2011 WSOP coverage kicks off with Grudge matches

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jul 26, 2011 Posted in TV Poker, WSOP News | No Comments »

Poker enthusiasts are likely blocking off their Tuesday nights for the next 19 weeks as ESPN’s coverage of the 2011 World Series of Poker is set to begin tonight and run through November. Unfortunately, the first week will showcase an idea that fell on its face at the 2011 WSOP: The Main Event Grudge matches.

The Grudge matches were meant to showcase/relive some of the greatest moments from the World Series of Poker over the years, but with millionaire players partaking in a heads-up match with little but pride on the line, very few people were under any illusions that the idea would take off or make for riveting TV.

Still the WSOP went ahead with the idea, and ESPN decided it was worthy of being filmed, and tonight we will see the following two programs on ESPN:

* July 26 – 8:00pm – Rematches: Johnny Chan vs. Phil Hellmuth from the 1989 WSOP Main Event

* July 26 – 9:00pm – Rematches: Chris Moneymaker vs. Sammy Farha from the 2003 WSOP Main Event

The format was slated to be a best-of-three-match –which Moneymaker vs. Farha was played as, and for whatever reason, the Hellmuth vs. Chan match ended up being a one match, winner-take-all, affair– where in the first round the two combatants replayed their heads-up match with down to the chip-counts and blinds taken from the actual match. In the second round the chip-stacks would be reversed, and if a third round was necessary the players would begin on equal footing.

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