Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Wednesday, April 27, 2005

    Who Should Replace Shana Hiatt?

    In case you didn't hear, the recently concluded WPT Championship was the last show Shana Hiatt will tape for the World Poker Tour. Shana apparently wants to get back into acting, so look for her soon in Law and Order: Special Frisking Unit or CSI: Boise. I wish her the best of luck, but as I said before she need look no farther than Vince Van Patten to give her pause about pursuing an acting career.

    Shana did her job and did it exceedingly well. She introduced the shows, did her Poker Corner features, asked the losing players a brief question or two, and usually took part in the presentation of the money. Nothing too taxing, but she managed without coming across as a ditz or a Vanna-like cipher. It also helps that she's a knockout, but she's an accessible knockout, she doesn't look as though scaffolding has to be erected around her to get her ready for the cameras. She looks good in an evening gown, in a bikini, in just about anything. Nothing wrong with a little eye candy to balance out Mike and Vince. Although, by the second season, she was probably more famous than all but a handful of the poker players she interviewed.

    Even, arguably, more famous than Richard Brodie, the Quiet Lion, whose good-natured stalking of Shana at the various WPT stops always made for entertaining stories. Though the most recent story he told left me slack-jawed. On the Party Poker Million cruise Richard and friends were at dinner, and he wrote this:

    Gary had the Mike Sexton New York Steak and I had a nice salmon without a celebrity name attached. Like last year, they named the dishes after the event staff and stars but I thought it was a little over the top to have (I am not making this up) "Shana Hiatt Red Snapper".
    I don't know what is more incomprehensible--the fact that "Shana Hiatt Red Snapper" got past whatever culinary copywriters Party and the cruise line employs, or that the Lion didn't call room service and place an order for a late-night Shana snack in his room. I mean, I know it's probably a billion to one shot that Ms. Hiatt herself shows up, but don't you have to take that chance?

    By and by, I wonder if they served Vince Van Patton broiled ham?

    Anyway. No one is irreplacable, and I'm sure the WPT will have it's share of starlets looking to bask in poker's reflected light. Who should be the choice? Well, if they go the starlet route, I have no idea. Whether the new hostess has Shana's easy charm we'll have to wait and see, but as the qualifications for the job are "Look really good and be able to speak in sentences" I think there will be no shortage of qualified applicants.

    Rather than go through a litany of hot young women who I'd like to see every week on the Travel Channel, let's think outside the box a bit. To be honest, Shana doesn't get in front of the camera all that much. I think John Juanda has had more face time than Shana this season. I think having an attractive woman introduce each show is a nice way to hook the male couch-potato, but you could have a fetching representative from each venue do that. What you need is someone to do the interviews, the little Poker Corner spots, that sorta thing. Do these tasks necessitate a hottie?

    I think not. Which is why I nominate David Cross to replace Shana Hiatt. Cross is one of my favorite...whatever he is. Comedian, actor, sketch artist, whatever. Mr. Show is one of my favorites, he's hilarious on Arrested Development, and if I recall correctly Cross won the first season of Celebrity Poker Showdown, so he actually knows a little something about poker. And if you saw Cross on CPS you know that he's a nut. The majority of the actors who appeared on the show were deathly dull, no doubt requiring someone funny and clever to come up with interesting lines. Cross was goofy and profane and gross and still managed to win the thing.

    After three years, how much basic information is left for "Poker Corner" to impart? I'd like to think Cross could come up with some crude and subversive segments to both enlighten and amuse. And think of the post-knockout interviews. How much would I pay to see Cross facetiously try to comfort a raging Phil Hellmuth? I'm afraid to say it out loud.

    Arrested Development is in danger of being canned, and if Fox makes such a stupid decision the Travel Channel should leap at the chance to add David Cross to the WPT team. I can actually picture Mike and Vince looking at each other with bemused befuddlement after a "Poker Corner" segment featuring Cross, a chicken, Scotty Ngyuen, and a hot air balloon. Don't ask me how that all might fit together, I'm not the one interested in the job. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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