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With the massive growth of poker over the last couple of years, Harrah’s Entertainment has decided to change the way the 2008 WSOP will be run. The Main Event starts on July 3rd and hopes to reach a final table of nine by July 15th. Then, there will be a 16-week waiting period before the actual final table starts. Each of the final nine will be paid ninth-place money right away.

The final table will resume play on November 9th at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. ESPN will air the final table events on the evening of November 11th, just hours after the projected finish.

By doing this, Harrah’s Entertainment hopes the 2008 WSOP Main Event will become even bigger and rival major sporting events championships such as the Super Bowl and the Daytona 500. They also feel as though the final nine competitors will gain promotional deals because of their achievements.

This change will also allow the final table competitors to enhance their chances of winning by studying their opponents further and honing in
on their own poker skills.

There is already buzz among the poker world as to what could happen with a 16-week waiting period with millions on the line. “There are probably a hundred different scenarios that precede any championship event, whether in entertainment or sports and it’s very difficult to anticipate every scenario beforehand. People should be confident in our ability to stage an event that is professional, world-class, and customer-friendly as we always do. If there are extraordinary circumstances, we will deal with them with the good process we apply to anything that comes across our desk” said WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack.

This years prize money will also gain from this 16-week break. The money is going to be placed in an interest-bearing account in which the interest it makes will also be put into the prize pool for the final nine competitors.

With such a wait over the biggest poker event of the year, Pollack hopes that there will be a buzz about who the final table competitors are instead of a drop off of WSOP interest until action is regained in November. I know I will be thinking of this for the whole 16-weeks, and hopefully you will also.