World Series of Poker officials held a press conference yesterday in which they announced that the final table will be played out over four months after the last lucky nine are decided.
Play of the $10,000 tournament will be suspended when down to the last nine players, and will resume in November to tie it in with the ESPN broadcast. Previously, the final table has been the day on or after the 10th place finisher is eliminated.
Professional players Johnny Chan and Daniel Negreanu have both given their blessing to this move. "It will change the table dynamics," Canadian World Series of Poker bracelet-winner Negreanu said. "You're going to see a lot more sophisticated play."
Negreanu says this as the early stages of the tournament will begin broadcast on ESPN before the final table is played. This means players at the table can study tapes of their opponents before play.
‘It might be huge for the continued growth of poker; however, the down side is this long gap allows the players to become completely different people between the time they make the final table and when they play it,’ said 2004 World Champion Greg Raymer, a member of Team PokerStars.