Posts Tagged ‘ESPN WSOP coverage’

Columnist claims ESPN “Ruined Poker”

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Over the years, ESPN has proven to be a leader in mainstream poker coverage. And many players thank the fact that the worldwide sports leader continues to dedicate hours of programming to a game which isn’t accepted by everybody. However, a widely read column by Argun M. Ulgen claims that ESPN has done nothing but ruin poker and efforts to legalize the online version.

Through a wordy piece that required me to look half the adjectives up on, Ulgen presents an overall picture that ESPN’s glamorization of all-in moves and lack of strategical analysis is killing the game. More specifically, he thinks that the network’s WSOP coverage shows poker as anything but a game of skill. In turn, this is exactly the type of thing that gives politicians fuel to keep federal online poker regulation down. Here’s one excerpt from Ulgen’s gripe:

Antonio Esfandiari – another brilliant broadcaster from ESPN’s live 2011 coverage – has a marginal role in this year’s telecast. He, along with close friend and poker pro Phil “The Unibomber” Lak, now has a small two minute segment on the show in which the two – with requisite colorful exuberance – hurriedly break down some of the key elements of a just televised poker hand. Esfandiari’s analysis is but a sliver of the remarkably accurate discussions he presented in ‘11; it’s but quick, specialized segment in the show.

After 10 years of coverage, ESPN still fails to routinely provide basic information of each hand, which usually starts well after key bets have been made. The infographics predominantly focus on cash prizes and the Tournament Leaderboard as opposed to even the most basic skill elements: position, blind levels, and stack sizes. All this in spite of a wealth of opportunities to accurately capture poker as an entertaining and complex game without pandering to gimmicky reality TV style broadcasting.

So is the lack of strategy talk on ESPN really killing poker and preventing politicians from recognizing it as a skill game? Or is this fun, light-hearted presentation more conducive to attracting millions of casual players to poker.

Well, based on the growth that the game’s experienced from 2003 until now, I tend to go with the latter thought. And while that growth has slowed and the US federal government still shuns poker, it has little if anything to do with ESPN.

Doyle Brunson’s Montana Summer Home featured on ESPN

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

For years the poker world has heard about Doyle Brunson’s Montana summer home. The 10-time WSOP gold bracelet winner visits this beautiful piece of property to get away from the craziness of Las Vegas. Now we get an in-depth look at Brunson’s summer getaway thanks to ESPN.

The world’s leading sports network featured the house on their coverage of the 2013 WSOP. During the segment, we get to hear about how Brunson got the idea to visit Montana from his best friend, poker legend Chip Reese. After visiting, Brunson fell in love with Montana and eventually decided to get his own place there.

One of his favorite things about going to the summer home is that he gets a break from poker and the world in general. As Brunson said, it’s rejuvenating to visit his Montana home.

Another thing that the Texas Dolly made sure to express during the WSOP segment is how important family is to him. “I think that people who don’t have family are really missing out on life,” said Brunson.

Those who watch the video will get to see plenty of lovely shots of the Montana countryside along with some views of Brunson’s summer home. If you’re a fan of the 80-year-old, it’s definitely worth checking out the following video. And seeing as how it is still summertime, you can bet that Doyle is probably lounging around his vacation home as we speak.