In a desperate attempt to boost ratings, ESPN changed the whole format of tournament poker, playing down to a final nine before stopping for four months and eventually resuming play as some sort of weird sit-and-go.
In their vision, ESPN wanted the four-month delay to give the poker-playing public ample time to watch the lead-up episodes of the coverage and get to know the players before it played down to a winner.
They felt that it would make it more interesting because you would be watching to see who wins the interview, just over.
If ESPN was going to half-ass the coverage as bad as they did, I would have preferred it the other way. I would have paid my $25, watched 16 hours of Pay Per View coverage and been done with the whole tournament.
I will say again, that I like the idea that ESPN had, and there were some awesome moments (Demidov's K-7 fold, etc). I know what they wanted to accomplish with the delay. I tried my best (with great effort and difficulty) to go into the final table how they wanted me to. But ultimately they dropped the ball.
How can they spoil the outcome after four months by having a ticker telling you who won WHILE THE SHOW IS AIRING FOR THE FIRST TIME?
The whole idea of the "November Nine" was that the average fan would have no idea of the outcome and would be watching it like a live event, to see the results. But ESPN blew that, and ultimately put together a really weak final-two-episode conclusion to the biggest poker tournament in the world.
Color Dan unimpressed.