February 2, 2009 (InfoPowa News) — This year’s World Series of Poker epic
in Las Vegas will again feature a four-month break before the final
table action takes place in the NLTH main event, and there will be a
new one-time $40,000 buy-in tournament at the start of the series to
commemorate its 40th anniversary of the championship.
 
The
break was introduced at the behest of television executives last year,
and delayed the final table of the world’s richest poker tournament to
allow ESPN television broadcasts to air without viewers knowing the
outcome. The entry field of tournament field of 6,844 players was
reduced to nine final tablers in July, but the final table action did
not start until November, when 22-year-old Danish player Peter Eastgate became the event’s youngest winner and won $9.15 million.
 
Tournament
and cable network officials said ratings went up 50 percent for last
year’s final table, which aired the same day play finished.
 
Phil Hellmuth,
an 11-time gold bracelet winner at the series, said most players think
the main event’s break is good for the game, allowing for more buildup
to a winner and creating a bigger spectacle when the final nine players
finally square off.
 
The 2009 World Series of Poker, starting
May 27 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, will have
57 gold bracelet events, up from 55 last year. The main event starts
July 3 and its winner will be honoured on November 10th.
 
Gone
from the series are five re-buy events, in which players were allowed
to buy themselves back into the tournament after they got knocked out.