This year it was decided that the Main Event Final Table would be held on November 9th rather than having the tournament just continue till there is only one.
My guess is that this idea can be greatly credited to the people at ESPN. The idea is that they can show the final table and have some excitement and build up for the table since people will not know who has already won the tournament like in year's past.
This will allow for players to get big exposure and sponsorships making the actual making of the final table an absolutely huge profit for basically anyone.
With this year's final table consisting of players that have not really made a name for themselves in the WSOP having no bracelets between them and with most of them being completely unknown by the poker community or the people watching at home.
This move will allow for people to get to know the players and get to choose who they are going to root for and hope for. Yet, I am not a fan of the move at all.
The move is great for the nine players that make the table; there is no doubt about that and congratulations to them and everything that they are going to make from the move.
Yet, what makes the main event so difficult and such a tough tournament is being able to play consistently all of those days in a row, and being able to play at the top of your game after seven days of just poker, poker, poker.
Also, I don't really know who the wait is going to attract to the watching the game. Most people that have seen poker on ESPN have either decided "yeah I enjoy watching this," and are going to watch it if it comes on and those who say "why is this on my television there is no way this is a sport."
Now by hyping the event up, I seriously doubt that any of those, "why is poker on ESPN" people are going to decide to watch it. Also, there is not going to be a lot of people that see it and go WOW, there are tournaments that big, since this wouldn't be the first time the main event would be shown on TV.
This move is taking poker even further away from the original...ok maybe not the original tradition, but the game is going in a strange direction. More and more obnoxious, jumpy, yelling players are coming into the game making the main event seem like a circus.
Then, to delay the final table of the biggest tournament four months just to get a pump a little more into it, just shows where poker is going. It is becoming more of a charade or promotion compared to an actual competition that requires an extreme control of consistent concentration in the most pressured situations.
Now I guess it is okay to give this a shot since there is a little bit of an upside, but it won't be long until something happens and this whole idea of delaying the final table is changed back to the way it was.
I would guess that at least in the next five years it will be changed back as there is more downside compared to upside on poker as a whole.