WPT Season X Changes, Good or Bad?
The World Poker Tour held its Season X press conference on Thursday and Poker Junkie blogger compncards has some thoughts on the changes for the upcoming season.
Change #1: Final Tables On One-Hour Delay
The WPT seems to yet again be copying the WSOP and are now going to have its final tables streaming almost-live on a one-hour tape delay.
As a poker player, I like it.
I am concerned that some viewers will forego the edited broadcasts on TV in lieu of the online stream though.
I also wish I didn't have to listen to Tony Dunst as the final-table commentator.
Not a big fan.
Change #2: New Stops in Pennsylvania and Florida
Right now, any poker league that fails to expand into either Florida or PA is totally missing the boat.
Both areas are ripe with new players and the market is ripe for expansion.
Kudos for choosing to expand here.
Change #3: Two New Royal Flush Girls Added
Mica Javier and Melissa Fisher are the newbies to the Royal Flush Girls for Season 10.
This was a concept that I was hoping would die a quick death, but it appears that average poker fans still enjoy hot chicks that have little to offer to the game.
The only redeeming part of the concept is the fact they will try to use the girls to get the audience more involved at the final table.
Hopefully they will find a way to enhance the TV production with this concept as well.
Otherwise, I don't see that lasting past the year.
Change #4: Re-Entry Main Events
When I heard that the Main Events were going to be re-entry, I cringed.
I absolutely hate that format of tournament.
Yes, I realize that it is part of poker's evolution, but the point of a freezeout was supposed to be one and done - not one and come back tomorrow if you'd like.
The concept does seem to be growing wings so far as the numbers for the Main Event of the Legends of Poker were well below what they expected in 757 buy-ins.
Strong field, yes, but they were expecting a record turnout.
Considering the fact that the Main Event had a price tag of just $3,700, it may be a bit of cause for concern for the rest of the year.
Change #4: Champions Cup
What is this, the NHL?
It's a cute gesture, but it feels like another rip off to me.
I'm sure it will be nice to have your name engraved on the trophy, but I'm not sure what it really adds in value to the WPT considering we are in year 10.
Maybe in another 10 years this will be something of prestige, but for now it feels too much like a gimmick.
My early predictions for the WPT is that as a whole it will see a decrease in overall attendance.
The exception may be with the new stops in Florida and Pennsylvania.
I also see ratings dropping this year, and part of that may be attributed to the online delay.
With that said, I would not be surprised if the WPT online production model gets copied.
The TV show has been brilliantly produced for a decade and I expect nothing less of the online model.
I just hope Dunst doesn't make it unwatchable for the general viewers.