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WSOP poker tableI have to admit to being surprised at the numbers that have turned out for the WSOP main event, but really I shouldn’t be.

Because I remember standing in the Pavilion room at the Rio only last year and listening to the crickets, which is exactly what it sounds like when three thousand people are all in a room playing tournament poker and the only noise is the clacking of the chips.

A full room at the World Series of Poker sounds like crickets, it feels like being out in the nature, and for a poker fan it’s nothing short of beautiful. I remember standing in the Pavilion room at the Rio last year during Day 2 of the main event and thinking to myself, next year I want to come back and play this thing.

And things like dreaming about playing in the main event of the WSOP are reason enough to get up every morning with a smile and be thankful you’re alive. And even though Black Friday has forever changed the poker world and the global economy has hit most of us where it hurts inside, I can’t be surprised that this main event of the WSOP is the third biggest field ever. Because hope’s a good thing.

Show 38 (July 11) with Andrew Feldman is online now! Click the play button to listen:

Giving people what they want

I was stunned, however, when I ran into ESPN’s head writer Andrew Feldman the other day. I was shocked, actually, and then I was elated, and now I’m just so excited that I can barely wait. Because Andrew told me, among other things, what I think is perhaps not only the most important news of the WSOP but the biggest poker game changer since Moneymaker’s title in 2003.

For the first time ever, ESPN have got the message. This year, it sounds like they’re doing it right. ESPN and the WSOP are giving people what they want. The sport of poker will finally get what it deserves.

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The popularity of live televised poker with hole cards has been growing for a while. Spearheaded by the Poker Million as far back as the year 2000, live televised poker has been the white elephant that has always been the hurdle for poker as a legitimate sport.

Success of the live streaming final tables on the WPT and the 48 hour live stream of the Big Game have helped to make this product a mainstream option. And now, the WSOP main event is going live, with thirty-eight hours of hole card coverage on a thirty minute delay broadcast around the world from Day 3 of the main event onward.

Andrew Feldman seems nearly as excited as me, and in our interview you can tell he lives and breathes poker with the enthusiasm of a true fan.  I truly believe, and I think Andrew might agree, that we are about to lay bare just how good some people have become at No Limit Texas Hold’em. The beauty of the modern game under the most extreme pressure imaginable is about to be revealed.

Don’t miss this six day live televised event, starting on July 14th. Don’t even think about it. Let’s all just hope some of our favourite players make the grade, or let’s all get ready to discover who the best poker players of the moment really are. Seven weeks of fatigue have fallen away. This year we’ll really know how someone has won the main event of the WSOP, and how good they had to play to get there.

Show 38 (July 11) with Andrew Feldman is online now! Click the play button to listen:


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