According to reports in the respected US newspaper USA Today this week, poker fans may have to wait almost four months after the championship to see who won the 2008 World Series of Poker main event, and how big the prize was.
Industry observers are currently awaiting the results of a press conference when all will be explained, but the newspaper claims that there are strong and as yet not officially confirmed reports that: "If you make the final table of the World Series of Poker, you will have to wait 117 days to find out exactly what place you finish – and how much money you will win."
According to the USA Today piece, the main event players will play down to nine as originally scheduled in mid July, then begin play at the final table on November 9th – almost 4 months later. The final table broadcast would be on ESPN on November 11th, and the WSOP Champion would be crowned live that night.
USA Today speculates that the move is designed to build drama for poker's biggest event, and also to build interest in and knowledge of the players participating. Both heightened drama and heightened interest should result in better ratings, something that has execs at ESPN excited.
"The champion will be crowned on the day of air. We're very excited about this change," ESPN senior producer Jamie Horowitz told USA Today.
Such a change could produce dynamics that will be completely new to the WSOP, and in fact to the poker world as a whole.
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