Stan’s Lists – The Irish Open


[SS] “Do you guys know what the second oldest still-running Texas Hold ‘Em event is?” Stan the Stat teased.

[RR] “After the World Series of Poker?” Roderick the Rock surmised.

[SS] “Yep.”

[RR] “I have no idea.”

[LL] “Isn’t it the Irish Open?” Leroy the Lion offered. “A bunch of the Irish guys at the pub tournament talk about it occasionally.”

[SS] “Right you are. Irish bookmaker Terry Rogers was in Las Vegas on a business trip when the 1979 World Series of Poker was happening and befriended Irish American Benny Binion. The Red Menace, Rogers’ nickname on account of his flaming hair, had already been running charity tournaments with ‘Gentleman’ Liam Flood at their Eccentrics Club,1 so the following year they transformed the events into the Irish Open, usually held each year on Easter weekend.2 The event became the Paddy Poker Irish Open in 2005 and is now awkwardly called the paddypowerpoker.com Irish Open.”

[SS] “The Main Event of the 32nd3 Irish Open begins today, with a €2,000+250 entry fee and will run for four days to crown a champion to add to this winners’ list.”

Irish Open Champions

Year Winner Prize4 Entrants Cashed5 Runner-Up
1980 Colette Doherty $22,000 36 ? ?
1981 Sean Kelly ? ? ? ?
1982 Frank Conway ? ? ? ?
1983 Jimmy Langan ? ? ? ?
1984 Tony Byrne $25,578 ~36 ? Liam Flood
1985 Irene Tier ? ? ? Frank Mifsud
1986 Bryan McCarthy ? ? ? ?
1987 Noel Furlong ? ? ? ?
1988 Jimmy Langan ? ? ? ?
1989 Noel Furlong ? ? ? ?
1990 Liam Flood $19,646 ? ? ?
1991 Colette Doherty ? ? ? ?
1992 Noel Furlong ? ? ? ?
1993 Christy Smith ? ? ? ?
1994 Mickey Finn $22,110 39 9 George McKeever
1996 Liam Flood ? ? ? ?
1999 Liam Barker $26,067 76 13 Jenny Hegarty
2000 Alan Betson $26,443 79 12 Julian Gardner
2001 Jenny Hegarty $31,922 92 8 Paul Cryan
2002 Nick Beirne $18,521 67 9 Allan Gallagher
2003 Joe Beevers $54,971 105 9 Frank Callaghan
2004 Ivan Donaghy $80,068 107 9 Robert McGuirk
2005 John Falconer $189,421 170 18 Alan Betson
2006 Vincent Melinn $423,647 339 36 Ian Woodley
2007 Marty Smyth $867,546 708 72 Roland De Wolfe
2008 Neil Channing $1,263,261 667 72 Donal Norton
2009 Christer Johansson $793,882 700 72 Kara Scott
2010 James Mitchell $809,094 708 72 Paul Carr
2011 Niall Smyth $790,580 615 64 Surinder Sunar
2012 Kevin Vandersmissen $553,316 502 54 Thomas Beer
2013 Ian Simpson $339,604 505 54 Michael Farrelly

[SS] “Some interesting factoids from the event:”

