WSOP November Nine Era On Its Way Out?

The November Nine format of the WSOP has been operating since 2008 and sees the remaining finalists of the $10,000 Main Event returning after nearly four months to play down to an ultimate winner.
Initially, the format was introduced as a means of building extra anticipation ahead of the Main Event final showdown, with virtually live coverage of the prestigious final table then leading to an increase in ratings. Other benefits also include better sponsorship opportunities for the players themselves.
However, ESPN offering 45 hours of live Main Event coverage this year has been a real game changer as reflected in the impressive audience numbers recorded. Consequently, organizers now believe enough anticipation already exists for the much publicised event, and that a long delay may decrease rather than increase the WSOP fan’s enthusiasm for the Main Event Final.
As WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky explains: “We’re committed to it but I think what we learned over the summer with the live and taped programming is that we’re going to have to revisit the concept after this November…If you’re doing something live do you really need to delay it four months and try to build this anticipation to get people to watch? It doesn’t quite work.”
A further concern for the WSOP is that the delayed final table format is beginning to find itself adopted by several other poker tours now, including the Partouche Poker Tour, which organizers see as detrimental to the development of the game.
“We’re not happy to see other organizations try to steal the name and concept,” commented Palansky.
Palansky said that organizers are now planning on revisiting the concept after the upcoming November Nine is played next week. This could come as good news for WSOP fans, many of whom would prefer to see a Main Event final table played without interruption.

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