Calling all poker fans

Right now I’m watching this great heads up battle between Martin Staszko and Pius Heinz. Chip leads have flip flopped back and forth multiple times. I believe both players have had a 2:1 chip count during this heads up battle (not official but it has been close).

A misconception about poker is it’s all about luck. I forgot where, but I once heard poker is 10% luck and 90% knowing how to play it.

I would consider myself an average poker player. I have a moderate knowledge of the game. If you want to compete with the professionals of the game, you need to analyze every player’s bodily movement, the timing of every bet, betting patters, mannerisms.

The best poker players share the minds of the best chess players. Both games measure your ability to foresee one step ahead of your opponent. As you get more skilled at seeing into the future you move up in the worldwide rankings.

What I’m watching right now is a match between two very good poker minds. You don’t beat over 6,000 people by accident, although with all the amateurs in the field I wouldn’t be as surprised.

I’ve seen stone cold bluff five-bet, I’ve seen great value bets paid off, I’ve seen pocket aces, pocket kings, and suited Big Slick.

All in an effort to win the $8+ million dollars grilling them no more than a yard away.

On a separate note, I give a lot of credit to Lon McHeren and Norman Chad. Live, Chad doesn’t sound like a side-show clown. It’s nice to see his personality. McHeren really knows a lot about the game. He’s been dead-on most of the time. I’d expect Antonio Esfandiari to be a little more than just another voice. His reads have been way off today. I believe it was a board of 5-5-J-A or something similar. Esfandiari said something like, “With this bet he’s representing either a five or a jack….he also may have the Ace….He could have a smaller pocket pair or he could simply be on a stone cold bluff.” He literally had listed every possibility.

I digress. Announcing poker for hours on end is not an easy job. I announce the Rowan football games, and you have to have a lot of information prepared because there’s a lot of down time in between plays. Announcing poker is as slow paced at announcing your Grandma Rose knit a sweater.

“Ooh… what color will she go with here Rich?”

“I don’t know Donnie, I’m thinking green or a teal complement. It would contrast brilliantly against the maroon.”

But the poker broadcast booth is good! It’s also nice that you see the whole cards. Personally, I would not like that if I was heads-up. In poker you never get to see most of your opponent’s hands. In this set up you can see all of them. On the highest scale in poker, I think it should remain as pure as the game always is.

But then again seeing whole cards brings ratings – and that’s what it’s all about.

PS…this battle is still going on! Turn on ESPN because this has been a great match-up.

1 thought on “Calling all poker fans”

  1. Interesting fact, announcer call the game twice, once live and then again in post when they are aware of the hole cards and other factors.

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