  • After Colette Doherty won the first Irish Open in 1980, Rogers convinced her to enter the World Series of Poker Main Event even though she didn’t know how to play Texas Hold ‘Em (the Irish Open was 5-card stud that first year). She was the first woman and the first European to play in the WSOP Main Event but didn’t survive the first day when Bob Hooks upended her full house with a bigger boat. In 2000, she finished 12th in the WSOP $1,000+60 Women’s Championship (Limit Hold’em/7 Card Stud).
  • Two other women have won the Irish Open: Irene Tier in 1985 and Jenny Hegarty, who became the event’s oldest winner as a 72-year old grandmother in 2001! She had previously finished 2nd in 1999 and 8th in 1994.
  • Jimmy Langan became the first two-time champion in 1988. Noel Furlong joined him the next year, Doherty in 1991, and Liam Flood in 1996.3
  • Noel Furlong became the only three-time champion in 1992 and conquered the WSOP Main Event seven years later (fellow Irishmen Padraig Parkinson [3rd] and George McKeever [7th] also did well). Furlong also finished 2nd in his first Irish Open in 1984, 3rd in 2002, and 32nd in 2011; he also finished 6th in the WSOP Main Event in 1989. Rogers is credited with teaching Furlong how to play poker.
  • Julian Gardner was runner-up at both the 2000 Irish Open and the 2002 WSOP Main Events.
  • Englishman Neil Channing won the biggest first prize in the Irish Open in 2008, when the entry fee peaked at 4,200€+300, as he survived a field of 667 players to take home the event’s only million-dollar prize of $1,263,261 (801,400€).
  • The largest field, however, was a tie between 2007 and 2010, with 708 players, just eight more than in 2009. The 2007 event set a record for the largest Hold ‘Em tournament in Europe.
  • While the majority of the champions have been Irish, there have been three Americans (Kelly, Byrne, and Beirne), five Englishmen (Beevers, Falconer, Channing, Mitchell, and Simpson), a Swede (Johansson), and a Belgian (Vandersmissen).
  • The entry fee has jumped around even more than the venue, including 500£ in 1994, 250I£ in 1999, 700+70€ in 2002, a peak of 4,200+300€ in 2008, and a drop down from 3,200+300€ to the current 2,000+250€ in 2013.
  • In 2012, Ian Simpson finished fourth. The following year, he made it to heads up before finishing off Michael Farrelly in a mere three hands. Simpson then proposed successfully to his girlfriend, Emma Rodham. Not what you usually mean when you say someone has a trophy wife.

[LL] “And not the usual ring game for a poker player.”

[RR] “Nor winning a hand.”

[SS] “Speaking of winning hands… Information is very scarce before 2007, but here are all of the winning hands since then:”

Irish Open Final Hands Since 2007

Year Winner Hand Value Runner-Up Hand Value Board
2007 Marty Smyth K♥9♥ Flush,
Ace-King high
Roland De Wolfe T♥3♥ Flush,
Ace-Ten high
A♥8♠6♥8♦2♥
2008 Neil Channing A♣9♥ 3 Aces Donal Norton 5♠5♣ Two Pairs,
Aces over 5s
A♠Q♣T♠K♣A♥
2009 Christer Johansson K♣3♥ Pair of Kings Kara Scott J♣9♥ Pair of Jacks J♦7♠K♦Q♠A♦
2010 James Mitchell A♥8♥ Full House,
8s over Jacks
Paul Carr Q♠5♦ Two Pairs,
Jacks over 8s
J♣J♦8♣4♠8♠
2011 Niall Smyth Q♣5♠ Two Pairs,
5s over 3s
Surinder Sunar A♣9♠ Pair of Threes T♥3♣3♦2♦5♥
2012 Kevin Vandersmissen 9♦7♣ 3 Nines Thomas Beer A♣K♥ Pair of Nines 9♠4♥3♣8♦9♥
2013 Ian Simpson 4♦3♦ Flush,
Queen-high
Michael Farrelly 7♦4♠ Straight,
8-high
Q♦5♠6♣8♦2♦

[RR] “Was that the Kara Scott, from the poker shows on TV?”

[SS] “Indeed. She won over four hundred thousand dollars for the best result of her poker career.”

Footnotes:

  1. The Irish Open stayed at the Eccentrics Club until 1996. After Rogers passed away in 1999, it moved to the Merrion Casino Club, which remained its home until 2005. The event then bounced around to Jury’s Ballsbridge Hotel in 2006, the Burlington Hotel in 2007, and Citywest Hotel in 2008 and 2009, before returning to the Burlington for good in 2010. The Burlington was renamed the Double Tree by Hilton in 2014. All of the sites have been in Dublin.
  2. The Irish Open’s Main Event has started on Good Friday, or the day before or after, every year that I know of except 2002, when it was held on June 1.
  3. The Irish Open wasn’t held in 1995, 1997, or 1998. Some sources give Charlie Power as the 1995 winner, but Hendon lists that event as the Real Irish Open on March 1, 1995, a small-buyin event (just 50£) with only a 2,500£ first prize (furthermore, Good Friday wasn’t until April 14 in 1995). Other sources say Mickey Finn won his second title in 1998, but with no details like first prize, field size, or his heads-up opponent; Liam Flood himself said there was no event in 1998. That makes this the 32nd event, not the 33rd.
  4. All prizes are given in approximate dollar equivalents. Actual prizes were in pounds until 1994 or 1996, in Irish pounds until 2001, and in euros since.
  5. The number of players who cashed is higher than usual from 1994 to 2002 because the tournament allowed one or two rebuys in those years (e.g., there were 11 rebuys in 2000 and 22 in 2001).

