I have been looking forward to this show
. It was encouraging to see that they are going to show more hands with less editing than other poker shows. I am 1 and a half episodes in to the new series and will give it a full 2 weeks before I make a decision to commit it to the rotation. I am not going to base it solely on this week's group. Stacie was watching episode 2 with me last night but she couldn't take very much of it. She normally likes to watch poker with me, especially when Gus Hanson is playing, but she didn't enjoy this show at all. I agree with her compaint about the show. There is too much side talk while the play is in action. It becomes distracting and the attention doesn't seem to be focused on the players that are still in the hand. I don't mind banter between hands, good natured ribbing, or discussions between players that are currently in the hand. I was hoping for some more poker related discussions, not scheduling tee
times, Hellmuth and Sheiky bad mouthing each other, or the fact that Annie was previously married for 11 years.
Most of the players didn't really seem to want to be there. Annie kept talking about the plane she had to catch. You could tell some of the others would rather be at a cash game. It's like they
were only playing to fulfill their duties to their endorsements. The Full Tilt angle is very obvious with the intro and most of the players. I thought it was funny how Annie and Phil were talking up a blackjack show on CBS while they are playing poker on NBC. Sheiky was the only one that correctly pointed out where they were and Phil's response indicated he didn't believe this show would even make the air anyway.
The play was fun to watch. It was odd to see Phil (obviously channelling Smokkee
) with the preflop steals and Gus laying down Ax in late position. I guess Gus was trying something new, but this didn't allow him to get paid as much as I think he would normally get when he did hit the board hard. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the blinds get larger since this is winner take all game.
I still don't know why WPT was trying to prevent Shana Hiatt from doing this show. I mean she was super hot back in her nudie days, but she adds nothing to these shows. There is not much commentary. This can be good, although I do like it on High Stakes Poker. Mr. Kotter does a great job on HSP because he is knowledgeable and it's done in real time, not scripted.