Heightened Drama, Consistent Playing Styles Cited as Reasons Why Decision to Scrap "November Nine" Format Worked

Published on July 24th, 2017 1:29 pm EST

The King is at the office, paper in hand, the mic is on.  The topic is the new format of the World Series of Poker final table.The "November Nine" format was not popular.

In previous years, in an effort to increase ratings for the World Series of Poker main event final table, ESPN and the World Series of Poker elected to delay the WSOP final table for a number of months. At the time, the idea was that the long delay would help to build ratings for the final table. ESPN would air the final table over a number of months, leading into the "November Nine" final table.

The experiment didn't really work and all of the parties elected to return to having the final table conclude in July. At the time, the decision drew raves from the poker public, as the "November Nine" format had become decidedly unpopular.

To start, final table members would sit down in November with completely different styles of play. They had spent months reviewing hands and receiving coaching, and this helped to create some major inconsistency.

In addition, poker fans that followed the WSOP main event online were exceedingly unhappy to have to wait multiple months to find out what would happen with the final table.

The November Nine was an interesting idea that had run its course.


While this year's final table was fairly lopsided, the majority of fans said that they felt there was more drama than in years past.

The wear of the grind was still evident on the nine final table participants, which is something that was simply missing from the past years. With the "November Nine", final table participants had a couple of months to relax and spend on a beach. This year, the nine players were still clearly tired from the grind, and this helped to create some drama.

In addition, players didn't have a chance to receiving coaching and change their styles of play. This created a continuity that had been missing from "November Nine" final tables.


All in all, the World Series of Poker seems to have settled back on a winning formula by scrapping the "November Nine" final table and allowing increased coverage of the main event via their deal with Poker Central.