Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Embarassing on ESPN

Well, I was pretty embarassed for poker last night during ESPN's World Series of Poker broadcast.
We live in an agricultural community out here in Weld County, Colorado, on the edge of both the mountains and the plains, but I saw far more jackasses last night than I have in my seven years here.
I can't remember all the names. They all run together anyway, and I don't want to spend one brain cell more on them anyway.

My favorite was the guy in the Sugar Ray "I just wanna fly" sunglasses who berated a player for calling an all-in with A,10 (correctly, but still...) and then called later with 6,5 os and a board that matched about as well as my junior high school outfits.
Norman Chad actually had some good lines last night berating the beraters. "How did you get here unsupervised?" was my favorite to a "How could you call that?"

I don't blame ESPN for showing all the sparks. It's entertaining.
But it's also embarassing to the game. All those hat/sunglasses/iPod dipshits thinking they're Phil Ivey, going all in with shit and then acting like it's the greatest move since the Stop N Go. Jamie Gold couldn't have come off as more of a douchebag if he gave off the slight odor of vinegar and baby powder. Even Jeffrey Lisandro, a classy, tough player, talked about taking off the head of a tournament director.

When do we get back to poker?

Poker is not the nicest game. I realize that. The objective is to take the other person's money. You do this through deception, trickery, bullying, besting or outright lying. But it's a beautiful, interesting, thoughtful game as well. And we don't need to muck it up any further by focusing on all the asses. There are plenty of classy players who, by the way, play a wonderful game, like, I don't know, Allen Cunningham. It would be nice to see a few more hands from him instead of brief clips of him dragging a pot or two.

My theory on all these guys is poker is basically for dorks, geeks and video game whizzes who have found a new itch to scratch. Before you flame me, yes, I include myself in that group, although I think the mountain climbing and running gets me out of the basement every once in a while. Many of you have kids or softball or gardening or something else.
These guys currently making a fool of themselves on ESPN don't seem to have anything else.

Suddenly these guys find themselves doing something somewhat cool and hip. There's a spotlight on them. They've never felt that before. So they have no idea how to act.

In the future, ESPN, can you please focus on those who do?

1 comment:

cc said...

You failed to mention that I made my international television premier on this episode. You can clearly see my stomach, my left arm, and my watch in two related scenes behind Jamie Gold. They didn't mention my name or show a graphic of me, but my blue striped golf shirt with black pants is unmistakable.