Speaking to PokerNews.com this week, World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart discussed major changes to the WSOP tour.
This past weekend it was announced there will no longer be a November Nine. Previously, the Main Event final was played separate from the July slate, whereby the nine finalists would show up months later to conclude the event and ultimately determine the winner. Some of the past November Nine finals were actually played in October.
“The November Nine is staying put through 2020, only now it's just being played out in July,” Stewart said. “What I mean by that is TV coverage of every hand of the final table and a spectacle unlike anything else in poker is here for the long haul. Creating mainstream attention for poker is what has always been important to us. Not a nickname.”
The final will be played out July 20 (ESPN2), 21 (ESPN) and 22 (ESPN) – Consistent 9 p.m. start all three nights.
The entire WSOP event will now be broadcast same day starting with the first event. Previously, only the final was broadcast “live” with some tape delay.
“Basically, we have "November Nine"-like programming for the entire duration of the tournament. So the goal is to build engagement each day, and core to this approach is the viewer's expectation to pay it off while engagement is high.”
While much of the WSOP will be viewed via ESPN, it will also be broadcast via digital and social media.
“We're going to be one of the summer's ultimate binge-watch programs on the No. 1 sports channel in the world and that definitely falls under the header of ‘good for poker’."
The WSOP has entered into an exclusive agreement with Poker Central to provide the digital coverage.
“Poker Central will provide info in the coming days about how to consume the WSOP beyond ESPN via their digital products. Not just in the U.S.A., but around the world.”
- Ace King, Gambling911.com
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