According to TVbytheNumbers.com, the ratings for the WSOP Main Event Final Table on ESPN were down 30% from last year. The site reports that 1,563,000 people tuned in to watch 23 year old Jonathan Duhamel become the first Canadian to win the World Championship of Poker. Last year, some 2.2 million people watched Joe Cada become the youngest World Champion.
Of course, the execs at ESPN shouldn’t scratch their heads too hard trying to figure out why there was a 30% decline in viewers. The answer is probably fairly simple: Phil Ivey wasn’t at the final table this year. The hubbub that surrounded last year’s final table on account of Ivey’s presence may never be matched. Although Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi was at this year’s final table, he’s a far cry from Ivey when it comes to luring in a TV audience.