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Saturday, April 01, 2006

High Stakes Poker on GSN
So way back in October 2004 I posted that I wanted to see ring games on TV. Then back in October 2005 I first heard about "High Stakes Poker" on the Game Show Network, but at the time I hadn't seen it yet. Now that it's on I can finally say -- loving it!

When B and I first moved out to Minneapolis in July, we tried life without cable for a couple months. But then football season started and we broke down and not only got cable, but also a DVR. That thing is awesome. I don't watch all that much non-football TV, but just knowing that the few shows I watch -- Lost, Veronica Mars, My Name Is Earl, the WPT -- will be there on DVR whenever I want, and that I don't need to worry about taping them or taping over them, etc., is great.

And one of the shows I've been DVRing is High Stakes Poker. My initial impressions were:

1) The coolest part about the show is not the commentary from Gabe Kaplan and his co-host, nor even the actual action at the table, but rather the banter between the players. The players all know each other much better than say, the players at the average WPT final table, so there is much more joking around and ribbing one another. Great stuff.

2) The best way to watch High Stakes Poker is while you are playing online poker! You don't need to watch so much as listen to the banter. I kinda like to pretend that I'm at the casino and the High Stakes Poker players are at the high stakes table next to mine. Yes, this makes me a big cheesy fanboy :-)

But the show has really picked up recently, with the new episodes where Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari have joined the game. Phil Hellmuth has been hilarious. I will refer you to Mean Gene's post on Phil's antics for details. You can ponder all day whether Phil's behavior is good for bad for poker, or real or faked, but I cannot deny that Phil is just plain fun to watch. Like Mean Gene, I laughed out loud when he "instacalled" Barry Greenstein. Also, Phil has given Gabe Kaplan a great source for material and his one-liners have been much funnier than in previous eps.

Then there's Antonio Esfandiari. Evidently he's never played at such high limits before, and after one bad beat he said [paraphrasing] "I can honestly say that's the biggest pot I've ever lost." Awesome stuff.

Anyway, great show. B is out of town this weekend for a conference, and I've got a few eps on DVR, so it's gonna be an online poker evening.


Oh yeah -- it's this blog's birthday! I foolishly made the first post to Cheap Thrills on April 1, 2004.

I love HSP and TiVo it as well. Good stuff. I read on Negreanu's blog that it was all taped over two days, 24 hours worth of poker. Interesting. Phil's explosion of bleeped explitives in the last episode had me cracking up. That one I don't think was fake :) I even rewound it and watched it again.

Happy blog birthday :)
I do the same thing. I DVR it then watch it while playing...good stuff...
happy bday! :)
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