Everest Poker supporting WSOP final-table delay

In the Tank

At least one organization is pleased with the Harrah's decision to delay the final table of the WSOP Main Event by three months.

Everest Poker, which recently signed a multiyear deal to brand all table felts and the inner rung of the final table at the WSOP, released a statement saying it was "delighted" by the change.

"This move is a masterstroke for the WSOP's global profile and will undoubtedly make the build up to the final table the most dramatic yet," said Jennifer Joyce, chief marketing officer of Everest Poker. "From both a commercial and personal point of view I am hugely supportive of the schedule and from a European perspective it gives everybody a much better chance to see the biggest event in world poker."

The scheduling change will see the last nine players of the WSOP Main Event compete in November instead of at the usual mid-July final table. The change is meant to build anticipation and presumably boost ratings of the WSOP when it airs on ESPN.

"Simply put, it is our responsibility to elevate the world championship of poker," said Ty Stewart, the World Series of Poker director of marketing, sponsorship and licensing. "There's a simple denominator to all popular sporting events in any culture - a meaningful prize, participants you can root for and a sense of drama. The new format will encourage more people to discover this great game and its seminal tournament."

Not everybody is convinced, however. Online poker communities, such as 2+2, Neverwinpoker and the PL.com forums are rife with discontent about the change in scheduling.

Many feel the decision was made purely from a marketing and financial perspective without taking into concern how the players would feel. Critics have said the four-month delay will increase collusion and make a mockery of the biggest poker tournament in the world.

"Worst idea ever," wrote KidLifeCrisis.

"Everyone who runs poker has clearly never played and shows their lack of even traces of intelligence in every subsequent decision they make," added Aaron "aejones" Jones.

The 2008 WSOP will now run from May 30 to July 14 with the final nine players returning on Nov. 9-10 to play out the final table.

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