Players will play like normal until they are down to the final 9 players. At that point, all nine players will receive 9th place money and the tournament will be paused, for nearly three and a half months...
During those three months, ESPN will be editing footage of the main event and hyping the final table. The idea is to create as much buzz for the final table as possible, similar to how other major sporting events have a break before their big game, such as the Superbowl getting 2 weeks break before playing in the big game.
I question though if this is more like playing three quarters of the superbowl and then putting the fourth quarter on hold for a few weeks?
Let's discuss the pro's and con's shall we?
- More buzz and excitement for the WSOP
- You won't know who wins beforehand (most likely)
- Resurgence of poker to it's glory years of 2 years back after Moneymaker won, assuming hype works as scheduled
- It's takes a huge break in the middle of the tournament
- Completely changes the dynamic of the game
- Players can watch the WSOP footage on TV before they play the final table. I only imagine that they will be able to seehands that others played and which hole cards they had and plays they made.
- Hugely increases the possibility of collusion
- Hugely increases the possibility of outside influence
I'd like to hear more about what Harrahs has said about combating any form of collusion during this hiatus because I think this has a huge risk factor of tarnishing the game. The last thing anyone wants to come from this is another scandal where some of the players are working together in concert in some form or fashion, be it working off of some sort of non verbal cue or just playing to bust others but keep one another in as long as possible. Just a ton of collusion possibilities in my mind that could come up and when we are talking World Series of Poker Final Table money you have to know that it's a possibility to happen...
Now from a personal and business standpoint I like the move because I think it will indeed increase the exposure of poker and that means more traffic to the ole Kick Ass Poker Blog as well as sites across our network... plus it hopefully means more people getting excited about poker and starting to play the game because of all of the hype.
Now only if we can have a superstar or two in the final table instead of no personality Jerry Yang and the "hardly anyone liked me cause of the WSOP" Jamie Gold winners of past, plus if the amateurs can qualify online from an online poker room, like the Poker Stars Site then woo hoo we've hit the jackpot!
Can you imagine if the final table had Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow mixed in with a couple of hot poker chicks and some personable amateurs? That'd be a great scenario for poker and we can only hope.
What do you think, if you're at the final table of the WSOP this year are you going to enjoy the 117 day break before getting to play the final table? I'd love to get some feedback on this one.