Taxes Hold ‘Em

[LL] “Since you guys are here playing poker, I assume you’ve all filed your taxes already?” Leroy the Lion suggested, less than rhetorically.

[RR] “Sure, I usually do them as soon as I get my W-2 and all my 1099-DIVs and INTs and whatnot”, Roderick the Rock confirmed. “No reason to wait if I’m getting a refund.”

[SS] “I’m almost done”, Stan the Stat declared. “Definitely needed this break, in any case. How about you?”

[LL] “Starting on them tomorrow. I procrastinate every year, but at least I don’t have to run to the post office anymore, thanks to online filing.”

[RR] “Have you ever needed an extension?”

[LL] “Considered it many times, but that would be yet another form1 to fill out! My vice of laziness is stronger than my bad habit of procrastinating.”

[SS] “Speaking of taxes, I wonder how many poker players didn’t request their Full Tilt Poker funds back because they were sure the IRS would realize they hadn’t paid taxes on their winnings over the years.”

[RR] “Pretty much everybody with under $100 dollars there wouldn’t risk it. Maybe a thousand dollars, ten thou, or more even.”

[SS] “Basic expected value calculation: the chances of getting audited times the owed taxes and penalties versus the amount in the FTP account.”

[RR] “The IRS hasn’t publicly admitted anything, but supposedly they’re not involved with the payouts.”

[SS] “Legally, these payouts are exactly the same as anytime you withdraw money from an online poker account. The tax implications come when you win and lose money in games, not when you deposit and withdraw.”

[LL] “Ever the optimist, I paid my taxes on my Full Tilt Poker winnings, even for 2011,2 since I expected to get my bankroll back.”

[RR] “If you’re an optimist, why didn’t you not pay the taxes and assume the IRS would never audit you.”

[LL] “I’m a sole proprietor, so I’m already cruising down audit highway in a bright red sports car.”

[LL] “But it especially sucks to live in Massachusetts, one of four states3 where you can’t deduct your gambling losses. And that’s not even net. If you have five winning sessions and six losing sessions, Massachusetts only cares about those five wins.”

[RR] “Unless you file your taxes as a professional poker player.”

[LL] “Exactly, but none of us plays enough poker to move it out of the hobby category. Well, except maybe Yuri back in his online poker heyday.”

Footnotes:

  1. For individuals, Form 4868 will automatically get you another six months to file your taxes. You still need to pay estimated taxes in April though if you owe.
  2. Legally, nobody had to pay taxes on their 2011 Full Tilt Poker winnings since there was no “constructive receipt”. That would be the once case where taxes would be owed when the FTP funds were returned in 2014.
  3. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, and Ohio specifically don’t allow deducting your gambling losses as a hobbyist. Some states have no income taxes (AK, FL, NV, SD, TX, WA, and WY as of 2014); others only tax dividends and interest (NH and TN as of 2014); the remaining states allow you to deduct your gambling losses like the U.S. government does.

Related Links:

Stan’s Lists – Poker Players on Reality Shows


[SS] “There are reality poker shows, and there are reality shows with poker players on them”, Stan the Stat stated.

[RR] “Disproportionately represented by women”, Roderick the Rock noted, “not that I’m complaining.”

[LL] “I can’t really stand any of those shows, but I have to say, Annie Duke was robbed”, Leroy the Lion contributed.

[SS] “Now, of course, lots of people play poker, so this list only includes poker pros. I didn’t count amateurs like Adam Gersh on Unan1mous and Dan Barbour on I Survived a Japanese Game Show.

