Posts Tagged ‘nbc’

First Test in the Post-FTP/Stars Era: NHUPC

by , Apr 17, 2011 | 12:12 am

The first visible indicator that we will be able to see after Friday’s indictments might be coming up in just a few hours. The National Heads-Up Poker Championship is the first new show to air in this new online-pokerless environment in the United States, with its debut episode set to air at 12p ET on NBC.

Could be interesting to see what the advertisements during the broadcast are. If the network’s a bit slow in reacting it might be one of the last times we ever see a FullTilt or PokerStars advertisements on American airwaves. With the exception of a few WPT episodes in production or already in the can, it will almost certainly be one of the last times we see so many patches from the companies involved in Friday’s indictments on players.

The most troubling possibility is that it would not air at all. Sound ridiculous? Consider the following: Kevmath had a retweet late Saturday night in which @buckwild33 noted that a scheduled WSOP Main Event 2007 marathon was not airing and boxing was shown in its place.

While it would certainly be a stretch to try and correlate this change in broadcast schedule on ESPN in some way with the upcoming NHUPC broadcaston NBC, it certainly should not be dismissed outright. There will be several small milestones that come up periodically in the coming days, weeks, and months, and we who are most affected might want to pay attention to their outcomes.

The information that we may be able to get from these indicators could provide a significant portion of the information that comes our way as things progress. Both the sites and the DOJ are likely headed for a process that is going to go very slowly, and information will trickle out slowly.

Again, this is just the direction that my thought process brought me in, and I don’t claim to have any information that is unavailable to everyone else. I think the NHUPC is at least an interesting talking point and the first small event in a series of events that will eventually have effects on millions of people around the world. Now is the time to keep your eyes open.

On a side note, it’s interesting to see how the title sponsor of the NHUPC, GoDaddy, could be the least toxic element at this point in time. Who would have thought two weeks ago that Godaddy’s CEO’s elephant hunting fiasco would become old news so quickly.

Annie Duke wins 2010 NBC National Heads-Up Title

by , Mar 7, 2010 | 10:07 pm

The Poker Beat has needed a new commercial, and Annie Duke’s win in this year’s NBC National Heads-Up Championship at Caesars’ Palace may just do the trick. First a brief run down of today’s matches:

Clubs/Spades Bracket:
Erik Seidel beat Peter Eastgate
Scotty Nguyen beat Jason Mercier

Hearts/Diamonds Bracket:
Dennis Phillips beat Doyle Brunson
Annie Duke beat Jerry Yang

Erik Seidel beat Scotty Nguyen
Annike Duke beat Dennis Phillips

The finals commenced with Duke (1-5 lifetime before this year’s event) taking on Seidel (0-5 lifetime at the NBCHU) in the best of three final. Duke won the first match, Seidel would tie it up in the second and held the lead in the deciding match, and had Duke all-in while holding the best hand, but his AdKd was no good for Duke’s Qd9d when she made two pair to take the lead. Duke eventually sealed the deal when her pocket nines turned a straight against Seidel’s A-2. Seidel was left with two outs to a chop, but the river was a blank, with the second place winnings of $250,000. Duke picks up $500,000 for the win, her first major win since her 2004 victory in the WSOP Tournament of Champions.

RE: Face the Ace $85 Million Lawsuit

by , Sep 16, 2009 | 11:31 am

So this Face the Ace lawsuit … yeah … you’ve got a lone amateur TV-show concept-creator trying to take on (lawyers for) PokerPROductions and NBC with claims that they stole his legally protected idea to put out a ratings-bomb game show … and therefore owe him $85 million.


Similarities between Brandon McSmith’s video pitch for All Star Poker Challenge and Face the Ace are one thing … and this video, shot outside what appears to be Poker PROductions studios in Las Vegas and posted on YouTube in July (and pointed out to us by a reader yesterday) is another:

Umm …

Click below to read the rejection letter sent almost two years earlier from Poker PROductions honcho Mori Eskandani that may or may not have put McSmith on tilt:


Face the Ace $85 Million Lawsuit

Was the worst show in poker a stolen idea?

by , Sep 14, 2009 | 4:50 pm

I’ve got a buddy named Adam who believes there’s no such thing as an original idea. Then you’ve got guys like Pauly, who, according to one of his closest friends and colleagues, “if you use the word ‘and’ in your writing he’ll think you took it from him.” (In Pauly’s defense, shady web ops around the world do steal Tao content daily, and he knows just how dirty Hollywood and Las Vegas can be …)

So in light of last week’s $85 million lawsuit against Poker PROductions, NBC Universal, and Mori Eskandani, see for yourself and decide: Does Brandon McSmith’s All Star Poker Challenge* look like ill-gotten inspiration for Face the Ace to you?

