Thursday, March 31, 2005
More on Those WPT Previews
Well, my last post generated a little more discussion than, well, most of my posts. (I got 2 comments on it and it was mentioned it in one other blog.) I had complained about the WPT's previews for next week's WPT.
For those who don't know, they do these cheesy voice-overs of the player's "thoughts." Last week, they had David Pham giggling and bragging. Also, the guy "voicing" Pham was doing a very affected Asian accent. Then they had Carlos Mortensen "replying" in a very affected Spanish accent.
In my post I said "Please, WPT, please stop these offensive attempts at humor. I'm fairly thick-skinned PC-wise, but there just aren't even a little funny." My two commenters both said that they weren't that (or at all) offended and they found the spots pretty funny.
OK, let's get specific. There are at least two versions of the spot. Below I am going quoting both of them, although I admit I don't remember them exactly:
In one, Pham says "I just bluffed you with 3-2. No one can stop the Dragon now!" and Mortensen replies "The dragon, huh, did your mommy give that lame nickname?" (By the way, having watched this week's ep, we know that Pham *did* bluff Mortensen with 32, so maybe these spots have more info than they should.)
In the other, Pham also says something like "No one can stop the dragon," but then a big-busted waitress comes over and the camera catches him gawking at her.
Both of my commenters felt that the second version was funnier. I agree. (The second version is also less hostile to Pham -- it's just booby humor, as opposed to insulting his nickname.)
I'm not primarily upset about the bad Spanish and Asian accents, nor do I think racism is the issue here. What I dislike about these spots is that they are juvenile and portray the subjects (in this case Pham and Mortensen) as fools. It also has them denigrating each other. The race issue was just flavor for this week. Two weeks ago, they had the young kid going up against Doyle Brunson saying "when you were young the cards were made of stone," and for next week, they have Layne Flack telling Mike Matusow he needs a back wax.
Mike Matusow, who many feel *should* be made fun of for his behavior at last year's WSOP, is distracting from my point, which is that these spots are taking away from the aura of the WPT. For two freaking hours, Mike Sexton and VVP build up what a colossal contest among true poker masters we are so privileged to watch. Then the preview spots for next week come on and they make the players seem like buffoons, and the game just a pissing contest.
So to clarify and re-emphasize my original point, the racial humor aside, these spots are just stupid. Maybe some of them are little funny in a juvenile way, but I'd rather see them dropped.
P.S. I missed the WPBT event last night. NL tourneys aren't really my thing. I would've played for the banter as I have in the past, but I was feeling pretty beat.
I wrote a little post this past Monday and thought I posted it. But I thought wrong:
For the past month I have been either working or out of town. This Sunday I finally got to spend the weekend at home. Unfortunately, I spent most of it working, but happily, on Sunday afternoon I *finally* finished the book I've been working on (a nonfiction text for middle school students -- not the most exciting stuff, and it took most of the writing energy out of me to the detriment of this here blog).
I've rewarded myself mostly by playing poker. Mostly low buy-in tourneys, which I usually find frustrating because I so rarely cash in them. I'm sure they're -EV for me, but I'm in the mood for stress-free fun and therefore attracted to the loss limit aspect.
Anyway, this evening I sat down and watched the western classic High Noon -- I had it in my Netflix queue and I've put off watching it for almost a month. A very good movie, but I'll cut to the poker content: At one point in the movie the lead character's wife is very upset that her husband is about to go into gunfight where he's outgunned 4 to 1. Someone says that her husband is the marshal of the town and clearly "in the right," and she replies something to the effect of "Yeah, well, my father and brother were both killed in gunfights. They were both in the right but it didn't help them once the bullets started flying."
All I could think of was poker. You might have the best hand going in, and therefore be "in the right," but that doesn't mean much once the chips and other cards start flying. And multiple opponents decrease your odds of "surviving" . . . I know poker-as-a-gunfight is a cliched metaphor, but it is apt enough that I couldn't listen to all the talk about gunfights in High Noon without thinking about it.
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