Tuesday, July 06, 2004

ESPN's World Series Coverage

For those of you who might have spent time on Mars, ESPN started their WSOP coverage tonight. They ran two one-hour episodes, of a $2000 No-Limit Holdem event and a $1500 7-card Stud event.

I thought the one-hour 9-person final-table format didn't work very well for TV. My preference would be for them to re-edit the episodes so that they started with about four people left, and showed more of the later hands. As it was the hands they actually showed were so few and far between that it was very difficult to get a feel for the flow of the game.

The stud event really was harder to follow, as people feared when they heard that ESPN was going to air non-holdem games. They showed players' hole-card cams, but without showing the players' up cards, it was difficult to know if that J2 that the player shows the camera is anything, or not. I felt like I was at the mercy of the graphics, and I didn't like it. If you've ever watched a non-televised baseball game on that Java thing that MLB.com has, you know what I mean.

Astute followers of the blogosphere will remember that Felicia was in the $1500 stud event that was shown tonight; her writeup is here. As she said, it's cool that her chips went to good use. It's cool for me, too, that some of the chips on the table belonged to someone that I know personally (sort of). I didn't see her in the broadcast, but the one-hour format leaves ESPN little time to show earlier action.

In any case, congratulations to tonight's (!) winners, and may you bring ever more fish to the tables.


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