Re: Dan at his “reflective” best

by , Mar 3, 2008 | 12:08 pm

Well shoot, got scooped by my own peeps. I was-gonna surreptitiously pimp my own pimping by talking about the actual substance of the article by Gary Wise, and his suggestions for improving the selection process in the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, which could be an even bigger deal for NBC if they want it to be:

  • Pick some of the players through pre-established criteria: WSOP champion, WSOP Champion one year removed, HORSE Champion, WSOP heads-up champion, WPT World Champion, WPT Player of the Year, Card Player Player of the Year, Bluff Magazine Player of the Year, European Poker Awards Player of the Year, EPT Grand Finale Champion, NHUPC Champion, NHUPC Champion one year removed. That should do it. Make these criteria available to the public.
  • Continue to allow sponsors to fill some slots, but do so by having them submit a list of representatives with the understanding that the producers get to choose from that list. The producers could hand select, appoint a committee of poker people from across the industry or…
  • Pick some of the players through fan vote: Want an old-schooler who reminds us of days of yore? Hey fans, come to our Web site and participate in the “rounders” vote for one of T.J. Cloutier, Billy Baxter, Jay Heimowitz or Berry Johnston. Pick two players from our “Big Game” election, two from our “online stars” election and one from our “divas of poker” election. At least this way, you’re getting representatives of each archetype the people actually want to see.
  • Get rid of some of the personalities who haven’t done anything in years. Guys like Ferguson, Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Doyle Brunson will give you an entertaining broadcast anyway.

11 Comments to “Re: Dan at his “reflective” best”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    Billy Baxter will get his TV time soon enough, he made the final table of 5(!) at the WPT Invitational. I agreed with several of Gary’s points, one of my concerns is the draw that takes place the night before. The video that CardPlayer was showing made it appear they have some sort of NBA lottery type of device there, but it wouldn’t hurt for it to get some more publicity and have people view it live. It seems every year there’s some matchups that seem contrived (Dwan v Hellmuth, Moneymaker v Yang are examples this year, another one would be Hellmuth v Reese in ’06 after there was some battling at the Bay 101 just before the event took place). When I discussed this over at 2+2, one of the people who is involved in these events said that it’s because of the lighting in Pure that makes it not feasible to stream live.

    Over the years, the process has gotten better and the field has improved over the early years. It seems that some of what Gary mentions as qualifiers are already taking place. Yang, Schreiber, Phan, Edler, Wasicka, Gold, Deeb, Forrest got in (Gary could also have included WSOP Player of the Year, for Tom). Gavin Griffin not being invited surely was a mistake, even before he got the Triple Crown. That leaves Carlos Mortensen (who had a commitment) and Alexander Kravchenko as the only others from Gary’s suggestions to be left out.

    To improve it further, I’d say you could do these things:

    – Get rid of one of the Caesars’ qualifiers (preferably the “high roller” qualifier)
    – Stop inviting celebrities
    – Stop bringing back Annie Duke and Clonie Gowen until they actually do something.

    I’m sure you could think of a few others.

  2. DanM

    The draw definitely was done using an NBA-draft/lotto/keno machine. Made it a lot of fun. Moneymaker/Yang was absolutely a luck-of-the-ball matchup.

  3. Lisa

    I’m going to go out on a limb here…

    If the lighting at Pure doesn’t work for live streaming, maybe they could find another venue at Caesars. They have something like 240,000 square feet of meeting space, not including exhibit space or bars/restaurants/lounges, they must have a spot more conducive to television production. Right?

  4. DanM

    Aren’t you two geeking out just a little much? i mean it was fun … and i suspect i’d enjoy watching a five-minute recap on … but would anyone really want to tune in for three hours or more?

    i was actually there and paid attention to what was going on with the ball machine for only a grand total of probably 15 minutes.

  5. Ed

    Dan, you have ADD so we can not count you as a good judge of ball watching.

    (Take that line any way you want.) 😛

  6. Lisa

    I wasn’t geeking. Nor was I saying that I wanted to watch the thing live streaming.

    I was simply stating that they should come up with another excuse for not doing it from Pure. Pick another place or simply say “it’s boring as shit, no one wants to watch it, okay?”

  7. Kevin Mathers

    People don’t seem to mind the endless bracketology talk for the NCAA basketball tournament and also like watching the selection show.

  8. DanM

    Fair enough. I really did enjoy all the bracket fun. Ooh, that reminds me … I should probably post the final results. You and I didn’t do so well, Kevin.

  9. Kevin Mathers

    Yeah I saw them, that’s what I get for doing my bracket in 5 minutes (just like I do during the NCAA tournament).

    Anyways, opinions on the rest of the stuff I discussed?

  10. DanM

    ***- Get rid of one of the Caesars’ qualifiers (preferably the “high roller” qualifier)***

    I dunno. If Caesar’s is hosting it, shouldn’t they be able to put someone in?

    *** – Stop inviting celebrities ***

    Won’t happen. Orel Hersheiser was the darling of the event this year, even after he was eliminated. But enough celebrities play poker, maybe they have their own satellite qualifier for a $20k seat? Would make for a good extra day of TV if you had the following fighting for a single seat:

    Jason Alexander
    Don Cheadle
    Montel Williams
    Ben Affleck
    Tobey Maguire [never mind, he wouldn’t do it]
    Sam Simon
    Norm MacDonald
    Orel Hersheiser
    Sully Erna …

    you get the idea.

    But then the question comes of what happens when a celeb actually accomplishes something on the felt. Are they in the celeb slot or some other one? And if this is an NBC event, and one of their show’s stars happens to be a poker geek, how do they not invite him/her to play?

    ***- Stop bringing back Annie Duke and Clonie Gowen until they actually do something.***

    C’mon, don’t make me comment on this! I love Clonie, and for years have wanted to be loved by her. And Annie Duke is my new poker-political fave. Conflicts of interest abound.

    Of course that’s a real issue, too … As I suspect when the likes of Full Tilt put up a bunch of money for an event like this, how does the TV network not allow the sponsors to put their chosen people in?

    There has become a fine line between featured programming and infomercials.

    So while I don’t fully agree with your suggestions for improvement, I think Gary’s point still applies … that it’s time to set some standards for the selection process.

    BTW, I suspect it wouldn’t be too hard to have a $1 heads-up satellite (or $10 … whatever) lead to a $20k seat.

    And while we’re at it, why not do a heads-up championship for different games, like limit hold’em (paging Andy Beal…) and Omaha.

    Overall, this event can be as big as NBC wants it to be. But for now, it remains to be seen if they want to put more money into growing it or not.

  11. Scott Chaffin

    There has become a fine line between featured programming and infomercials.

    There’s a line?