State of Coverage for WSOP 2010

With about a quarter of the events for this year finished or underway, the live coverage has reached a new low. Last year we were treated to 24 live-streamed events and the Hag was a happy little camper and was able to watch 23 of them… it was just the best ever. This year, at this late date, we are told by ESPN that 5 events will be streamed beginning the end of June with Event #44…..almost the end of the WSOP run..

The coverage (lack of) this year of the WSOP has been mind boggling… It is so seriously lacking that it is just a total slap in the face of the whole poker community…..

There is a “hardcore poker audience” and it ranges from the players that are well known and play many events, to dabblers who play here and there, to those who just dream of playing an event someday. ESPN and WSOP are covering this year on the cheap……..spend as little as possible…don’t do anything but the bare minimum for the fans. Maybe we won’t notice…maybe we are so stupid we cannot remember last year. Maybe we don’t realize that nearly all of the big events overseas are shown online and that Pokerstars manages to live stream many of the events they produce…even the ones that are later shown in an edited form for regular TV.

Yes it is expensive to do the coverage but with some ingenuity and creative thinking, this could be easily solved. If some techno savvy guys would put together a proposal and figure out a way to professionally live stream many, if not most of the final tables with a minimal level of commentary….ESPN would be nuts to not listen.

There were several guys that stopped by and were in the booth with Nick last year…Jimmy Fricke, Micon, Bonomo, to name a few (there were several)… They were great and it was obvious they loved doing it. I know many of the players would step up to do it.

For almost five days (115 hours) Phil Laak’s record breaking poker marathon was live streamed…it was minimal quality and 2 cameras… would not take much to show all the player and that camera on the table showing the flops was not bad.

Another problem with the ESPN3 streams is that all of us on Time Warner cannot get the stream (without a secret link)……that is a huge segment of the poker fans so using one of the live streaming sites would work much better for everyone interested. This type of coverage would be basic and not have all the bells and whistles of a full blown ESPN production and I know they want to adhere to a certain standard……but if they subcontracted out to a third party, the coverage would be increased and would benefit them in the long run.

Surely one of the large poker sites or poker publications could afford to sponsor a much smaller operation…….this would be a win win for everyone.

Pokernews has scaled back their staff for the “on the floor” coverage so we, the fans have been dealt another blow. Twitters from the players have helped some but this indeed is a pitiful situation. ESPN/WSOP should open that coverage back up to let more than one company cover the event live…….it has really sucked so far.

We need to have some young entrepreneurs, with a dream, technical skills and 3 or 4 cameras to come up with a plan…..Matt Savage….you got some guys and name recognition to get the ear of the right people..hint, hint…somebody help make this happen. This year is already screwed…. plan for next year.

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