The World Poker Tour was the fist weekly television show of its kind in the United States. It was also the first show to show you all the players hole cards as the play of the hand is unfolding. This is made possible by a tiny camera in the table. The final table action is filmed when the tournament gets down to the last six players. The table is set up in the center stage with spectators watching on from seats outside the playing area. There are several cameras stationed around the players to catch all the facial expressions allowing you to see the players the same way they are being seen by their opponents at the table.
Knowing what cards the players hold as the hand progresses adds to the excitement of the show. You can see who is bluffing, and who is leading all the way to the showdown. In-depth play by play analysis is provided by poker champion Mike Sexton and veteran actor/poker expert Vince Van Patten. They explain the strategy behind some of the plays being made by the players. In between hands former Wild On E! Host Shana Hiatt introduces the audience to the poker world and the people who inhabit it.
The World Poker was created by Casino mogul Lyle Berman and TV Producer Steve Lipscomb. The mission statement of the WPT is to establish poker as a significant televised mainstream sport by broadcasting top poker tournaments around the world under the premier brand of the World Poker Tour. With over 50 million poker players in the US and another 100 million around the world, they knew there would be great interest in a televised poker tournament if it could be produced in a way that would be entertaining and unique.
After viewing the first show I think that they have succeeded in bringing a unique Poker viewing experience to those of us that play poker as well for those with no poker knowledge who may be tuning in to see what its all about. The show was interesting and exciting.
A Learning Experience
Whether you are an aspiring tournament player of a seasoned veteran player you can learn a lot from watching the show. In past televised tournaments you usually only got to see the players hand if there was a showdown. When you watch the World Poker Tour you get to see each players cards for every hand. This is a great way to see how the pros play the game.
If you havent had a chance to view the World Poker Tour yet make sure you set aside a Wednesday night and check it out on the Travel Channel.
Until next time, remember:
"Luck comes and goes...Knowledge stays forever."