Since I've got interested in poker [again] this year, I've been watching some of it on TV and following various blogs and websites relating to poker. On TV here we only get Poker in the Dark and The Big Game. Both shows were cancelled years ago afaik, but hey it's backville New Zealand, why not right? Pokerstars even runs a nightly freeroll for New Zealand to coincide with the Big Game broadcasts. Based on these two shows, I came to the conclusion that televised poker is very boring. 

I actually find any sport spectating boring and agree whole-heartedly with this blog post. But, poker, similar to Starcraft and other e-sports makes the 'sport' accessible to any spectator; anyone can go look at what the pros are doing and try it themselves. Yet those poker TV shows are still boring. Of course I love playing the game, but watching others, even though it's meant to be educational, is very boring.

Then it dawned on me: value of any televised sport is largely in the commentators (or shoutcasters as they seem to be called for e-sports). If you have not heard of Day9, you're probably new to the Internet. That man is a legend -- he is funny, charming, relentlessly advocates for e-sports, funds small leagues, produces content six days a week, and makes Starcraft accessible to everyone from beginners to the professionals. 

In poker, I discovered, the same level of commentary comes from James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton. I only found out about them recently when I stumbled on an EPT live broadcast and have been hooked ever since. I have to say, some of what they say is quite crass -- Stapes is always regaling us with tales of his hook-ups or drunken antics, and Hartigan ("Partigan" after a few drinks) is always telling him to shut up. 

But boy, do they make poker enjoyable. Last night I stayed up till 1 am watching EPT Berlin Day 3 and then got up at 6 am today to play EPT Live freeroll. I don't even know why. I didn't need to play the freeroll. But these folks inspire me. They make hand dealing fun, they're quick with their commentary, they don't say things that are too obvious, and when the feature table is simply boring, they fill the air with stories of past games, outrageous experiences, and witty interviews. 

I am just bummed they don't produce more content that is re-watchable - most of the commentary is live only due to post-production costs, and I haven't been able to find anything other than EPT that they commentate on. (someone should record those and throw them up on youtube or something?)

So, while my pie in the sky goal is to make money from poker, in the mean time I am very glad to be entertained with quality content of the Internet massive. 

Speaking of entertainment, have you been checking out our Red vs Blue challenge? 85FastLane mentioned that there are no penguins in Canada. Today is a public holiday in New Zealand, and it's raining outside, so we made some penguin-shaped waffles and served them with maple syrup. Here's photographic evidence of penguins being near Canada (those other things are pikelet experiments - some with chocolate chips, some with cheese, some with apple and cinnamon).