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ESPN Shot the H.O.R.S.E.

5 May 2009, By: compncards

I want to know what genius decided that the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Event was no longer worthy of receiving television coverage. Harrah’s announced this past Wednesday that only 4 events would receive coverage at the World Series of Poker for 2009. However, only two of the events are bracelet events.

The Main Event will clearly receive coverage. They even decided to give it more coverage this year. That is fine. The other bracelet event they will cover is the $40,000 40th Anniversary event. Ok, that is understandable too.

However, the other two events are the Champions Invitational and Ante Up for Africa. The Champions Invitational will bring back any living WSOP Main Event Champion to play for the “Binion Cup” and a new car. The Ante Up for Africa tournament is the annual charity tournament held at the WSOP.

The 50k H.O.R.S.E. event will receive zero coverage this year. The reason stated was that the non-Holdem events do not receive the same ratings. Yeah, and Ante Up for Africa is going to really draw people to watch.

I’m not saying don’t give the charity tournament some airtime. That is fine. However, don’t cut out the event that truly showcases the true poker ability by so many of the top pros.

And it makes great TV:

This move makes me want to smack the people over at ESPN. Of course, the Holdem monkeys will turn out in force to watch the Main Event coverage and ESPN and Harrah’s will cream themselves over the ratings. Sadly, it’s all about ratings and nobody seems to care about watching good poker anymore.

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  • compncards 06/05/2009 2:59pm (12 years ago)


    While viewers may associate the WSOP with Holdem, it is the World Series of Poker, not the World Series of Holdem.

  • AllinOrFold 06/05/2009 8:11am (12 years ago)

    Will they not even record it and put it out on the web? I don't get it... on average they get at least 250K watchers on each single episode on YouTube plus all the exposure they get from the embedded material. I am sure this accounts for up to a million views per show. If they would post it in high quality themselves with the commercial spots in them too, I am sure they could earn a buck from airing even the smallest events during WSOP.

    C'mon George!! Ante up!!

  • George (from ESPN) 05/05/2009 8:36pm (12 years ago)

    Much thought went into the schedule, as we want to show the most compelling action. In the final analysis, viewers strongly associate WSOP with Texas Hold ‘Em. We will be airing a record number of main event hours in 2009. 24 hours of Main Event shows and 2.5 hours for the Final Table are currently planned in vs. 18 Main Event hours and 2 Final Table hours in 2008.