Friday, August 20, 2004

You can't say I didn't give it a chance....

The Television coverage of the World Poker Championships is dire.

Case closed.

I watched the first episode a couple of weeks ago, which featured what should have been a terrific heads up match between 2 great players: Carlos Mortensen and Ram Vaswani. Instead it was a comedy of errors, the commentators calling the wrong hands and cameras missing vital moments.

I like Billy the Croc. He seems like a good guy. But his commentary style is dreadful, he never seems to know what exactly is going on, calling the hands and the draws incorrectly regularly. Is it a coincidence that Billy is the same nationality and a friend of the tournament organiser Mel Judah?

There is so many cliches in the commentary it is embarrassing.

MadYank does alot of the voice overs. Why on earth did the producers or whoever tell him to talk like he's wearing a very tight pair of Y-Fronts while sitting in a tank of water?

The woman who does the player interviews obviously knows absolutely nothing about poker. They might as well have used Jim Britton to do these segments.

And as for camera work... it reminds me of a home video. They don't know where to point their lenses. It is just so unprofessional.

The atmosphere in the Merrion reminds me of a darts match between two rival pubs. Shouting and cat calls. It just doesn't seem like they are playing for 1/4 million Euro.

And pot limit poker just doesn't work on TV. You need the excitement of the big allin move to keep the viewers interest. In pot limit you always need an accurate count of the players chips, something this coverage does not provide.

The main problem is seemingly the lack of post production. Alot of these errors could have been rectified. But, it just seems to be a rushed job.

I haven't even touched on several complaints from the players about the organisation of the event. That isn't my beef. Although one player who attended did say "if you employ clowns to run a show, the result will be a circus".

It is a terrible TV programme and I won't be watching another episode.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. It's rubbish. At one point yesterday Hellmuth made a move with 5-3 or something, got called by j-5 or somesuch, and the commentators reflected on how awful it would be for him if a five flopped. Then suddenly we saw the players moving chips in, the commentators seemed perplexed, and then it rapidly became clear that the flop had already been dealt, despite the fact that we hadn't seen it. What should have been a moment of drama was completely defused by rubbish editing and production.
I don't know a lot about telly - or poker for that matter - but I do understand that exciting bits are few and far between in the average final table, and you must get them right if you're going to have a watchable production.

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to say something in defense of the show. But I can't. Everything the camel says is true and this week was the worst of the three broadcast so far.

Why was Phil Helmuth so upset with John-the-internet-qualifier though? John was lucky to get 6 or so big hands in a row, but the fact is he played them well (except perhaps when he gave Phil the clue to fold the Ace 10) and got paid.

Is Phil upset that John got so many good hands or is he frustrated that he played them well? Or has his long term sucess at the game convinced him that the best players win all the time?

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim "The Bandit" Britton says:

they is wanted me to do the interviews but to have the best player in the world interviewing these mediocker players would look redickulus. (ps I shagged that bird)

i have is enjoyed wpc, i love watchin all the players from the bandit stables takin the piss. the best performance was from me bestest trainee james vogl - did you see the smarmy look on his face and the way he was doin the bandit strut to perfection - unfortunately he is doomed to failure because he is so arogant that he thinking that he doesn't need to progress to bandit trainin level 3 - idiot!

Jim "The Bandit" Britton

10:36 AM  
Blogger Harry Demetriou said...

Better late than never as they say....

I have yet to see any of the WPC TV coverage but by all accounts it is not worth seeing but perhaps we should forgive this first attempt by those concerned and trust that they will do a better job next year (should the event take place).

But the praise heaped on the yanks and their coverage must be deserved because both the WPT on The US Travel Channel and Fox SPorts live coverage and ESPN's WSOP coverage is very slick indeed.

Then again this is hardly suprising. Having been in Cyprus for the past few weeks I was suprised to find that ESPN had tracked me down and actually called me twice from their New York offices in order to get some background information on myself and ensure that they pronounced my surname correctly. As I was at their feature table for quite some time on days 4,5 and 6 of the main event this year which is currently and about to be shown in the USA it typifies their professionalism with regard to such matters. Most likely they also contacted Gary Jones and Marcel Luske for similar information as we all made the featured table and went far in the event.

I can also recall being interviewed for around an hour prior to the WPT invitational event earlier this year whilst prior to The Victor Poker Cup I underwent a 15 minute interview. How that will turn out remains to be seen but the success or filure of the show will surely depend on the editing as this is what will make or break the show(s) and their can be no excuse for not correcting blatant factual errors.

11:25 AM  

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