ESPN hits a home-run with TOC coverage

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Aug 04, 2010 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

As much as I was disappointed by ESPN’s broadcast of the $50k Players Championship it didn’t stop me from sitting down to watch the Tournament of Champions which aired last night. And either ESPN reads my work –which I doubt—or they have received a lot of complaints along the same lines –much more likely—because the TOC coverage was much, much better, and included some new features.

First off, I almost fell out of my chair when I saw VPIP and aggression statistics on the screen! It would have been nice to see these throughout, but the one-time showing was definitely a move in the right direction. Now, if we could just get a hand count!

Secondly, there were only a couple of exit interviews. I don’t know if this was because they felt the players were already well known commodities or if it will be a trend in all tournament coverage, but it was nice to see more poker and less pointless interviews.

Finally, two of the greatest poker hands ESPN has ever aired happened during this telecast. The two hands were between Johnny Chan and Daniel Negreanu, and one of them featured the Mystery Hand element ESPN added. The hands were played street-by-street –not just an all-in shove—and were perfect examples of what poker should be.

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