Last Night’s WSOP telecast on ESPN

I’m such a geek, that at one point when ESPN is showing their crane shot of the poker room I’m checking out the table numbers to see if they are showing one of teh tables I played at.  Like maybe they will have a plaque commemorating my presence of something.  I have no idea why I was interested in that.  I blame my brother, who used to boo loudly when we drove past the Hampton Colosseum because it wasn’t our hometown arena.  Apparently we have some shared miswired brain circuitry or something.

A number of us have wondered how ESPN will portray Jamie Gold.  It is hard to say after this episode because although they showed him trash talking and acting up a bit, the guy he was talking to was so unlikable that Gold actually was the good guy in that vignette.  The other kid is named Eric Molina and he came across as a poster child for the obnoxious 23 year old Internet poker-playing moron segment.  He was berating people for making loose calls against him (even though it was obvious that he was raising way light) and generally acting like a real “poker brat.”  It is a shame that some of the real class acts in Internet poker get almost no TV time.  A good example would be Eric Lynch (a/k/a Rizen) who I met briefly at the WSOP.  The guy demolishes the on-line poker scene and had a stellar WSOP.  The only time I’ve seen him on TV was when his Aces got cracked by 54o or some such crap.  He took the bad beat stoically, despite the other guy prancing about in celebration.  I’m never going to get the big coverage, because I’m much more of a Rizen than a Molina.

There was another flap with the Molina kid in a hand against another well-known internet guy whose handle is Shaniac.  Shaniac wound up pushing with Ax from the big blind against what was obviously the 8 zillionth raise from Molina.  Molina called with 77 and Shaniac didn’t improve.  Molina talked trash and Shaniac gave him some grief back.  I read Shaniac’s blog and it looks like they actually pasted together two different hands in the footage and Shane’s account makes the picture we got of Molina as a jerk seem pretty accurate.  By the way, 2+2 sometimes seems to bring out the worse in Shaniac, because he seems much more thoughtful and interesting on his blog than he does on 2+2.

The most contentious argument of the night was between Prahlad Friedman and Jeffery Lissandro.  There was some question as to whether or not Lissandro paid his ante on a hand.  Lissandro insisted that he did and Friedman wasn’t sure.  The argument got more and more heated, until Prahlad baldly stated that he didn’t trust Lissandro and used the word “cheat” to discuss what happened.  It apparently went on for orbits, because they kept showing different hands with the debate wtill raging.  Lissandro threatened to knock Prahlad’s teeth out at one point.  It was like high school.  The interesting thing to me was that Prahlad never really seemed on genuine tilt, despite an obvious propensity to do so.  Lissandro on the other hand, was clearly livid.  I have to think it affected his play.  As it turns out, ESPN showed a replay of the hand and Lissandro was right.  Prahlad could have been sincere too, because he has a couple of posts on 2+2 that suggest he sees himself as some kind of etiquette police.
I say that I want to be more like Rizen and that I wish ESPN didn’t feature the idiots so much, but I have to admit that last night’s episode was among the most compelling ones they have shown thus far.

By Nsidestrate

I'm a hard-core limit ring game poker player who is becoming a degenerate sports bettor. I'm sure it will all make more sense if you read on.