Poll: Rate the WSOP/ESPN Live Coverage

by , Jul 19, 2011 | 4:25 pm

With the live coverage of the WSOP main event on ESPN2 and ESPN3, live poker coverage really has been taken to a new level — that much is certain. In fact, now that they are down to 14 players, the WSOP Live is about to move over for a couple hours to ESPN1. But there seems to be a rift over it all that frankly, I find kinda surprising.

While I think it’s been friggin awesome and indeed downright historic, a cadre of Pokerati commenters seem to have a vitriolic distaste for the live coverage that goes far beyond a typical poker whine. (I’m very disappointed in them, obv.) Not much in-between … it seems a love-it-or-hate-it affair.

So at Marvin in Bedford’s recommendation — though I did try to remove bias by not calling the live coverage “phony” — I put it to the readers of Pokerati with a simple multiple choice question asking your quick gun-to-the-head take on how ESPN has elected to bring us the 2011 WSOP:

10 Comments to “Poll: Rate the WSOP/ESPN Live Coverage”

  1. Poker Shrink

    I think the issue is simple. Poker players with knowledge will like the new coverage but a biggest portion of the old ESPN audience are already asking – “Where are the hole cards?”

  2. Dasupa_702

    Actually looking at FB and Twitter, they are asking -“Where are the whole cards?” lol

  3. OhMissDeal

    Live coverage with no hole cards … maybe my memory’s faulty, but didn’t poker only take off with the advent of the hole-cam?  I’m typing this now because I stopped watching the coverage I recorded earlier.  Boring as hell.

  4. Dan Michalski

    it’s not like they are showing NO hole cards. this is real poker. so not boring — captivating. (and the poll is backing me up!) every hand being an “exciting” hand — where you could predict the outcome based on the time in the show — that was boring after 2007. 

  5. Jason Daniels

    I agree with Dan.  I can’t stop raving about how I love this coverage.  The hand last night between Ben Lamb and Matt Gianetti with the 10 min decision was perhaps the most intense thing I’ve ever seen in poker on TV (The Dwan bluff vs. Ivey on High Stakes Poker is the only other thing close).  

    I don’t know if they can do this for the Final Table since so much more would be at stake.  Maybe they could make it an hour delay instead of 30 minutes.  If they showed no hole cards at all, then yes this would be terrible.  

    I think they should add a provision that if a player puts in the fourth raise pre-flop or if they move all in pre-flop that their cards can be revealed by the hole cam.  There were a couple raise-raise-raise-shove moves that I felt would be more intriguing to know than sm blind vs. big blind, sm blind bets flop big blind folds.

  6. OhMissDeal

    Intense?  One guy waiting in vain for ten minutes hoping his opponent will give some kind of tell?  Hmmmm … And how do we know Dwan bluffed Ivey?  Without seeing the hole cards, we’d be left thinking that maybe Dwan had Ivey beat all along.  Not exactly intense.  There was a hand late in the 2008 main event, millions of chips at stake, Ylon Schwartz had a K-high flush with 3 low hearts on the board; somehow he managed to fold the hand with the loss of only a few million – his opponent had the nut flush.  Awesome laydown.  Without being able to see the hole cards, it would have been just another hand that someone folded.  Makes me wonder how many great plays we missed this year.  But not to worry: once the lowest common denominator of poker fans (i.e., we idiots who like to see the hole cards) have stopped watching, poker coverage can go back to how it was in the 1900’s, and no one will complain.  No one will complain, right?

  7. Subaccnt

    Right on the money- nothing “intense” about it.  It’s hard enough to get tells off good players when you are sitting right at the table.  Sitting on your couch watching in your living room takes away every sense you’d usually have but sight, through a TV no less.  On top of that, throw in no hole-cam, and your just staring at a screen, watching 2 dudes sit there with blank stares on the their faces.  How utterly boring.

    Forget the stupid notion you always hear that Moneymaker in 2003 was this game changer- I get so tired of hearing that crap, especially since it total bull.  He wasn’t a game changer- he was just some no-name dude in the right place at the right time.  And look…it’s been some dude we never heard of every year since, and yet it’s still popular?  Hmmm…I wonder why?  It’s amazing how glaringly obvious it is, and yet people still ignorantly refer to as the Moneymaker phenomenon.  It had nothing to do with it.

    It’s because ESPN’s add of the hole-cam in the 2003 World Series made poker actually fun to watch from the side lines!  That was the whole point.  No one watched it live before, because it was boring as hell.  To revert back to the whole reason nobody watched live televised poker in the first place, and call it “epic” and “the future of poker?”  It makes me laugh how people are calling it this new revolutionary format.  It’s not “new” people, it was there in the 80’s- and there’s a reason no one ever covered it live!  Duh…

  8. Dan Michalski

    You all probably don’t like soccer either, huh? The announcers can make the difference.

  9. David

    This coverage is excellent.  It makes you actually have to pay attention and think — instead of just having AK v. QQ all-in pre-flop shovefest highlights rammed down your throat followed by a witty punchline from Norman Chad (though I love Norm). 
    Those who whine about the lack of a hole card cam likely represent the lowest common denominator of poker fans.  Sadly, these same people are the reason why ESPN won’t put PLO on TV or let the HORSE event introduce any games other than NLHE for the final table.
    I just wish Esfandiari would stop referring to the chip values as “dollars”.

  10. Poker Shrink

    Unfair poll Dan. Pokerati readers are not the average poker fan. I think the standard ESPN coverage is what casual fans really want – more entertainment less skill; the ten minutes in the tank from last night would not play well and, of course, would be cut and cut again.