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July 25, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Andrew Feldman

Andrew Feldman
  (12:04 PM)

Hey everyone! We have our November Nine, send in your questions now and let's get started.

Michael C. (Westport, CT)

I know the WSOP has mostly unknown players, but the fact that the final table is made up of nine guys nobody ever heard of can't be good for ratings or poker's growth. With no minorities, women or even men over age 30 this final table is a total snore. Your thoughts?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:11 PM)

I think it'll be great for ratings. There are a ton of viewers who followed these guys from Day 3 on and have really become invested in their journey. The players remaining are from seven countries and that will make our international exposure absolutely huge. Poker will continue to grow, regardless of the "star power" of the final table and I'm looking to see what these guys have to offer in November.

tom (chicago)

Excited for '11-'12 WSOP Circuit. I know some of the regional main event buyin's have been lowered. Is the points system/national championship "freeroll" staying the same or has it been tweaked? Thanks!

Andrew Feldman
  (12:12 PM)

It's been tweaked. I'm going to have an article out about it later today.

Nick (Saginaw, MI)

How do you feel the first year of 'live coverage' went? Any numbers come out as to how many people watched thus far compared to past years?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:15 PM)

I wish I could say I watched a ton of it, but really, I was at the tables instead of watching it. I plan on going back to watch the coverage in the coming days, but from the feedback I've heard from fans and friends and coworkers alike, it sounds like it was a great success. If you have any additional feedback, email insidedeal@espn.com

Nick (Boston)

I'm sure this info is out there, but will there be live coverage of the final table? Hole cards after the flop etc?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:16 PM)

I haven't heard about our final table plans, but I hope there is some live element as well.

Goldy (NYC)

Make your pick to win it all. Ben Lamb is obviously the most known so are you going with him?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:17 PM)

I picked him the other day, so why would I change it already Mr. Goldy? Despite not being at the top of the chip counts, he has plenty to work with.

Steve (Here)

Still boggles my mind...how does one call an all-in with K-Q on the November 9 bubble?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:18 PM)

Especially after being so tight for most of the final table bubble? Not sure, but he might have felt he was priced in or racing? He's probably still regretting it.

Goldy (NYC)

Regular WSOP coverage starts this week. Will ESPN be showing any events other than the grudge matches and Main Event?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:18 PM)

$50,000 Players championship and $25K heads-up as well.

gambler2k4 (ohio)

Hi Andrew, I'm curious why ESPN didn't talk very much about promoting online poker during all those hours of coverage?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:19 PM)

In what sense? I'm pretty sure the coverage was on the WSOP, not online poker...

Steve (Here (still))

How in-depth will ESPN coverage be on FTP hearings?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:22 PM)

I'll be watching tomorrow and we'll address it on the next Inside Deal and in a column as well.

john (alcoa tn)

has the LIVE broadcast increased ratings on ESPN?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:23 PM)

I believe there will be a press release out with that information later on today.

Chris (Washington DC)

Do you think it's essential for a big name poker pro to make the November 9 again. When Ivey made it, it was amazing and there was so much hype. But the last 2 years were good, but I believe ratings definitely went downhill.

Andrew Feldman
  (12:27 PM)

I think there are only a few pros that if they made the November Nine, we'd see a real difference. Negreanu, Hellmuth, Ivey and maybe a handful of others would make a real difference. At this year's final table we really have the hottest player at the planet in Ben Lamb. For those that follow poker seriously, the fact that he made it should be about as big as it gets.

Goldy (NYC)

In your opinion, who is the best current live tournament player?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:27 PM)

Jason Mercier.

another stupid question

why were patches outlawed this year. i must say i hate seeing ft ps and the like patches

Andrew Feldman
  (12:28 PM)

The WSOP changed its patch policy to make sure that while on the feature table, patches from sites who served Americans post-UIGEA were not allowed. It made sense for them since they didn't want their brand to be associated with sites that were recently indicted.

Jobin (Quincy)

Feld-dog! This isn't 4pm! I'm at a loss for words. Have you been promoted to Big Timer?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:28 PM)

No. Just a WSOP wrap-up chat. I'll go back into hibernation after this one.

another ignorant question

who will norm fall in love with this season.

Andrew Feldman
  (12:29 PM)

Erika Moutinho

Seth (Columbus, OH)

ANY update on US players getting FTP monies?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:30 PM)

Once FTP is sold...which may happen soon...there should be movement on that front. Unfortunately, the hearing tomorrow might slow things down even further if things don't proceed as planned.

gambler2k4 (ohio)

Andrew, that's an amazingly awful answer. If online poker were to become legalized, you don't think ESPN would have any interest in creating their own online poker site? It seems like they have a lot of success with fantasy sports, so why wouldn't they be interested in helping push for online poker?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:32 PM)

We've had our own online site since 2005 (recently closed after Black Friday). There will hopefully be a new ESPN Poker Club in the near future as well. As far as pushing online poker, that's not up to us at all. We'll adjust to however the legal process plays out, whenever that may happen.

Jobin (Quincy)

Seriously, a dude named Colson Whitehead gets the chance to play in the WSOP, and ESPN.com's Poker God himself gets the shaft? Did you park in Simmons' spot or something?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:33 PM)

Hahaha. Maybe.

Andrew Feldman
  (12:33 PM)

On a related note, I just saw part 3 of his article went up today. Looking forward to reading it.

Mike Ketchen (Boston)

Andrew, great job with WSOP coverage, your main event recaps were best around! What I want to know was if Ivey played cash at all during WSOP or if he was even spotted in Vegas.

Andrew Feldman
  (12:35 PM)

Appreciate that, Mike. Ivey was hidden. Lots of rumor that he spent most of the last few weeks in Macau or Ireland.

Jon (NYC)

Andrew, with the live coverage now, do you think the November 9 changes back to finish the tourney in July?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:36 PM)

I do not. I still think that the format will remain as long as the WSOP broadcasts air in the way they do on ESPN. If the schedule changes and we air the entire tournament live (and never edited), then I'm sure it will be reconsidered.

checkout (memphis)

why no 24 hour a day poker channel, live game coverage and some possible WPT, EPT, WSOP C, HPT, Epic tourney coverage with some "commercials" for clubwpt like sites. It could work. There certainly is plenty of room in my cable package

Andrew Feldman
  (12:36 PM)

I'd watch.

Derek (Allentown, PA)

Andrew,What did you think of how the bubble played for the november 9? More specifically, how epic of a collapse was Hewitt's call with KQ?? It to me ranked as one of the worst plays i've ever seen..

Andrew Feldman
  (12:38 PM)

I think Hewitt caused his own downfall prior to that hand. How can you not play for the first 49 hands on the bubble. Obviously it means a lot to make it, but steal once in a while...? That KQ hand will haunt him for a while.

lost my job grinding (america)

did hewit really beleive he was leading in the hand?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:39 PM)

I have to believe he thought he was racing.

Mike Ketchen (Boston)

If I can get one more in please! This epic poker league with Annie and Pollack, is it still a go? I found the website for it and it looks fake?

Andrew Feldman
  (12:40 PM)

their first event is on August 5th. It's a go.

Andrew Feldman
  (12:41 PM)

Thanks for all the questions today and thanks for following all the coverage throughout the WSOP. Email insidedeal@espn.com with any feedback from our live coverage!