By Scott Carlson, Rakeback.com Poker News Senior Writer
The World Poker Tour's ninth season made its television debut in the U.S. Sunday night on Fox Sports Net. If you live outside of the U.S or were unable to catch the show, numerous torrent sites have the episode available for download. A quick Google search will find it.
The look and feel of the show is vastly different when compared to last season. Let's go through some of the changes and I will comment on what I think of them.
Kimberly Lansing did a good job on the show. She did various interviews throughout the show and was able to help with the general flow of the program.
When I first heard about the WPT filming from the beginning of the tournament I was excited. Although they did show footage from each of the days leading up to the final table, the presentation was less than stellar. They showed some all-in hands but failed to note blind levels and chip stacks along with any action earlier in the hand. I know they are limited on time but the execution of the segment was severely lacking.
One gold nugget that came out of the coverage before the final table was the footage they showed of an amateur that folded middle set on a J-5-3 two club board when they were a few spots short of the money. He made it even worse by actually showing it. The icing on the cake was when he busted (after the bubble burst) he did a quick interview. He mentioned he was busted by “one of the pros at the table. Phil something.” Yeah, that was Full Tilt Pro Phil Ivey. How do you not know who Phil Ivey is and why are you playing a $10k WPT Event?
Adding sexiness to the program are the Royal Flush Girls. The superficial grab at the male viewing audience was blatantly obvious. I really don't care about what they look for in a guy. If they want them there to present the money and act as ambassadors, that's fine.
The Raw Deal segment by Tony 'Bond18' Dunst was excellent. He was able to break down hands at the final table flawlessly using simple math and was even able to use a telestrator like John Madden (minus the Turducken discussion). This was one of the best additions to the show.
There seems to be mixed results on the internet forums about using the four color deck. I like the addition. It makes viewing the action a lot easier, especially if you are watching the show in a bar or restaurant.
We shall see what else is in store for the viewing audience when the conclusion of the Bellagio Cup airs next week. Overall I think they made good improvements and I am looking forward to what else they have in store for us.
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