Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I have been really enjoying the wall-to-wall ESPN coverage of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The coverage is as "live" as possible, with the feed delayed by 30 minutes to prevent cheating inside the hall. Groundbreaking poker television, the likes of which we had not seen at the WSOP before.

They are due to come out of their dinner break soon to resume action, as they try and narrow the field down to a final table of 9 players. Those 9 return the first week of November to the Rio to duke it out for the multimillion dollars.

I notice TSN in Canada finally decided to pick up some of the ESPN feed the other day, including the final action tonight. Too little, too late is my reaction.

I don't get it! The Canadian nets are really good when it comes to things like covering hockey, but they drop the ball on devoting major coverage to these other events. You would think that in Canada, where online poker is still allowed, these networks would be interested in going wall-to-wall on TV covering the biggest event in poker -- one with a Canadian defending champion (Jonathan Duhamel) and where another Canadian, Daniel Negreanu, was at the feature table getting major TV time. This wasn't some taped poker show we were talking about, this wasn't yet another rerun of The Big Game or Poker After Dark -- this is the bleeping World Series main event for the world championship!

But no. Folks in Canada got the shaft and had to turn to the Internet for most of the coverage, before TSN finally got with it late in the tournament. This is exactly what we have come to expect as far as sports coverage is concerned in Canada -- coverage of any sport other than hockey. Surely, TSN could have found room for it  in between the important CFL games and other stuff.

Of course, you know what to expect this fall during the US football season, when all the live college football games will be on American TV. If you're in Canada you can forget seeing them, because instead of showing live games Canadian football fans will be interested in, that's when Canadian sports networks will be sticking us with the rerun poker shows. It never fails.

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