the production team has in editing the final table and gives you the opportunity to show more creative hands to help show the flow of the final table. The idea that you start the heads-up play at a late hour so that the newspapers won’t be able to let their readers know who won didn’t work exactly as hoped. If this idea was tried pre-Internet it would work better, but when the network that’s showing the final table repeatedly lets its viewers know who won, it completely defeats the purpose. Start the final table at a reasonable hour on Monday afternoon and play it out. If heads-up is a great back and forth battle, maybe you can dedicate the last 30 minutes to the action instead of two hands where it looks like Eastgate held over Demidov the whole way.

Anyways, it’s just a thought that I’m sure people can pick apart, but I’d still suggest Karridy to start buying up those September Six domains.

8 Comments to “An Early Idea for the 2009 WSOP”

  1. DanM

    How do you already know the ’09 schedule stuff? Is this based on previous years, or has some of this already been released?

  2. Kevin Mathers

    The dates I used I got from my calendar in Windows. There’s no schedule out yet and probably won’t be until later this year/early 09. I’m just hypothesizing a possible schedule for next year.

  3. luckydogruss

    Shortening the “pause time” for the final table would be fine, but with either six or nine at the final table, we’re still likely to be missing context and table flow on the telecast. Why not be upfront on the show and number the hands as they actually occurred during the game. Then, when editing and time constraints require a long string of hands to be skipped, just have Lon or Norman give a short recap of the missing action. They would exit the recap by saying, “Now, we pick up the action on Hand No. 166…”

    Had that happened on Tuesday night’s telecast, for example, they could have explained that Schwartz and Phillips had been card dead for two hours (or whatever) and may have made their ill-timed all-in moves out of frustration or panic. A similar recap would have immensely helped the very lengthy heads-up portion of the action, even if they somehow had been able to show six or eight hands instead of just a pitiful two.

    I deliberately avoided final-table news Sunday and Monday so the telecast would be “live” for me. The production was flawed in a few places, but overall I enjoyed it — other than the huge gaps in portraying developments that obliterated my understanding of what actually happened.

  4. DanM

    ***Why not be upfront on the show and number the hands as they actually occurred during the game.***

    I really like that idea … seems simple enough to just to put that extra labeling info on-screen … heck, they could even put the actual gameclock time, so you understand why someone is looking a little more beaten down if 2.5 hours pass in 2 seconds.

    And though I’m no TV expert, CNN did some cool stuff during the election for HD viewers, with extra stats and data on the side of the screen. Seems like that could work just as well for poker on ESPN.

    I sure hope these guys appreciate our telling them how to do their job better.

  5. Kevin Mathers

    I like the idea as well about hand numbers and all that, for the final table of 2002 WSOP, and 2002 World Poker Open they did say what hand number and amount of time elapsed. However with the “plausibly live” model they used since then, that idea no longer works.

  6. DanM

    yeah, “plausibly live” seems to be the one thing they couldn’t deliver on … even the feel of the show wasn’t all that live … it felt just like any other recorded episode of the WSOP. the best they were able to give us was “hastily churned out”.

  7. Karridy

    More domains… Yay.

  8. DanM

    During my election battles with Tom, I came up with the brilliant idea for professional debating … pony up, argue, win cash.

    Perhaps I will later rue the day for not purchasing, but as of now, I just can’t see it being worth the $6.