What’s New at This Year’s World Series of Poker

by Lou on May 4, 2008

By now everyone is buzzing about the decision to play the WSOP main event’s final table in November, which creates a long time period in which to generate buzz about the event, create viewership for ESPN, and allow the final table to be broadcast in near real time.

But last Thursday, when Jeffrey Pollack, the World Series of Poker’s commissioner appeared on my radio show, Keep Flopping Aces—it aired originally at 6 p.m. Pacific Time (9 Eastern Time) on http://www.roundersradio/, and can now be heard as a podcast by going to the station and downloading the broadcast—he outlined a number of other changes we can expect at the 2008 WSOP. Here are some of the major changes for 2008:

A Dozen Changes, Straight From the Horses Mouth

1. No tent for poker this year. While it might be used to house a food court, no one will have to play poker in the hot, windy, uncomfortable tent.
2. There’ll be a separate room for satellites
3. They are separating the casino cage from the tournament area in order to allow for better processing and keep crowds from interfering with the play.
4. There’ll be a strong effort to reduce unsportsmanlike conduct, with significant discretion given floor supervisors in rendering decisions.
5. No cellphones or other voice enabled devices can be used at the table.
6. Event registration opens May 28.
7. There’ll be more space between tables in the Amazon room.
8. A concierge service will be established to help players with room reservation, dinner reservations, and other sorts of arrangements.
9. There’ll be more food choices.
10. There’ll be more restrooms too.
11. When the final table is established, all players will receive ninth place prize money. The remainder of the prize pool will be invested with interest accruing to the players when the final table is played out in November.
12. Players can wear sponsor logs, but no single company name can be represented more than once on a single clothing item. There’s a maximum size limit of 12 square inches per logo. The 16 week period between the time the final table is established and November, when the final table is actually played, will give the nine finalists a chance to secure all the sponsorship they can.

Will There be a Tournament of Champions?

When I asked whether there’ll be another Tournament of Champions, I was told that they are “… working on it,” and an announcement will be made at some unspecified future date.

Will the WSOP Move From the Rio? Don’t Count on It!

When I asked whether the WSOP has any plans to abandon the Rio and move the event to Caesars Palace, or some other Harrah’s property, Pollack was adamant in telling me that they were happy with the Rio and intend to stay there
Any Special Plans for 2009, the WSOP’s 40th Birthday?
Since 2009 will mark the WSOP’s 40th birthday, I asked whether they had any special plans in place yet to celebrate it. I was told that they are working on that, but no details will be released until plans are finalized—at which time they’ll hold a press conference.


Pud's Poker May 5, 2008 at 10:23 am

I think the cutting down on unsporting behaviour is a good thing mainly because Stars Pro Haved Khan drove me mental last year.

Harrah’s are doing their best to turn the WSOP into a carnaval without the players turning into retarded apes every time they steal the blinds!

Anonymous May 7, 2008 at 2:50 am

They are pimping out the main event. The decision to continue the final table in November is idiotic.

gtycoon May 9, 2008 at 1:53 am

We’re going to have t osee if delaying the final table of the main event until November will have the benefits they are hoping for.

The idea to do this was the hope there would be some hype leading up to the final table kind of like the lead up to Super Bowl.

It also gives ESPN a chance to air all the previous days of the WSOP leading up to the main event and then air the final table within days of it happening.

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