ESPN has officially announced the schedule for airing the World Series of Poker events that have been recorded over the past couple of months. Beginning next Tuesday, July 28th, and continuing every Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. ET up until the Main Event’s final table in November, ESPN will be airing a selection of this year’s events.
The biggest, and somewhat most disappointing change in this year’s schedule is the lack of coverage of anything other than the Main Event. The first event to be aired will be Event #2, the $40k, 40th Anniversary No-Limit Hold’em Tournament. This two-hour episode will air on the 28th. There are only two other events that will be aired before coverage of the Main Event begins. The week following the $40k event, ESPN will show the WSOP Champions Invitational, which was only open to previous WSOP bracelet winners. Then, the following week, the Ante Up for Africa charity tournament will be shown. Each of these episodes will run for two hours and will begin at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday nights.
Other events which have received coverage in the past will not air on television this year. Most noticeably missing is the $50k H.O.R.S.E. Championship, which last year featured a drunken Scotty Nguyen, who embarrassed not only himself but other players. Despite his antics, Nguyen went on to win one of the most prestigious bracelets awarded each year at the World Series.
Where ESPN is lacking in some events, they have more than made up for it in their Main Event coverage. This year ESPN will air 24 hours of Main Event action. Beginning on August 18th, from 8 – 10 p.m. ET, through November 3rd, ESPN will air coverage from Day 1 to Day 8. Then, on November 10th, the final table will air, beginning with a special one-hour preview show at 8 p.m. ET. Final table coverage will air from 9 – 11 p.m., culminating in the new champion being crowned just hours after actually happening.
There is always a lot of anticipation for the final table, especially since last year when the final table was first delayed until November. However, there has not been so much excitement over the final 9 players in years. This is of course directly related to the fact that Phil Ivey is currently 7th in chips out of the remaining 9 players. He will definitely have his work cut out for him if he has any chance of winning the event. There is no doubt, though, that he will give it everything he possibly can to try to gain what would be an almost unimaginable win of the World Series of Poker Main Event.
If you have not been following the 2009 World Series of Poker, or just have a little catching up to do, you can check out the WSOP 2009 News Page at FTR so you will be prepared for what’s to come in November.