As it stands, there are 214 players remaining in the Main Event. Aside from the rest of today (there's still half a day to go) there are still five scheduled days of play remaining. That means that, on average, about 50 people need to be eliminated every day for the next four days in order for Thursday to be an entire day devoted to heads up play.
Let me put that in perspective. Today the tournament was supposed to play until the field was down to 300 players. They hit 300 around 5:00 p.m. So that means that 86 players were eliminated in roughly three hours. They started the day with 481 players. So, 167 players were eliminated within eight hours today, including the breaks.
And yesterday? Yesterday they were supposed to play the field down to 600. They eliminated 119 more people than they were supposed to. So how is it at all conceivable that it's going to take five entire days for this tournament to finish?
I'm well aware that stacks will increase, and once there are a bunch of people sitting on a million in chips, eliminations will become far more scarce, and that the final table and heads-up play will probably take ages (what with nearly 100 million in play). Last year, heads up went on for fourteen hours. We should expect no less this year.
But are they really going to draw this thing out for the next five days? If the necessity isn't there, what sense would it make? I could understand if Harrah's was on some cash grab like they have been during the rest of the WSOP, but they aren't charging admission to this thing, and every drop of sponsorship money and tournament fees (especially with these six completely useless extra bracelets they're handing out).
I could understand if there was some ESPN commitment, or some live TV scheduling conflict they were worried about, but everyone from ESPN is already in Vegas, and the final table is being offered on pay-per-view for the first time ever this year. That's right, for $24.95, ESPN will be offering the final table as a live event this year on PPV. The schedule has been set, the contracts have been signed, and the money has been paid.
As I conclude this blog, the playing field has been narrowed to 175. How in the holy green land of God are they going to draw this thing out for five more days? It's inconceivable. So far today, more players have been eliminated than are left in the tournament altogether. Honestly, what sense can it possibly make to keep this thing on schedule.