Monday, November 16, 2009

The Poker Star

I'm a huge fan of Joe Hachem.  He's got personality, charm, charisma and he knows a little about poker ;).  I am also a big fan of poker television.  I've been known to download poker shows from all over the world.  When (not)Zerb suggested I give The Poker Star show from Australia a try I was definitely game.

The premise of the show is that Joe Hachem is looking for the next Poker Star.  This competition starts with 11 players that are vying for the title which includes $100,000 and the seat to next year's WSOP ME.  The twist comes with the challenges - ala Survivor, the challenges are physical and mental. 

Each week there is a challenge, a tournament and an elimination.  It is quite compelling.  Clearly Poker Stars is sponsoring this show and they have spared no expense.  Lee Nelson, a very intimidating pro, 'assists' Joe with the challenges, assessments, and moving the players around to each assignment.  Initially there doesn't seem to be that much interaction with Joe but as the show progresses he spends more and more time with the players.

The challenges are incredibly well thought out.  They deal with individual skills that players need: stamina, reading, bluffing, focus, composure.  I think the players themselves are surprised by the nature of these challenges and how difficult some turned out to be. 

While the poker playing isn't the main focus of the show, the poker content is more representative of actual tournament poker than what you see on the usual poker shows.  I love seeing Joe and Lee discussing the play especially when they dislike a player's actions.  Clearly all of these players have experience playing and are successful players but we all have our leaks.  It's amazing how much easier leaks are to spot in other players. 

Bad play is roundly criticized by both Joe and Lee.  They are brutal in their assessments of the players' leaks and weaknesses.  They have zero tolerance for bad play and let the player know about it in no uncertain terms. 

Full episodes are available at the site as well as more content.  I haven't been there yet myself but I'm sure I will wander around over there after I get caught up with the shows. 

1 comment:

nzgreen said...

I've been downloading and watching too. Not enough poker content for my liking, nor enough Joe. I also found it too easy to get inside Joe's head and figure out who's getting the boot each week.