Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Online Poker Reporting Goes Live

Poker players may not like money, but if they smell an overlay they're the first ones in the buffet line.  36,000+ showed up at the Sunday Million this weekend and yours truly was there for the final table (click here for the report at PokerStarsBlog).  $1.1 million paid out for a $215 tournament, amazing.  And after watching the replay at PokerStars.TV you can see 2006 WSOP Main Event final tablist Erik Friberg made some excellent 3-bets with air to stay in the running.  Biggest WSOP ME ever, biggest Sunday Million ever and the guy gets 4th place in both.  Which is why playing poker is clearly a game of skill, not a bad run.

 But, that wasn't the only poker reporting I did over the weekend. 

After declamating my meager online bankroll thanks to the cards from hell and a vortex of coolers and bad beats I still had the itch for some poker action.  Knowing that Event #1 of the Minnesota State Poker Tour was kicking off its $1,000 + $100 buy-in at Grand Casino Mille Lacs, I decided to hop up there on my own dime to check out what live poker reporting entails.

It was a blast.  Sure there was no thousand mile stare at the end of the night because I promised two little ones that daddy would be home in time to collapse the massive blanket fort built in the porch and tuck them in.  Five hours to Twitter about the tournament vaguely while bouncing around the round for more of a feel versus reporting specific player's names (I'll start brushing up on this).   Also, making a prelude post of sorts on MNPokerMag.com while chatting it up with the parents of one's the site's owner who knew fairly little about poker but loved to watch.  A different setting from the massive NAPT tourney at The Venetian currently down to 24 players left (as of this hour) being covered by the good folks I usually sit on an IM message box with.  Perhaps they'll have a pointer or two for the next tourney as it was interesting to say the least when there were questions about interviews (I don't have a voice recorder) and mostly friendly faces willingly to take the couple of minutes between hands to chat (ran into a Cubs fan while I was sporting my Cubs shirt from the last Gentile Summit).

Will there be a next time?  Fairly sure of it.  My free time will go from zero into the negatives once school starts in a few months but for a second job that gives me an esteem boost, I'm willing to work through the long nights to do the first job I've ever truly enjoyed.

Quick rant:  NBC you're doing it wrong.  Ice dancing, figure skating, and Bob Costas droning on about Apollo Ohno's 6th grade subsititute teacher who once completely ignored the future speed-skating wunderkind while checking the NBA betting lines on the Warriors/Magic tilt that night on your flagship channel as MSNBC and CNBC get live Curling and perhaps one of the best prelim Hockey olympic games ever?  Regardless of who won, that game between Canada and USA was heart pounding and WATCHABLE.  Even the commentary added spice while Canada blitz their much more talented players at the brick wall of Ryan Miller.

Instead you continue the same production playbook from 1968 with clips of past action that rabid fans have already seen and/or heard the results of, with musical interludes with heartwarming stories better saved for the Jerry Lewis MS telethon.  No wonder your station has dropped so far, so fast from "Must See TV" to having The Office (a re-make), fat people losing weight, and The Tonight Show as its outstanding brands...

... oh you screwed that pooch too

Shove the purely subjective "sports" onto the cable NON-HD FOR MANY PEOPLE channels, and start playing live sports like double decker luge, short track speed skating, and more downhill skiing coverage you know things that are EXCITING and bask in the ratings instead of rotting away like that Nazi dude in the Indiana Jones movie who got tricked into drinking from the false Holy Grail.

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