BTT: Aces in the Bowl

by , Oct 6, 2007 | 7:50 am

pokerbowl.jpgA new-special episode of Beyond the Table is up. Click here to listen in a pop-up. And here to download in a less fancy but fast-forward-friendly way.

On this episode, Tom, Karridy, and I break our “we don’t do no non-fake interviews” premise to talk with John Nightingale and Layne Flack about the forthcoming U.S. Poker Bowl. (Yikes, it’s right around the corner.)

Lots of tough North Texas players (Gregg Merkow and Tex Barch, for example) will be competing in this controversial televised team poker collusion fest, along with some big-name pros … including Phil Hellmuth, Todd Brunson, Vanessa Rousso, Scott Fischman, ZeeJustin Bonomo, Mike Matusow, Victor Ramdin, Clonie Gowen, Chris Ferguson, and many others. Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, and some (influential) old-dog purists, however, aren’t too happy about the whole team concept, contending it promotes cheating.

Oh, and don’t laugh … but while Karridy will be managing at least one team, Tom Schneider and I will be the TV commentators for this inaugural event meaning I’ve got about a week-and-a-half to figure out how to do TV what I’m going to wear. Fortunately Lacey Jones will be there to make up for Tom’s lack of professionalism/qualifications. Sit’n’Go Steve may or may not be there to serve as fluffer.

8 Comments to “BTT: Aces in the Bowl”

  1. BJ Nemeth

    Congrats on the commentating gig, Tom & Dan!

    I’m curious about the Poker Bowl, but at this point, I side with Doyle and Negreanu — team poker creates a situation where some level of cheating/collusion is encouraged. Yes, players aren’t allowed to communicate their hole cards in multi-way pots … but how can you stop secret signals?

    Opening up more players and fans to the various concepts of poker cheating is, in my opinion, a Very Bad Thing.

    That’s not to say that I’m so naive as to believe that there is no cheating in our sport. There is, and I worry that the casinos don’t take it seriously enough (because it doesn’t directly affect their bottom line like card counters in blackjack). I don’t want to *ignore* cheating, but I don’t want to put it front and center and call it “fun,” either.

    I’m trying to keep an open mind about this, and if it’s compelling entertainment, I’m willing to modify my position.

  2. Karridy

    Well said. I don’t think we have the answers on how this we be taken by the community as a whole, once released. Like so many things in life, it’s all in the editing. But, the people that stand to get jacked most by collusion are the ones that aren’t looking for it. Maybe, at least, this can help that?

  3. DanM

    From what I understand, there have been some rule changes (at the behest of Brunson and PokerStars) to limit signals. Not sure I agree with that … if you are going to do an “alternative” tourney, might as well go all-out with it. But still, at the same time, I tend to side with you, BJ … and you can be sure Tom and I will be addressing this concern … because indeed, threats of collusion are part of what will make this interesting to watch, and he and I have disagreed in the past about its prevalance and effectiveness.

  4. BJ Nemeth

    Okay, I listened to the most recent Pokerati podcast this evening, and I’ve done a little more research into the Poker Bowl, because I’ll be covering it at least indirectly. While I’m still reluctant to “approve” of it … I’m starting to get more excited/intrigued by the concept. I am eager to see how this turns out, and think it has the potential to be pretty compelling after all. (With the positives outweighing the negatives.)

    I also think that the teams that do the most preparation ahead of time (and nothing beats prior experience in a team poker event) will have the best results. It’s still poker, but I imagine there are quite a few important subtleties in the team format that aren’t readily apparent (meaning I haven’t seen them yet either).

    One of the key ideas in my mind was linking the team names to cities, and making all players free agents, rather than tying them down by forced geography of hometowns or birthplaces. (They couldn’t *all* play for the Las Vegas team …) Scheduling seems like one of the primary difficulties going forward, but the Poker Bowl has the potential to become something big. And I think the commentators will be an asset.

    I was in the Bluff control room this summer while Tom was doing final table commentary, and thought he was one of the top 2 or 3 I heard this summer. As for Dan … I think he’s an *excellent* choice to counterbalance a professional player like Tom; I picture Tom analyzing the play while Dan directs the conversation and color commentary. It’s a huge advantage that you have worked together on the podcast … the Poker Bowl is lucky to have y’all.

  5. Tom Schneider

    Great comments. I’m just disappointed we have nothing to disagree about. I always like your views, often opposing mine.

  6. DanM

    ***while Dan directs the conversation and color commentary***

    Do you hear that, Tom?

  7. Karridy

    BJ, Please. Throttle back the compliments. You don’t know what it’s like dealing with these prima donna’s. I mean, holy crap, imagine if we had actually won the podcast poll. I’d have to order Tom even bigger headphones.

  8. donkey

    Hey KaAs,any news on the uniforms yet? Interested to see what they will look like…pretty cool I bet. I noticed that your event will take place at the same time as the Caesars Palace $10k Classic. I wonder how many pros will jump ship to play in the Main Event?