Sunday, December 30, 2007

TV Poker

jamieweb.jpgI've played with a lot of novice card players who seem to have an...accelerated perception of texas hold'em. I blame television.

The invention of those little cameras that show each player's hole cards transformed poker into a very popular spectator sport. Ever since, the World Series and many World Poker Tour events have over-run cable TV. Other channels banked on the viewership with celebrity poker shows and the like. This is good in that it brings many more new players to the game, but bad in that the it gives a false sense of gameplay.

In reality not every hand is exciting. The network edits a days worth of poker playing into an hour long highlight reel and presents it as a hand-by-hand game. Watching people fold is not good TV for the causal viewer, I know that, but I think some brave channel out there in TV land should give the audience more credit.

I believe at this point the market is ready for realtime gameplay on television. Those of us who have put in the hours to know the game would rather see how the professionals really play.


  1. You are right they edit out hours of folds and even many hands that do go to river. The hands that get TV time are crazy hands like 79 beating AK and the like- "that is good TV". Seven-nine folded on the flop over and over, but when it does win- bam - it is on the tube. TV and the lipstick cameras are great for the game of poker and I save a seat for the player with a 'false sense of gameplay' at my table. Thanks for your great insights and writing on poker, David is a freelance writer and simi-pro poker player.

  2. Thanks for the input. I must admit, I wish I could edit out some of my own hands sometimes.

  3. poker after dark. high percentage of hands shown there. lots of folding.