WSOP Main Event Rematches - Who's In, Who I Want In, and Ratings
The WSOP announced today that they're creating a "made for TV" event for the 2011 WSOP featuring heads-up rematches from previous Main Events.
The main attraction is Sam Farha against Chris Moneymaker in a replay of the match that started the poker boom in 2003.
Other matches on the schedule are a rematch between Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan from the 1989 WSOP and a match that is to be determined by the fans.
You can choose Chan vs. Seidel from 1988, Raymer vs. Williams from 2004, Gold vs Wasicka from 2006 or Duhamel vs. Racener from last year.
Out of all the "made for TV" events that have come out in recent years, this is one that I actually like. First, you have the rematch that everyone clamored for in 2003.
What if Chris Moneymaker hadn't won? How different would poker be today? Granted, this showdown is years later, but I think that poker fans will appreciate the spectacle.
Of course, if you're going to have a made for TV event at the WSOP, you need Hellmuth.
His match against Chan made his career and started him on his run to 11 bracelets. This should be good for entertainment value from Hellmuth if nothing else.
In the "fans' choice" match, I vote for Chan vs. Seidel. Rounders fans know why. In fact, it makes you wonder if that footage wouldn't be used in Rounders 2 when/if it ever comes out.
I have no interest in Gold vs. Wasicka or Duhamel vs. Racener. Raymer vs. Williams I only have a slight interest in.
If I could turn back time (or raise the dead), the match that I would really like to see is the 1980 WSOP Main Event final between Stu Ungar and Doyle Brunson.
If Ungar was still alive, I think that would be the match everyone would want to see. The greatest tournament poker player of all-time against the greatest all-around poker player of all-time. Now THAT would be a ratings powerhouse.
Finally, I wonder how the ratings for this set of matches will turn out. Anyone else want to join me in putting money on this event to outdraw the Main Event final?
Unless the Main Event turns out a stellar final, I can't see fans being more interested in the final table than this event. Granted, I wouldn't mind being wrong on this one as the Main Event final numbers need a boost after last year.
I don't see it happening though.