Why I’m keeping mum on the World Series of Poker winner


1. I have no idea whether mum is really a word or if I spelled it right

2. Looking at Jennifer Tilly’s breasts is always a better idea

3. The two people most likely to actually read my blog believe that the WSOP is a television show not a news event

So is it a television show or is it a news event? It’s kind of both.

The WSOP is definitely not a war. If it were a war then I’d definitely advise you to follow its daily events and not wait for five years for it to be summarized on the History channel or even worse in a Hollywood movie where all the details were fudged to make you feel happy and want to see it again and again and hopefully with your children.

It’s not like a basketball game that’s being played on a night where you have a canasta game and are recording it and doing your best not to hear the final score. If you tape a basketball game, you pretty much have the option of watching the entire thing or fast forwarding through it or whatever it is that you people that can do this do. Frankly, every time I try this I fail. Usually if I care enough about the game, then I care enough to just want to know now.

Here’s the downside to ignoring the WSOP as it happened and just watching it on ESPN tomorrow night. It went on for about ten times as long as what ESPN will show you. Admittedly, a lot of stuff that they will leave out was completely boring and irrelevant, but then again a lot of stuff that they will leave out was fascinating¬†if you truly want to understand what actually happened.

An edited poker telecast can make someone who played brilliantly look like a moron just based on the big hands that they wandered into that made good television.

So am I saying that true poker fans should have marathoned it through the live Bluff broadcast like I did and ignore the ESPN broadcast? Oddly, no.

Poker isn’t basketball. It’s not a game of perfect information. Not only will Tuesday’s broadcast have jokes by Norman Chad that weren’t available during live play, it will also reveal things about what went on in key hands that even the players themselves still don’t know. To truly understand what went on – you actually need to do both.

Hands that seemed well played the other night might be revealed to be two morons in heat making incredibly foolish decisions or vice versa. Phil Ivey sure seemed like a genius when he made the final table, but it wasn’t until three months later that we were gasping at the winning $2,000,000 hand that he was apparently too tired to show down at the actual event. Once you see the whole cards, you find out the truth about how well at least that hand was or was not played.

Amazingly enough, ESPN’s 2 hour butchering of the WSOP final table is both a trivializing of the event itself and essential viewing for those who want to truly understand what actually happened – including the players themselves. Weird, huh?

One Response to “Why I’m keeping mum on the World Series of Poker winner”

  1. Whenever I see poker on TV, I turn the channel. Used to watch a bit of celebrity poker (on Bravo?).

    But the poker craze seems to have died off.

    Who’s financing the prizes? Amazing Race had two supposedly successful poker players competing to win the $1 million grand prize. If stakes like the $8.5 million prize were more common, they probably wouldn’t have bothered with AR.

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