* Not to be confused with the British All-Star Poker Challenge, which ran for one season in 2005.

The above is a Powerpoint presentation McSmith sent me a little more than a year ago seeking feedback. Click below for my response: in a nutshell, I tell him I think this might have worked in 2006, but not now … and it needs more monkeys … but keep trying!



Man wins Borgata ladies’ event,
Lawsuit over theft of “Face the Ace”

by , Sep 13, 2009 | 12:27 pm

Some strange happenings in poker this Sunday:

Abraham Korotki, a WSOP Circuit Main Event winner in 2006, beat formidable odds to take down the $300 Borgata Ladies’ event on Saturday for just under $21,000. The “last woman standing”, Nicole Rowe, who recently discovered she had breast cancer, finished 2nd, good for just under $12,000.

On the Left Coast, reports that Poker PROductions, the makers of the NBC show Face The Ace, is being sued for $85,000,000 by Brandon McSmith, who said the company “stole” his idea called “The All-Star Poker Challenge”. McSmith’s idea consisted of a player having to defeat five pros in a series of heads-up matches to win prize money and a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat, with the contestant having the option to risk their winnings after conquering their opponent. This lawsuit appears to top Gambling Times’ lawsuit against Scott Lazar for $1,000,000 for lack of product placement in the poker movie “Deal”, which grossed under $100,000 in lawsuits that will go nowhere.

Watch Episode 2 of Face the Ace

by , Aug 10, 2009 | 7:10 am

Since less than 1,500,000 people watched the original run of the episode last Saturday – which featured someone playing for $1,000,000 – here’s another opportunity. Now the show will air monthly on Saturdays starting September 12.

Watch Episode 1 of Face the Ace

by , Aug 7, 2009 | 8:02 am

Since Dan mentioned Thursday on The Poker Beat he hadn’t watched the show yet, I figured it’s better to take the show to him, and for others who haven’t had a chance to watch the opportunity.

2 Months, $2 Million Preview

by , Jul 27, 2009 | 2:01 pm

Mark my words, or at least check back in about 15 years … G4 is the next coming of MTV. And the Gen-Y and younger TV station (focussed mostly on the video-game geek culture, and re-runs of Tron) has a new poker show debuting in mid-August — 2M2MM:

Featuring Ansky and some other young online pros, in the show’s words:

Premieres Sunday, August 16 at 9pm on G4. This summer, geeks are wild as G4 takes viewers inside the world of competitive high stakes online poker in a new series that follows four young high IQ friends who join forces and set up shop in Las Vegas. Their challenge for themselves? To collectively earn $2 million dollars in only two months using their own money.

With this show, Face the Ace (on NBC), and even Sam’s Game (on Playboy.TV) … and all of them looking at least semi-good, frankly … anyone get the sense that the future of poker on TV continues to evolve? Mix in live coverage like you have with the Washington State Poker Championship below … and really, you gotta wonder what ESPN, the WSOP, and High Stakes Poker are going to have to deliver to keep up with (or ignore) the theoretically non-crappy televised poker we can expect in coming seasons.

Though admittedly, 2M2MM may well be a semi-successful one-hit reality wonder, while Face the Ace could go the way of Win, Lose or Draw … and Sam’s Game may end up in the archives somewhere next to Naughty Nurses Go To Europe #9.

We’ll see … or not. That’s kinda the question.

Click below for even more on what to expect from this new show:


Poker Road TV on NBCish

by , May 11, 2009 | 10:53 am

Pretty cool … our pals at Poker Road have hooked something up with the NBC Sports web peeps to get their videos airing on So now the rest of the world can enjoy such quality programming as “Life of Ivey”:

In this episode, I think Phil is headed to the next stop on the WPT Craps Tour (inside joke, or is that just something I didn’t know existed?) on Donald Trump’s helicopter … it’s a little hard to follow, but that’s probably the point … kinda like Lost.

Celebrity Apprenticize Your Twitter

by , May 10, 2009 | 6:50 pm

Annie Duke vs. Joan Rivers tonight … (getting underway live … we West Coasters have to wait a bit). I’m still not sure whether or not they’ve already done their task … my guess is they have, so tonight, “live”, is the final boardroom. Either way, @TexDolly is having fun coming up with some “Boo Joan!” doozies:

Joan Rivers got trapped on an escalator. The power went out,
12:45 PM May 8th from web

Joan Rivers has a concussion. She was getting a drink and the toilet seat fell on her head.12:27 PM May 9th from web

Meanwhile, you can follow Annie (@RealAnnieDuke), and probably even better, her boyfriend (@JoeUgly), before-during-after tonight’s finale. Likewise for @JoanRivers___.

