Actual Poker Content!

Thursday, October 13th, 2005, 12:25 pm

What the hell, another quicky post. As I was trying not to nod off last night I flipped on the Poker Superstars II. Um, how long has this tournament been going on? And when is it going to end? DOES it end? I mean, I can easily imagine Johnny Chan and Kathy Liebert and Ted Forrest playing push-and-pray Hold-Em for eternity in the poker Purgatory that is this show. It just goes on and on and on and on and on, with no end in sight.

This round has a bizarre setup. Four players play two elimination matches, and the top two point-getters advance. Thing is, the person who gets knocked out first in the initial game not only has to win the next one, he/she has to win in a specific order to advance. Now, I didn’t watch the whole show last night, but I saw that Huck Seed got knocked out first. If it played out that Seed has to knock out Mike Sexton first, then David Sklansky, and then Johnny Chan to move on to the next round, then Sexton, who was sitting on Seed’s immediate right, can raise all-in every single time if Chan and Sklansky fold. Every time Seed is in the big blind he has to hope there’s a raise ahead of Sexton, otherwise he HAS to give up the hand. And Chan and Sklansky know that as well as Sexton. So you have a bizarre dynamic at work here, where not only are these world-class folks desperately short of chips to play with, the players who are low on points are prevented from playing against certain opponents. This is poker?

I’ve only seen one episode of the Full Tilt Poker shows on Fox, where they have the FTP folks discussing different aspects of the game. They’re definitely worth watching, but they’re on at 4:30 on Sundays, when I’m usually watching football, and tracking them down during the week can be a bit tricky. A few observations:

I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing Howard Lederer would give up playing poker and just be a commentator. Because he’s really, really good. Actually, he’s so good I’d like to see him do the NFL, the NBA…isn’t ABC looking for an anchor to replace the late Peter Jennings?

Isn’t Phil Hellmuth affiliated with Ultimatebet? Just thought it odd that he’s doing stuff for Full Tilt. Likewise Daniel Negreanu. A point for discussion–now that Full Tilt has this stable of famous pros, and Poker Stars has Raymer and Moneymaker (and Isabelle, Isabelle, Isabelle), does this point out a major weakness in Party Poker’s marketing plan? I mean, if you’re watching the WSOP, and you see a guy at the table wearing a Party Poker hat, what’s the first thing you think? That’s right–HEE HAW!! HEE HAW!! Maybe this guy is the best online tournament player in the Free World, but his reputation is tarred by playing at a site know to be the biggest acquarium in the world. Especially with Party cutting ties with its skins, will more online players gravitate to Full Tilt and Stars because they want the cache that goes with playing at a “pro” site? Could this be the tipping point that swells the player lists at those two sites to the point that they become as fishy–but more “respected”–than Party? Just a thought.

What I’m about to say, I say with all seriousness–I never, EVER, want to see Chris Ferguson slicing stuff with playing cards. OK, last year during the WSOP I thought it was cool when Jesus hacked up bananas with cards. Then it was carrots. Then pickles. Then he was trying to throw them past a hockey goalie. Um, you know, I get the point. We can move on now.

But no. We’ve already seen Scotty Nguyen beat Jesus in a banana-striking contest during the WSOP, and then watching the Full Tilt show they had yet another thing showing Ferguson taking on carrots and pickels with cards. They even had super-slo-mo photography to show, like, the carrots and pickles getting sliced. At one point Ferguson said something like, “When slicing vegetables you have to use a different technique than when you’re slicing fruit”, and at that point I put my head in my hands. Please, please, no more. Have Chris show us some swing-dancing moves. Have him blast out some game theory equasions. But leave the produce alone from now on. Please.

Pauly and Otis were at a PokerStars media bash last night (read their blogs for the reports, which will make you green with envy and/or nausea) and there was a Q&A with the Poker Stars players, including the person who won the 2005 World Series. Now, I’m not going to mention this person’s name, because I know there are people who read my blog who DO NOT want to know who won before they see it on TV. Which leads me to a question I would’ve asked (or liked to have seen asked): The champ is famous now, but nowhere near as famous as he/she is GOING to be when the shows finally air. Is it a bit odd to know that there’s this even bigger wave of fame and attention coming your way, after you’ve had a pretty nice taste of it already? I’d be interested to know how Raymer and Moneymaker felt about it as well–the Cult of Celebrity usually initiates you in one big orgy of adulation, and you don’t always see it coming.

OK, back to work. I think there are about 1200 folks signed up for Poker Stars’ Blogger Tournament. Wow, does my blogroll need updated.

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2 Responses to “Actual Poker Content!”

  1. Dragonystic Says:

    seriously man. you’re the very first blog on my blogroll and i dont even get a link back. =P

  2. Donkeypuncher Says:

    I can’t find the Full Tilt Poker show on my cable system. SHIT!

    I think we’ve exchanged comments on Lederer before – that guy should be cloned.

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