Poker Players on U.S. Reality Game Shows1

Show (Wikipedia link) Network Year (IMDB link) Poker Player Notes
Survivor 28: Cagayan CBS 2014 Garrett Adelstein Adelstein has $122,766 in career tournament earnings according to the Hendon Mob Poker Database but is more of a cash game player; Spoiler (highlight to see): Adelstein was the second contestant voted out
The Millionaire Matchmaker Bravo 2013 Daniel Negreanu Video of “Wounded Wally and the Mama’s Boy” (1/10/13); Spoiler (highlight to see): seemed happy with his choice of Lindsay Blalock, but the relationship was already history by the time the episode aired
Worst Cooks in America Bravo 2012 Tiffany Michelle Spoiler (highlight to see): finished 5th out of 16
The Millionaire Matchmaker Bravo 2010 Beth Shak Video of “House of Cards” (11/9/10) for $1.99; Spoiler (highlight to see): She picked the millionaire (1,200 pairs of shoes cost a lot, you know), but none of the three men Patty set he up with were “so great” and she met someone else shortly after the episode was filmed; Shak also appeared on Celebrity Nightmares Decoded.
The Amazing Race 15 CBS 2009 Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle Spoiler (highlight to see): finished 6th out of 12 two-player teams
Celebrity Apprentice NBC 2009 Annie Duke Spoiler (highlight to see): finished 2nd out of 16 (to Joan Rivers)
2 Months, $2 Million G4TV 2009 Dani Stern, Jay Rosenkrantz, Brian Roberts, and Emil Patel The four players share a house in Las Vegas and try to make $2 million playing online poker in only two months; Video of the first of ten episodes; Spoiler (highlight to see): ended up making $676,700
Rob and Amber: Against the Odds FOX Reality Channel 2007 Rob Mariano Survivor and The Amazing Race contestant Rob Mariano tries to make it as a professional poker, with Daniel Negreanu as his tutor
Survivor 15: China CBS 2007 Jean Robert Bellande Spoiler (highlight to see): finished 9th out of 16

[RR] “How does Rob Mariano belong on the list?”

[SS] “Believe it or not, he won $50,000 in 2006 by placing sixth in the Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker Tournament. For that, Boston Rob got into Hendon’s Database and earned a wild card onto this list.”

[SS] “Poker pros have also appeared on reality lifestyle shows. I may have seen some of these, but you’ll never get me to admit it:”

Poker Players on U.S. Reality Lifestyle Shows1

Show (Wikipedia link) Network Year (IMDB link) Poker Player Notes
Sin City Rules TLC 2012-13 Jennifer Harman Harman and four other somewhat important Vegas women (Lana Fuchs [daughter of a famous mobster], Amy Hanley [entrepreneur], Alicia Jacobs [reporter], and Lori Montoya [cosmetics line]); f.k.a. Vegas High Rollers; 5 episodes aired and 3 were posted to the web site
I Bet My Life Travel Channel 2012 Liv Boeree and Kevin MacPhee The Iron Maiden and ImaLuckSac play in a European Poker Tour $14,000 buy-in tournament in Monte Carlo, Monaco; trailer (pilot only); Spoiler (highlight to see): neither player made the money
NY Ink TLC 2012 Beth Shak Clip from the “Poker Hottie” episode
I Bet You MOJO HD 2007-08 Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak YouTube Playlist; 2 seasons with a total of 24 episodes; 3rd season filmed but never aired as iN Demand cancelled the entire network
My Life on the D List Bravo 2007 Mike Matusow In the “Loose Cannon” episode, the Mouth has a blind date with the show’s star, comedienne Kathy Griffin; 4-minute YouTube video

[LL] “I Bet You was quite funny at times; pairing Laak and Esfandiari was a good bet. But I think the people who produced some of these other shows need a reality check.”

[RR] “No surprise that the other shows all folded pretty quickly.”

Footnotes:

  1. The tables are sorted by recency. Tap on the header to sort by any column. You need to view the post by itself for this to work.

Stan’s Lists – Poker Reality Television Shows


[RR] “Speaking of entertaining, what about reality poker television shows? I have to admit that I’m a sucker for them”, claimed Roderick the Rock.

[SS] “I consider them a guilty pleasure; more of a pointless primetime puff piece than a poker production”, Stan the Stat admitted.

[LL] “I enjoyed some of the shows but couldn’t stand others”, Leroy the Lion added, “depending mostly on how much actual poker content there was.”

