November Nine Scrapped; Main Event to Be Broadcast Live
The biggest announcement from the WSOP this week was that the WSOP Main Event will now be live broadcast each day starting on July 8 and continuing through the conclusion of the event.
Main Event broadcasts will air daily with a 30-minute delay and any coverage not on ESPN will be live streamed on Poker Central.
One other major reveal by the WSOP is that the November 9 concept is officially scrapped and the final table will play out in July.
Starting on July 20, the final table will play out over the course of three days. The final three players will battle it out on July 22 for the bracelet.
The WSOP also announced an extension of ESPN's WSOP coverage through 2020 and a new partnership with Poker Central for streaming and digital media coverage.
POY Award Gets Revamp, Winner Gets WSOP-E Main Event Seat
The WSOP Player of the Year award is getting a revamping as well. It will no longer use the GPI formula for the POY and instead will use its own proprietary formula to determine the Player of the Year.
This new formula will likely answer some of the complaints about the GPI formula, including the lopsided point allocations between lower buy-in and big buy-in events.
King's Casino, host of the WSOP Europe, will now sponsor the POY and the winner of the WSOP POY will receive a free entry into the WSOP Europe Main Event later this year at King’s in Rozvadov.
As in the past the player will also have his or her own banner on display at the WSOP in Las Vegas.
New Clock Rule Instituted
Stalling has been an issue in poker for years now but the WSOP has endured a couple of embarrassing examples over the last two years specifically.
Last year Will Kassouf was singled out for excessive stalling and it led to much of his 15 minutes of fame in last year's WSOP coverage on ESPN.
The WSOP has now taken steps to curb stalling and will allow a more liberal use of calling the clock on players. In the past, players had to give "a reasonable amount of time" for a person to make a decision. That was usually two minutes.
Now that has changed. If a player feels that an opponent is taking an unreasonable amount of time to make a decision they can request a clock at any time. Tournament floor staff can also call a clock on any player without prompting if they feel he or she is taking too long to act.
The amount of time given for the clock has also been shortened. Players will have between 10 and 40 seconds to act, per the supervisor's discretion.
Note that players can also be penalized for excessively calling the clock on another player. While this new rule is targeting at stalling, it doesn't allow for abuse of the rule.
New Final Table Room, Player's Lounge
Several other changes have been announced for this year's series. The first involves the historic Amazon Room, typically the home of major final table action and the past home of the ESPN "Mothership" stage.
This year final-table action is being moved to the Brasilia Room. The ESPN stage will be featured there along with two other feature table stages. Other tables will be available, primarily for restart action and massive tournaments like the Colossus.
Now the Amazon Room will act as a general tournament room where Day 1 action will commence. This year the room will feature 180 tables for Day 1 play. Any fields requiring additional space will be in the Pavilion.
The Pavilion Room will feature a High Roller lounge this year, sponsored by King's Casino. A section of 15 tables will be roped off and players will enjoy a "high stakes experience."
The stage area of the Pavilion will be converted into a general break room for players. This area will be open to all and is a general rest area.
Finally, the Miranda Room will be the home of the popular Daily Deepstacks. The room will feature 45 tables for daily tournaments and may be utilized for other large field events.
The 7 pm and 9 pm events have been changed, too. The 7 pm will be a $365 Daily Deepstack with an accelerated format while the 9 pm will be a $135 event.
The Daily Deepstack events are great ways to build up a bankroll with some larger fields awarding five-figure prizes.
With the WSOP just two weeks away there will certainly be other announcements and clarifications regarding changes. We will keep you updated on any important developments.
Also stay tuned as we will bring you weekly updates on all the action at the 2017 World Series of Poker.