A few things happened to the World Series of Poker format while I was away-
For starters, here is the ESPN TV schedule for this year's WSOP events:
• July 22 - Event 1: $10,000 pot-limit hold 'em
• July 29 - Event 2: $1,500 no-limit hold 'em
• Aug. 5 - Event 3: $1,500 pot-limit hold 'em or Event 4: $5,000 mixed hold 'em
• Aug. 12 - Event 5: $1,000 no-limit hold 'em with rebuys
• Aug. 19 - Event 45: $50,000 HORSE
• Aug. 26 - Event 50: $10,000 pot-limit Omaha
• Sept. 2 to Oct. 28 - Event 55: $10,000 no-limit hold 'em main event
• Nov. 4 - Event 55: WSOP main event final table preview show (10pm)
• Nov. 11 - Event 55: WSOP main event final table
No stud events with the exception of the HORSE event (mixed games consisting of Hold Em, Omaha, Razz, Stud, and Eights or better stud.) I know that TV ratings are getting weaker and weaker for poker so it's a bitter pill to swallow to see less variety. A shame that they cut the HORSE down to 2 hours, 6 hours last year was perfect and fulfilling.
The other big change is that they are stopping play when the final table is established and will restart play in November, either a few hours before the televised event starts or a day or so. (I'm uncertain at this point)
That is big news to say the least. I think it could suck but if it helps boost the excitement of poker again to it's 2004/2005 levels then I'm all for it. Collusion could come into play. Players who made it to the table via some luck may get some coaching and may change how the game would've been played. Plus someone could die in that 4 month period!! I really hope it works and nothing taints the game. Poker has come a long way to get some respect and not be associated heavily with cheating, The Absolute Poker scandal didn't reach a big audience but a collusion scam at teh WSOP would be a huge media event that I'd hate to see come to pass.
Cross your fingers and hope ESPN and Harrah's knows what they are doing...