The November Nine era for World Series of Poker (WSOP) is over, as the series is going to crown its main event champion in July this year.For the last nine years, the final nine players who made it to the main event final table waited for almost three months to resume action to play for the most coveted Main Event title and bracelet. The reason for the delay was probably to let the fans know players and make them wait for ESPN’s television coverage to catch up.
This year, things have changed for the WSOP Main Event, which kicks off on July 8. The final nine players of the event will take a two-day break and then return to the play on July 20. The Main Event will feature live coverage with a 30-minute delay from day 1 of the event, which will be broadcast by ESPN and Poker Central.
The final table of the WSOP Main Event will be resumed after a gap of one day only, which will allow for a final table preview show to be aired in order to familiarize the poker fans. Then, the final nine table will play down to the ultimate champion over a course of three days, starting from July 20 to 22.
Both ESPN and Poker Central have struck a new deal regarding the WSOP broadcast and have agreed to a four-year deal for this updated coverage model. As per the new deal, ESPN will carry an estimated 40 hours of live (with 30 minutes delay) main event coverage every year, including a commitment to around 130 hours of produced TV coverage. The WSOP also announced that Poker Central has also got the global television and digital media rights to the annual summer event. Any coverage, which is not aired by ESPN, will be streamed exclusively by Poker Central’s digital channels.
“ESPN has been our home since 2002 and we’re delighted to extend the relationship into the next decade,” said WSOP executive director Ty Stewart. “Having everyday live coverage of the WSOP Main Event is truly a huge commitment on behalf of ESPN and Poker Central and we look forward to delivering to our faithful audience wall-to-wall action from the outset for the very first time.”