About time! The November Nine was a bold experiment at the time it was launched, but that old-empire way of thinking became quickly outdated in the digital age. The advances in stream technology and importance of the social media zeitgeist made a delayed final table concept obsolete.
Pretty much everyone knew the November Nine's days were numbered with the rise of Poker Central. Well, the rumors became official. According from a statement from Poker Central....
"Poker Central is excited to announce the acquisition of the global television and digital media rights to the World Series of Poker. An agreement has also been reached with ESPN to bring – for the first time – same day live coverage of the World Series of Poker from Day 1 of the Main Event until the winner is crowned."
Read the official press release here.
The WSOP Main Event kicks off on Saturday July 8. The Main Event will last 7 days before they get down to the final nine on July 17. After a two-day break, the final table will begin on July 20. Consisting of three days of action, the final table will go from 9 to 6, then 6 to 3 on July 21, before finishing the final three to one on July 22. Yes, we will not have to wait until November to finally crown a champion! Someone will become the next biggest swinging dick (or vagina, or non-specified, or non-gender conforming genitalia) in poker on July 22. Mark your calendars!
Under the new deal, Poker Central will now be the owner of the WSOP rights, but ESPN will be a broadcast partner airing the live stream on a 30-minute delay. This makes perfect sense for all parties. There are no olympics or major international soccer events in this odd-numbered year. With the exception of Sunday Night Baseball, ESPN does not have much going on in the dead of summer. So why not stream poker every night starting at 9pm and going into the wee hours??
Yup, RIP November Nine. Time to pour out some malt liquor for the November Nine.
JR McCabe, Poker Central
We are thrilled to add the preeminent poker brand, the World Series of Poker, to our growing portfolio of poker-related content. We have major plans to reinvent the WSOP offering to greatly expand how, when and where fans of the game of poker can watch and engage with the game.
And now for some quotes from suits...
Ty Stewart, executive director of the WSOP, seemed excited, "ESPN has been our home since 2002, and we're delighted to extend the relationship into the next decade. Having every day 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."
Dan Ochs, director of programming and acquisitions at ESPN said, “The World Series of Poker has been a longstanding staple of ESPN programming. We are pleased to reach an agreement to continue to carry the sport's most prominent event and modernize our coverage with the new same day live coverage throughout July each year.”
ESPN/ESPN2 WSOP Main Event Schedule
- July 8 Day 1a @4pm-8pm
- July 9 Day 1b @2pm - 6pm
- July 11 Day 2a/2b @8pm-11pm
- July 12 Day 2c @8pm-10pm
- JULY 13 NO PROGRAMMING
- July 14 Day 4 @8pm-11pm
- July 15 Day 5 @2pm-4pm
- July 16 Day 6 @2pm-6pm
- July 17 Day 7 @7pm-9pm
- July 18 NO PROGRAMMIING
- July 19 Final Table Preview @10pm-11pm
- July 20 Final Table - 9 down to 6 @9pm-TBD
- July 21 Final Table - 6 down to 3 @9pm-TBD
- July 22 Final Table - 3 down to 1 @9pm-TBD