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Posts Tagged ‘ESPN’

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #24 Scott Clements and Adam Levy

December 8th, 2010 No comments
Adam Levy and Scott Clements

The 2010 WSOP Main Event run of Adam Levy (left) and Scott Clements (right) was a brilliant one, that wasn't shown on TV

The viewership numbers on the World Series of Poker Main Event telecast this year were down considerably.  I wrote an article on some thoughts I had about how to pick up the numbers earlier (found here).  The post was basically my response after having read the Wicked Chops Poker blog on the topic (found here) and thinking about some of the improvements that could be made.  One of the main reasons that people highlight as being disinterested in the WSOP on TV is that the stories of the players at the final table are just not that interesting.  The argument is basically that “The story is the same every year.  It’s a 20-something-year-old online kid that we’ve never heard of who gets lucky to be at the final table, and then wins million of dollars.”  Well, if there were recognizable names, would that make people watch?  I believe that it would certainly help.  People like watching stories that they’re familiar with and can relate to.  And when it comes to great stories, TV really missed an opportunity to tell the great stories of Scott Clements and Adam Levy. Read more…

Top 2010 Poker Player Stories – #26 Johnny Chan and the Main Event

December 6th, 2010 No comments
Johnny Chan

Johnny Chan made us all think that he could do it again at this year's WSOP Main Event

There are very few names in the poker industry that are referred to with the same sense of awe as Johnny Chan.  For nearly 30 years, Chan has been throwing cards around poker tables all over the globe, and stacking the chips of other poker players that have left with their wallets empty because they played with the poker icon.  Bob Stupak once coined the nickname “The Orient Express” after Chan won the 1981 American Cup poker tournament, getting through the final table of the tournament in under an hour.  The name just stuck and the train has been cruising along the tracks ever since.  Chan was the last player to win back to back WSOP Main Event titles (in 1987 and 1988), a feat which is very likely never going to be replicated given the size of today’s fields.   It’s also incredible that in 1989, he finished runner up in the Main Event to Phil Hellmuth.  But the 10 time bracelet winner was immortalized in the movie “Rounders” where Mike McDermott watched the tape of Chan slow play a monster versus Erik Seidel en route to winning his second Main Event title.

Last year I had Andew Feldman of ESPN on our show (the TPT Live Show) to talk about the play at the final table after the November 9.  As part of our discussion, we discussed if there was another player that would have the impact on the game of poker that Phil Ivey had in making the November 9.  I somewhat  jokingly said “Can you imagine if Johnny Chan was a November Niner? In fact, I think that Johnny Chan will make the final table again.”  This year, he made me believe that it was not only possible, but likely.  This made his 2010 Main Event story one of the best of the year. Read more…

Making the World Series of Poker Better

November 19th, 2010 No comments
Jonathan Duhamel

2010 Main Event Champion Jonathan Duhamel just didn't move the ratings needle

The WSOP Ratings on ESPN came out this week and the final table numbers were bad.  I mean, really bad.  They were worse than 2007 (the year that Jerry Yang won the main event) which was the last year before moving to “The November Nine” concept, and have been on a steady decline from the 2008 year when Peter Eastgate won the event.   Last year’s table with Phil Ivey drew fewer views than I think most people expected, but this year’s numbers can’t be classified as anything other than a disappointment.

The reality is that Read more…