[SS] “Yeah, it’s a pretty wide assortment of shows. Somebody must have liked them though, because I have a list of proposed shows that’s even longer!”

Reality Poker Shows on U.S. Television1

Show (Wikipedia link) Network Years (IMDB link) Location2 Commentators Notes
Best Damn Poker Show Fox Sports Net 2008-09 Pechanga Resort (2008; Temecula, CA), San Manuel Casino (2009; Highland, CA) Chris Rose (2008), Dave Stann (2009) Two 7-week seasons, starting with 24 players, eventually split into Team Duke and Team Hellmuth; a.k.a. Best Damn Poker Challenge and a sequel to Ultimatepoker.com Showdown in the U.K. in 2005 with Duke, Hellmuth, and 5 players, including Liv Boeree
Face the Ace NBC 2009 Cin City Studios Steve Schirrpa and Ali Nejad Amateurs face one to three poker pros in heads-up matches (for $40K, $200K, and $1M, all-or-nothing)
Ace in the House GSN 2007 various homes Cory Zeidman Five amateur poker players play a single-table tournament against each other and a random pro (e.g., Mike Matusow in the first episode) for $10,000 ($20,000 if the pro has to rebuy for half of the starting stack); video playlist of the first and only episode
Annie Duke Takes On the World GSN 2006 ? Annie Duke and Regan Burns Four amateur poker players play each other for a chance at $10,000 against Annie Duke, who also advises them
King of Vegas Spike 2006 Bally’s Casino Resort Max Kellerman and Wayne Allyn Root Six amateurs, three professional blackjack players, and three professional poker players compete in eight different games, four per episode (starting with blackjack, two of Caribbean Stud Poker/Craps/Horse racing/Mini-Baccarat/Pai Gow Poker/Red Dog/Roulette, and ending with Hold ‘Em)

Proposed Reality Poker Shows1

Show (web link) Status Year (video link) Notes
Big Slick Poker Academy to be filmed during WSOP in June 2014 2014 Reality show could just be overpromised marketing fluff from the poker training company
Poker Entertainment Network entire poker network planned but already delayed a year 2014 New network was supposed to debut in December 2013 but now delayed until December 2014; 24/7 with Poker Tournaments, Reality, Poker News, Documentary, and Movies
Poker Night in America in production? 2014 Poker playing and behind-the-scenes footage with Kristy Arnett, David “ODB” Baker, Lauren Billings, Shawn Buchanan, Eli Elezra, Layne Flack, Phil Laak, Mike “the Mouth” Matusow, David Levi, Greg “FBT” Mueller, Tom “Donkeybomber” Schneider, Gavin Smith, David Williams; Arnett and Billings won an open casting call
Pool, Poker & Pain casting call in 2011 then nothing 2014 16 to 20 contestants learn and compete in pool, MMA fighting, and poker; created by Blair Thein with Doug Stanley, producer of Deadliest Catch
Great American Poker Challenge tournaments were held but no show was produced 2013 Events happened early November 2013 at Planet Hollywood, but the promise of a reality TV show seems to have been lost
Queens Are Wild announced by E! Network then nothing 2013 Follows four top female poker pros, including Maria Ho
Full House with Johnny Chan sizzle reel created 2012 Five “up-and-coming” poker players (all Las Vegas cash game grinders) compete and get trained by Johnny Chan
Fatty’s: Where the Game Gets REAL casting call then nothing 2010 Combines poker and fantasy sports but never seems to have gotten off the ground; Created by Scott “Mayhem” Einiger, who knocked Phil Ivey out on Day Two of the 2010 WSOP Main Event
Young Guns 5-1/2 minute trailer created 2010 Follows four online poker pros (Chris Sparks, Chris “The Captain” Jackson, Jurran “The Kid” Joshu, and Seth Otterstad) for two months living together in a Hollywood Hills villa

Footnotes:

  1. The tables are sorted by recency. Tap on the header to sort by any column. You need to view the post by itself for this to work.
  2. All locations are in Las Vegas, Nevada unless specified otherwise.

Related Links:

  • Special props to Poker Tube for their amazing collection of poker videos.


Stan’s Lists – Celebrity Poker Television Shows


[SS] “I’m sure I’m missing some of the more obscure ones, because I honestly don’t like watching bad poker, but here’s my list of the most popular celebrity poker TV shows”, Stan the Stat offered.