Others on-set or nearby:
@CelebApprentice (@MelRivers and @brandenroderick got the official tweeting gigs)

RE: Celebrity Apprentice Sunday / Annie Duke on Ellen Show

by , May 4, 2009 | 6:26 pm

Funny … I just went to GSN’s YouTube page to watch the last couple episodes of High Stakes Poker. Usually I’ve been watching them this season when Mathers posts them here on Pokerati … but hey, I understand he’s a busy guy! And this is the page he’s been getting them from anyway.

So anyhow, I was hoping to find Season 5, Episodes 8 and 9 of HSP … because I’ve been missing the show during its regular air time on GSN, opting instead to watch Celebrity Apprentice. However, not only are these episodes not up yet, but here’s the video that greeted me when I went to GSN’s YouTube page (previously dedicated to HSP) hoping to catch up on what I’ve been missing while following Annie Duke on NBC:


UPDATE: Found High Stakes Poker, Season 5 Episode 8 here.

Annie Duke on the Ellen Show

by , | 4:57 pm

From Monday’s show:

Face the (FTP) Ace – A new reality show for NBC

by , Apr 29, 2009 | 4:50 am

NBC is expanding their poker inventory with a brand new reality show, with the help of Poker PROductions and Full Tilt Poker called “Face the Ace” starting Saturday Aug. 1, according to Variety. The show debuts at 9pm Saturday for two weeks, then moves to Saturday afternoons for the rest of its seven episode run. The show will be hosted by Steven Schirripa of “The Sopranos” fame.

Qualifiers are now running at Full Tilt Poker, with 30 winners getting a trip to the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas to audition to be on the show. Those who pass the auditions will then have the opportunity to beat 3 Team Full Tilt Pros heads-up and win $1,000,000. If they beat one pro, they win a certain amount of money with the option to move forward. If they beat a second pro, they win a higher amount of money. If they beat the third pro, they win the grand prize, but if they lose at any time, they go home with nothing.

The bottom of the article notes that the other Poker PROductions program on NBC, Poker After Dark, is up 4% in the ratings, averaging over 800,000 viewers in its very late night time slot.

Video Closes Case on Shaniac vs. Shorr Debate

by , Mar 11, 2009 | 2:59 pm

It started when the player list for the most recent NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship was released. Shannon Shorr posted a blog entry about being snubbed by tournament organizers, as he was not included in the list of the 64 players. (Several were qualifiers, but most met the poker-accomplishment requirements set by the NHUPC.)

Shorr wrote: “I will go on record (as I did after the 2006 calendar year) as saying I’m shocked that I don’t make the list. After very closely examining the list, Michael Binger, Nam Le, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Michael Martin, Vivek Rajkumar, Amit Makhija, Adam Geyer and Hevad Khan are probably somewhere wondering WTF! as well. No one in the poker tournament industry besides Nam Le, JC Tran, and David Pham has matched my consistency over the last 3 years on the tournament circuit and in that time I have NEVER been selected to play the NBCHUPC. As most of my readers know I’m pretty low-key and don’t exactly go looking for recognition, but I just feel like I deserve this.”

That put Shane “Shaniac” Schleger on reality-tilt and prompted a blog post entitled, “Seriously? AKA: The Award For Most Delusional Poker Player Goes To…” Though Shaniac tried to soften the blow of his words by saying that he liked Shorr personally, the post went on to list the reasons that Shorr was not invited to the NHUPC.

In part, he wrote: “Shannon, get a grip. You should be ashamed for putting yourself in the same sentence as Le, Tran, and Pham, who essentially dwarf the entire poker tour community with consistency and moneymaking.

I think you have to make up your mind if you want to go back to college or try to become a studly poker superstar. And your results are nowhere near the other players you named in the above passage.”

Evidently, Shorr didn’t take that criticism as well as hoped, but Shaniac finally posted a response that sums it all up nicely with a video created for the occasion. It takes good-natured jabs at both and can be seen by going to Shaniac’s post here. (If anyone would like to send the embed code for that video, feel free to help a sista out.)

Budding Relationship between WSOP, NBC?

by , Mar 7, 2009 | 12:46 pm

One pairing at the NHUPC drawing party at Pure that might deserve a little attention: WSOP Commish Jeffrey Pollack, who was in attendance to draw a few pairing balls out of the keno hopper, showed up with (and left with) Jon Miller, Executive VP of NBC Sports, and apparently the network’s top acquisitions dealmaker guy.

Pollack and Miller are supposedly longtime pals … and with the WSOP’s contract with ESPN expiring next year, the two sure did seem extra-chummy. And though I’m not sure who would be courting whom, at least one well-informed, scotch-drinking little birdie tells me there’s more going on between the two of them than just a casual one-night hook-up at a Vegas club.

Here they are on the red carpet with what some might say look like bedroom eyes for each other as the two discuss what makes for good poker on TV:

And here (starting at 2:04):