Poker Reality TV Show Ideas
Last week, a "sizzle reel" from a Johnny Chan reality TV show hit the interwebs and caught the buzz of the poker world with how awful the show looks. Some are even questioning if Chan lost a prop bet or something because how could something so bad actually be real?
In the spirit of poker reality TV shows, here are some ideas for shows that might (emphasis on "might") actually be worth watching:
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Playa Poker Pals
I spent nearly a year living in Playa del Carmen as a "poker refugee". When I moved there, I was one of maybe 6-8 other Americans who moved to the area to play online poker. By the time I left last month, there were well over 50 young American online poker pros populating the area. On more than one occasion, I noted to other poker pros down there that the situation is ripe for a reality TV show: a bunch of smart young kids with some money living out of the country going out partying most nights trying to pick up Mexican girls or tourists.
My time in Mexico would have been more successful if I had brought a video camera rather than a laptop. Some of those characters down there are perfectly suited for reality TV. However, Shaun Deeb had a wise response to my idea for a Americans in Mexico poker reality TV show saying that most people don't want to watch a show featuring "smart" people. And while I saw American poker refugees do and say plenty of dumb things in my time there, Deeb is right, on the balance, they are pretty smart individuals overall. Perhaps the poker crowd is not "low brow" enough to make for fine reality TV. But I would counter by saying that there needs to be more "intelligent" TV programming. You know, like TV shows that actually leave you feeling vaguely smarter for having watched it. What a novel concept!
WSOP Final Table Prep
Ahh... a poker reality TV show that actually exists and isn't awful. In preparation for the 2012 WSOP Final Table, x hired poker pro Jason Somerville as a coach. Somerville got the brilliant idea to make a documentary-esque production out of his coaching sessions with x. The result, dubbed, 'The Final Table', seems to be really good so far. You can watch the first episode of 'The Final Table' here.
Poker Players Trying to Get Girls
Poker players are pretty notorious for trying, and generally failing, to pick up women. It's a perfect recipe for reality TV: smart dorky dudes collaborating on trying to gain favor with the opposite sex. They may understand the benefits of an aggressive poker strategy and bluffing but will they be able to find the courage to approach a woman in a shopping mall to try to score a date?
Little Old Lady Poker Challenge
How's this for a reality TV idea: a team of elite poker players tasked with trying to coach little old ladies into being strong, competitive poker players. It could be organized as a competition; nine poker pros each assigned one of nine different little old ladies to coach for a few months leading up to a series of sit-'n'-go tournaments to determine which coach and little old lady combo was the most successful. Shaun Deeb has already demonstrated his qualifications for this show by training his 92 year old Grandma to play in the WSOP Main Event as she has done for each of the last two years. Mr. Deeb is a trial-blazer in this regard; poker needs more young pros coaching little old grandmas.