Celebrity Poker Shows on U.S. Television1

Show (Wikipedia link) Network Years (IMDB link) Location2 Commentators Notes
Celebrity Poker Live CBS 2012 Bicycle Casino (Los Angeles, CA) Joshua Escandon, Tami Farrell, Danielle Demski Players compete for $10,000 for their favorite charity; 12 episodes; celebrities include David Alan Grier, Jessica Hall, Jose Canseco, Richard Karn, and No Doubt drummer Adrian Young
Sam’s Game Playboy TV 2009-10 Palms Casino Resort Sam Simon Hosted by Sam Simon, writer for The Simpsons; 14 episodes; players include Artie Lange, Brande Roderick, Dave Attell, Jennifer Tilly (Simon’s ex-wife!), Jeff Ross, Deanna Brooks, Andrea Lowell, Phil Laak, Jay Kogen; Examiner.com said that the “hilariously funny reality poker game show is full of sexy women and foul language”; set in Hugh Hefner’s exclusive sky villa
Black Poker Stars Invitational BET 2008 Planet Hollywood Kenny Burns and David Williams 12 black entertainers, including Nelly, compete for a $50,000 prize pool; 8 episodes
Pechanga Celebrity Poker Challenge Fox Sports Net 2007 Pechanga Resort and Casino (Temecula, CA) Phil Gordon and Mieke Buchan 15 players compete for a $20,000 first prize and a $50,000 prize pool; the winners of each of the three tables automatically advanced, while the 2nd and 3rd place finishers played RoShamBo for the other three spots; celebrities include athletes Ivan Lendl, Mark Rypien, Grant Fuhr, Jeremy Roenick, Rollie Fingers, Gary Carter, and Seth Joyner, and actors Jack Wagner and Alfonso Ribeiro; spoiler (highlight to see): former MLB player Kurt Bevacqua won the 2007 event
VH1 Classic Rock Celebrity Poker Tournament VH1 2007 Flamingo Hotel Phil Hellmuth and Mark Tenner 8-player single-table tournament; 5 celebrities and 3 amateurs compete for a top prize worth $2,500 plus a free trip to Aruba for the UltimateBet Poker Classic; rockers Ace Frehley (KISS), Dusty Hill (ZZ Top), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Sully Erna (Godsmack), and Vinnie Paul (Pantera); spoiler (highlight to see): Scott Ian won the event
Celebrity Poker Showdown Bravo 2003-06 Palms Casino (2004-05; Paradise, NV), Harrah’s Entertainment (2006) Dave Foley and Phil Gordon 25 players compete in a shootout tournament; the 8 tournaments feature actors like Ben Affleck, David Schwimmer, Martin Sheen, Angie Dickinson, and Carrie Fisher, and athletes like Jerome Bettis, James Blake, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Hawk; Spoiler (highlight to see): the 8 winners were Nicole Sullivan, Maura Tierney, Seth Meyers, Mekhi Phifer, Brad Garrett, Kathy Najimy, Steven Culp, and Jason Alexander
E! Hollywood Hold’em E! 2005 various celebrity homes Phil Laak a.k.a. Hollywood Poker Night; $10,000 buy-in single-table tournament; 6 episodes; players include Laura Prepon, Macaulay Culkin, Vince Van Patten, Shannon Elizabeth, Patrick Warburton, and Zachary Levi

[SS] “I’ve probably watched at most a few minutes of most of these shows.”

[RR] “Funny, I never pictured you as a Playboy TV subscriber.”

[SS] “Not including that one.”

Footnotes:

  1. The table is sorted by recency. Tap on the header to sort by any column. You need to view the post by itself for this to work.

    The Pro-Am Poker Equalizer could have been included in this list, but two-thirds of the players and five-sixths of the final table were pros.

  2. In addition, from 2003 to 2011 the World Poker Tour ran an annual WPT Celebrity Invitational (as part of the L.A. Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino in California) that has aired on its regular television show. Tons of celebrities, including James Garner, Jason Alexander, Lou Diamond Phillips, Chaka Khan, and Pete Sampras, to name a meager few, joined the pros for the event.

