Two of November Nine Chose Not to Appear on Leno, Ellen

by , Nov 20, 2008 | 3:40 pm

. . . according to Harrah’s Sports and Entertainment Director of Communications Seth Palansky. Palansky appeared on Gary Wise’s podcast Wise Hand Poker (the 11/19/08 episode) to talk about various subjects, including doing a little post-mortem of the delayed WSOP Main Event final table and broadcast.

As the pair discussed various promotional opportunities — as well as the distractions of the economic crises and presidential election that punctuated those last couple of weeks prior to the final table — Palansky stated how he had some news to “break” on Wise’s show. Per Kevmath’s transcription:

SP: We had a player booked on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, they chose not to do it.

GW: Are we allowed to ask which player it was?

SP: I don’t want to name names and get into that for anyone. We also had the Ellen DeGeneres show booked with another player, who chose not to do it.

GW: Why were these players choosing not to do these shows?

SP: That’s something that the players and their agents and advisors, etc. that should be in the position to answer….

Palansky goes on to “express a concern” that the unnamed players didn’t seize the opportunities to appear on the mainstream shows. “They’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities that get presented to them,” said Palansky. “And it’s unfortunate that in situations where we had a successful pitch and an opportunity for our players to be on that national stage, they chose not to.”

Discussion has ensued on the 2+2 forum (where Kevmath’s transcription of the pertinent passages, unabridged, can be found).

Ed. Note: See Shamus’ own more detailed, existential thoughts on the making of a more-than-poker TV star here.


  • Lara

    I posted this on 2+2 and might as well here to, Dennis didnt turn down any interviews. He in fact was doing 4-5 interviews a day in the month before the ME. We would have never said no to Jay Leno, Ellen, etc. I cant speak for any of the other November 9 on this however.

  • Kevin Mathers

    To help narrow down as to who allegedly turned this down. Dennis Phillips’ agent mentioned that he never turned down an interview request. Scott Montgomery posted in the thread that he felt that it’s Palansky and co. not doing their job and blaming the players.

  • Private comment to GW:

    >>>GW: Why were these players choosing not to do these shows?< << Solid question. And lo and behold you got a good answer. >>>GW: Are we allowed to ask which player it was?<<< Dude, terrible question (with all due respect). YES, you are allowed to ask! You can ask whateverdafug you want -- it's your gahdamn show! He may not be allowed to answer, but put it on him! Wondering who is a legitimate question, and as far as I know, the WSOP isn't paying you. Sorry for picking, man ... but I know you can take it. Potential follow-ups: Was it Peter Eastgate? How 'bout Ivan Demidov? Ylon Schwartz? I know ... Kelly Kim? et al et al. We can assume it wasn't Craig Marquis or Darus Suharto. And we are told it wasn't Dennis Phillips (which I believe). Eastgate is a strong contender, of course. But otherwise, California and all ... I am thinking maybe Chino Rheem?

  • >>>We also had the Ellen DeGeneres show booked with another player, who chose not to do it. <<< Tiffany Michelle? Surely she can't say no to a camera, right?

  • “…and an opportunity for our players to be on that national stage, they chose not to.”

    Suggests that the players were american, which rules out Eastgate and Demidov, to name two.

    /j.

  • CJ

    Perhaps Palansky should have turned around and asked Gary Wise why he took money from 60 minutes to help sink online poker even further?

  • Bill Reynolds

    Who the F cares if any of these people are on Leno or Ellen? Why would anyone watch these shows just because two of the Nov. 9 would be on them? They’re poker players! They won money playing poker. They were luckier than the other 8,000+ entrants. All we need are more schmucks in this world self-absorbed in their self-importance, thinking they should be famous.

    Maybe Leno and Ellen can get the hot dog eating champion or Idatarod champion, or PowerBall Lottery winners on their shows instead, or maybe even the RO-SHAM-BO champ from the WSOP. Thank God I have TIVO so I’ll be able to record their appearances!

  • ***asked Gary Wise why he took money from 60 minutes to help sink online poker even further***

    Hold on now … while I’m not one to defend Gary Wise willy-nilly, I think anyone who sees the 60 Minutes thing as “help sinking online poker even further” (without having seen the episode yet) is a little out of line.

    Considering that 60 Minutes doesn’t exactly have a history of botching stories, why should anybody be afraid of the TRUTH? There may be some short-term backlash, but in the long run, we WANT the non-poker public to understand our dilemmae … and this is plausibly a step in the right direction.

    Unless, of course, you believe poker — online and otherwise — really is a shady criminal industry. I don’t, and that’s having met (and occasionally worked with) a bunch of shady criminals, who are exactly the people I’d like to see run out of the poker biz in favor of more legitimate games.

    Am I just a naive fucker for clinging to an age-old belief that the truth will set you free?

    Either way … believe me, there’s plenty to pick on Gary Wise about. Including the foreign-to-me concept of charging a fee to help out a fellow journalist. But putting any of poker’s once and future woes on Gary is akin to blaming the media who exposed abuses at Abu Ghraib for failures in Iraq and any subsequent fallout.

  • CJ

    Fair point… but my thought is that 60 minutes job is to dig up dirt. Now, if that dirt is contained to AP or UB, then fair enough: carry on, it SHOULD be public. But, as many people have suggested, if this piece condemns the whole online poker industry, then taking their money makes you in their employ, and working for THEIR purpose, not your own..

  • ***60 minutes job is to dig up dirt***

    I think that’s 2+2’s job.

  • BTW, I am reconsidering the Darus Suharto possibility. He might have made a potential guest for being the one true amateur at the final table. Longshot, but not sure we can eliminate him so quickly as a possibility.

  • CJ

    ***60 minutes job is to dig up dirt***

    I think that’s 2+2’s job.

    LOL…. true enough. But 60 Minutes throws in the odd truth…

  • Kevin Mathers

    Why would Ellen or the Tonight Show want Darus Suharto? I can’t see either one of them wanting a quiet Canadian accountant to be on the show to help represent the Nov. 9, when you have Dennis Phillips who’s more representative of the flyover demo that the Tonight Show and Ellen would be interested in.

  • Kevin Mathers

    And yes I understand that Dennis apparently wasn’t offered those spots. Chino or Kelly would be intriguing especially since they’d be more local to the Tonight Show.

  • Hmm, and I was trying to think of a deal Pokerati could work with Suharto selling t-shirts with his face on them. Hold off on that one maybe?

  • Added:

    Ed. Note: See Shamus’ own more detailed, existential thoughts on the making of a more-than-poker TV star here.

  • MattC

    This story is off base. Sorry, Dan.

  • Which story, or which part of it — the original premise as espoused by Seth Palansky on Gary Wise’s radio show, or the follow-up speculation in the comments here?

    You know I’m always happy to acknowledge my errors in an effort to set the record straight.