ESPN Missing Great Stories With Current WSOP Coverage Schedule
As with many players, 2003 was the first time I started seriously watching televised poker. I had watched a couple of Main Event finals in previous years, but the coverage of the game was expanded and enhanced with the addition of hole cards. From that point until 2009, the WSOP coverage on ESPN at least attempted to mix things up and show more than just NL Holdem. However, last year, they decided that they would greatly reduce the number of events covered and focus primarily on the Main Event. Personally, I think this is a mistake and fans are missing out on some great events.
What Casual Fans Will Miss With Current Coverage
While I am certain that they will show clips or give mention to certain stories during this WSOP, the fact remains that several event that have been worthy of television time will not get it. For example, I would love to see the final table of the $10,000 Seven Card Stud World Championship televised. Michael Mizrachi chasing down a 2nd bracelet and Men âThe Masterâ Nguyen going after his 7th career bracelet, and then getting it!
How about the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo World Championship? The battle between Sam Farha and James Dempsey was classic. In addition, Sam Farha won his third career WSOP bracelet. What about the $10,000 Stud Hi-Lo World Championship? Jennifer Harman, John Juanda, Steve Zolotow, and even Allen Kessler were at the final table. 2+2ers would have eaten that up with Kessler on television.
Also, as much as I hate advocating yet another NL tournament being televised, what about the durrrr final table? You know THAT would draw rating. Hype the table up with âDurrrr goes for his first bracelet.â The atmosphere at the final table was electric and with the pros coming in and out hoping to avoid giving up tons of money to durrrr, that would spell ratings.
I understand the whole premise behind wanting to televise the Main Event due to that drawing the biggest ratings, but for many of us that used to follow the WSOP on TV, the coverage has gotten boring overall. Personally, I tuned in to two episodes for the entire WSOP run last summer. Unfortunately, casual poker fans that donât follow poker on the internet will never know some of the great stories that have gone on here this summer. Yes, ESPN will likely give some mention to the some of the feats, but it is not the same. I can tell you Men Nguyen won his 7th bracelet, but it does not have the same impact as watching the final table and watching the last hand being bet all-in blind by Brandon Adams.
I think that ESPN needs to go back to their policy in the past where if a final table had a potentially big storyline, they would film it. Doing so this year would have given them at least 3 or 4 great stories, and we are just halfway through the WSOP.