Big Changes by WSOP: The November Nine Era Is No More

The November Nine era of the World Series of Poker  main event is now over and, for the first time since 2007, the WSOP main event champion will be decided in July.

The format, which fittingly lasted nine years, saw the main event halt play after the final table was determined. The nine players who made it then waited over three months to resume playing for the bracelet in order for ESPN’s television coverage to catch up, so that fans would better know the players contending for the world championship.

Starting in 2017, the main event will feature live coverage (on a 30-minute delay per gaming regulations) from day 1 of the main event, to be broadcast by ESPN and Poker Central. This year, the final table will resume after only one day off, which will allow for a final table preview show to be aired in order to familiarize fans. Then the final nine will play down to a champion over the span of three days, from July 20-22. ESPN and Poker Central have formed a new partnership regarding the WSOP and have so far agreed to a four-year deal for this updated coverage model.

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.”

The new deal will see ESPN broadcast an estimated 40 hours of live (on delay) main event coverage every year, including a commitment to 130 hours of produced TV coverage as has been seen on ESPN since 2003. The press release from the WSOP also noted that any coverage not aired by ESPN will be streamed exclusively through Poker Central’s digital distribution channels.

“The World Series of Poker has been a longstanding staple of ESPN programming,” said Dan Ochs, ESPN’s director of programming and acquisitions. “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.”

Here is a look at the planned schedule of main event coverage on ESPN and ESPN2:

7/19/17Final table preview10pm-11pm
7/20/179 down to 69pm-TBD
7/21/176 down to 39pm-TBD
7/22/173 down to 19pm-TBD

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