There are times where a writer will attempt to write about a topic and they are so hopelessly lost that they embarrass themselves by even attempting the article. A recent case in point is an article posted by David Macaray for Huffington Post.
Of course, anyone that knows anything about this company knows that the majority of their writers do so for free and many times, you “get what you pay for.” Personally, I feel that’s the case in an article entitles 6 Hideous Problems With TV Poker.
He presents six “problems” that he has with Poker TV and I am not sure whether he is just not a fan of poker in general, was asked to write an anti-poker article or is just wanting to raise the ire of poker fans around the world. Regardless of the reason, he comes across as completely clueless in this piece.
Calls Poker Advertising Incestuous – Super Bowl Anyone?
First, he wants to bitch about the number of commercial breaks in most poker show and the number of poker-related commercials that are run. He calls the whole ordeal “incestuous” and claims that the “action to advertising ratio” is above the norm.
First, most any poker show (including the WSOP on ESPN) is a glorified poker commercial. While the program is there to entertain you, ultimately they want you to go out and play poker whether it is online or live.
As such, poker companies are naturally going to pay for the advertising during these programs. Are there more poker commercials? Of course there are. Why the hell would poker companies skip buying ad space during the one time they are guaranteed to get views?
And talking about action to advertising ratio, are we overlooking the Super Bowl? Every time there is a time out, there is a commercial. Every time there is a score, there is a commercial break coming. That’s in addition to the scheduled time outs that the network put in the game. If you have ever been to a live sporting event that was televised, you have sat through a “Television time out.”
Commentary is Not Superfluous – Even for Edited Programs
Another gripe by Macaray is that poker commentary is not necessary because the hole cards are already there. He doesn’t believe that the commentary does anything to edify the viewers at home.
What McGenius is not understanding is that many of these programs are targeted to the casual fan and some are not versed enough on poker to understand some of the moves, some of thinking or the pressure situations that the players are going through.
Commentators do a great job of educating the general public about the game and just because the hole cards are there in the open don’t mean something cannot be learned.
Chip Counts Not Phony – Writer is an Idiot
As a person who has both worked and played in televised events, I can tell you that chip counts are not phony or manufactured. There are times where the stacks on the screen have been estimated because of access issues but those estimates are still very close and typically based on visual evidence (such as a photo or still shot of a chip stack.)
Of course, most of that is not moot due to RFD technology in poker chips that can be automatically tracked. When that fails, just send in Mickey Doft. He can make an accurate chip count from a mile away while looking through fog – at night.
Milking the Board on All-In Scenarios is Part of the Appeal
Another clue that Macaray knows very little about the game, he showed annoyance at how the board is dealt out on All-In situations. He dislikes the fact that the dealer has to deal the board as instructed to heighten the drama of the situation.
I may have misspoke. It may not be that Macaray doesn’t understand poker but maybe he doesn’t understand how TV works, especially live TV. The whole point is to build up drama and suspense and work the crowd up. How else are you going to get those classic moments that we relive year after year on TV and online?
If the dealer is pitching out the cards as fast as possible, you have a bunch of people going “WTF just happened” or a very delayed and potentially confused reaction that doesn’t work nearly as well on TV.
He Hates The Fans Too
As it is clear he is running out of stuff to complain about, Macaray turns his attention to the audience members at final tables. He complains about how the rail is encouraged to be rowdy and cheer for their favorite player. Macaray even likens it to a bachelor party.
Having been to a couple of bachelor parties, most poker final tables would be poor excuses for bachelor parties, but I digress. The final table rail of some poker shows is more entertaining than the final table.
My personal all-time favorite is 2011 WSOP November Nine and the rail of Pius Heinz. Every time he won a hand, his rail would break out into a Pius Heinz chant.
“Pius Heinz. Pius, Pius Heinz. Na, na, na, na, na, na.”
That’s sort of energy is fun and one of the reason that many look forward to the November Nine broadcasts. Macaray would rather you sit there like old librarians trying to watch golf.
Interviewing Final Table Players is a No-No – So Are Women Interviewers
Lastly, Macaray attacks the bustout interviews during the final table. He calls them a “monumental waste of time” and then starts attacking the women conducting the interviews. He apparently doesn’t like the fact that producers are using women to conduct the interviews and that one show is using a woman with a British accent (assuming Lynn Gilmartin of the World Poker Tour) to “class up” the program.
While not every final table interview is a “gem,” there are many fans around the world that want to know what is on the mind of a player once they bust out from a major poker tournament. It adds to the experience and isn’t a major waste of time. For some players, this may be the last time we see them for a while and for a select few, it may be the last time they are seen on TV ever outside of reruns.
As far as the women conducting the interviews, maybe we should have them class up Macaray’s article a bit with some actual poker knowledge instead of a bunch of hate.
Again, I am not sure what Macaray’s purpose was for writing this article. Does he have some strange aversion to TV poker or did Sheldon Adelson and company pay some big bucks to have someone bash TV poker. Regardless, Macaray’s article is a monumental waste of space. If this is the type of material Huffington Post is going to publish about poker, they should stick with talking about the Kardashians or PokeMon Go.