New Poker Shows for the Fall Lineup?
Haven't posted in a few days and I'm getting itchy. No long posts until I get these goddam articles done..actually, I may finish the one and put the other on the back burner. I don't really get writer's block, but for some reason I don't want to work on this one thing and it's keeping me from writing other stuff.
I think I mentioned that we poker fans need some new shows to entertain us. I'm sick of watching celebrities I've never heard of playing poker at a 2nd-grade level. I'm tired of seeing top professionals playing shove-it-in poker like they do on Poker Superstars
. I want something fresh, something new, something exciting.
An obvious choice would be to televise the "Big Game" between Dallas banker Andy Beal and the "Corporation", a consortium of poker players led by Doyle Brunson. See Iggy
for more info on this $80 million dollar freezout. Now THAT's something new, fresh, and exciting.
But how to televise it? Beal has accused the players in the Corporation of telling tall tales about how much money they won off him when they last played, so I think the ideal solution would be to have C-SPAN show the game. Just one camera mounted so you could see the two players in action, and of course no hole-card cameras. Just a dry, dispassionate recording of the action for posterity. Just as Capitol Hill groupies watch their representatives give speeches to an empty chamber, I'm sure there would be a sizable audience of poker freaks willing to watch Beal and Chau Giang sling chips back and forth, even if we didn't know what they were holding.
So there's one. I actually think that any show that featured a big cash game would be a huge draw. It's one thing to see someone move $100K into a pot in a WPT event; it's quite another when the player is moving a hundred large of his OWN MONEY that way. I don't know if any big cash-game players would want that kind of scrutiny, from nefarious types or from the IRS. How to get around that? Turn it into a game show, of course. "I DON'T WORK FOR PHIL IVEY!!"
is the show I have in mind. The show's producers will sift through the RGP and 2+2 message boards and (of course) blogs to find some loudmouth hotshot talking trash about top pros. The blowhard will be whisked out of his/her house, flown to Vegas in a private jet, driven by limousine to the Bellagio, and plunked down at a table opposite Phil Ivey. The hotshot will be given five-hundred thousand dollars in chips and then required to play heads-up against Ivey for a minimum of six hours. Everything the hotshot wins, he/she gets to keep, and also gets to jump on the table and scream the show's catchphrase, "I DON'T WORK FOR PHIL IVEY!"
If the hotshot loses, however, he/she must work off that debt by serving Phil Ivey in whatever capacity he sees fit. Caddy, chip mule, groundskeeper, whatever Phil wants. True, at the Federal Minimum Wage of $5.15 an hour it would take over 11 years to work it off, but those are the chances one takes. Getting this show off the ground depends in large part on whether Ivey would consider it worth his time to play for a mere half-million, and on the willingness of Phil and his wife Luciaetta to manage a small army of indentured servants.
A show that I actually would love to see, and one that I think could be huge on a cable network like HBO, would be one about the old-time road gamblers. Guys like Doyle Brunson and Sailor Roberts and T.J. Cloutier, playing in the back rooms of bars, carrying guns, getting robbed, getting cheated. All those old-timers out there fading the white line...and many of them still winning tournaments. It would be a refreshing reminder of how far poker has come in the last few years, and how much of the romance has, for better or worse, disappeared because of the poker boom.
My friend Jeff, who owns a mind that is twisted and subtle and malevolent, said that there must be some way for the Spice or Playboy channel to have a strip poker show. But hotties shedding their outerwear just isn't enough for me--wait, let me rephrase that. I'm TOTALLY fine with that, but if the poker adds nothing but an excuse to delay the disrobing, why have it at all? I must set my mind to creating a show that not only combines the skill of poker with the allure of barely-clothed women, but REQUIRES both these elements. I'll take my time with it, trust me.