  3. All locations are in Las Vegas, Nevada unless specified otherwise.

Stan’s Lists – Poker Television Shows


[RR] Roderick the Rock reflected, “Do you guys remember the Golden Era of Poker TV?”

[LL] “Oh sure”, Leroy the Lion confirmed. “Around 2006, you couldn’t channel surf without running into a poker show.”

[SS] “Networks that didn’t seem to have any reason to show poker had regular shows”, Stan the Stat claimed. “Bravo, the Travel Channel, the Game Show Network…”

[RR] “Oh, I don’t know about GSN. ESPN and other networks consider poker to be a ‘sport’, but isn’t it more like a game show?1 Especially a poker tournament, which is a game where players compete in turn. The dealer and the commentators play the role of host. One winner gets the big prize, while the losers settle for consolation prizes.”

[LL] “The runner-up consolation prize is usually much better in poker though.”

[RR] “Is this another one of your lists, Stan?”

[SS] “Of course it is.”

Poker Shows on U.S. Television2

Show (Wikipedia link) Network Years (IMDB link) Location3 Commentators Notes
World Series of Poker CBS;
Discovery Channel;
ESPN
1978-81, 1983;
1999-2001;
1987-95, 1997-98, 2002-
Binion’s Horseshoe (1978-2005), Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino (2005-) Lon McEachern and Norman Chad (2002-); see Wikipedia’s broadcasters list for others Event began in 1970
World Poker Tour Travel Channel;
GSN;
Fox Sports Net4
2003-07;
2008-09;
2009-
various worldwide casinos Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten Tour began in 2002
Heartland Poker Tour syndicated 2005- various U.S. casinos Fred Bevill and Chris Hanson Tour began in 2005
National Heads-Up Poker Championship NBC 2005-11, 20135 Golden Nugget (2005), Caesars Palace (2006-) Matt Vasgersian and Gabe Kaplan Final Four bracket-style tournament
FullTiltPoker.net Aussie Millions GSN 2006-11 Crown Casino (Melbourne, Australia) Michael Konik, Howard Lederer, Barry Tompkins Event began in 1998
High Stakes Poker GSN 2006-11 Golden Nugget (2006, 2009-10), Palms Casino Resort (2006), South Point Casino (2007), Bellagio (2011) Gabe Kaplan (2006-10), A.J. Benza (2006-09), Kara Scott (2010-11), Norm Macdonald (2011) Show ended in 2011 when sponsor PokerStars was banished from the U.S.
Poker After Dark NBC 2007-11 South Point Casino (2007-08), Golden Nugget (2008-10), Aria Resort and Casino (2011) Ali Nejad Show ended in 2011 when sponsor Full Tilt Poker was banished from the U.S.
The PokerStars.Net Big Game Fox 2010-11 South Point Casino Joe Stapleton, Scott Huff, Chris Rose, Amanda Leatherman Show ended in 2011 when sponsor PokerStars was banished from the U.S.
Doubles Poker Championship GSN 2010 Golden Nugget David Tuchman and Brandon Adams Four-team single-table tournament, where each two-person team takes turns on alternating streets (one 30-second timeout to confer per event); $50,000 buy-in per player; 32 players including Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, Gus Hansen, Chris Ferguson, Mike Matusow, Annie Duke, Annette Obrestad, David Benyamine, Antonio Esfandiari, Howard Lederer, Phil Laak, and Andrew Lichtenberger; 13 episodes
Ultimate Poker Challenge syndicated 2004-07 Plaza Hotel and Casino Chad Brown and guest presenters Satellites then semifinals and finals
Mansionpoker.net Poker Dome Challenge Fox Sports Net 2006-07 Tropicana (2006), Neonopolis shopping mall (2006-07) Barry Tompkins and Michael Konik Speed poker tournament with 15 seconds per action (one 30-second extension and if used, one more heads-up)
Pro-Am Poker Equalizer ESPN 2007 South Coast Casino Phil Gordon and Ali Nejad 36-player shootout with each table starting with four pros and two celebrity amateurs, who start with 50% more chips; the celebrities were Jose Canseco, Cheryl Hines, Yancey Arias, Nicholas Gonzalez, Penn Jillette, Jennifer Tilly, Cindy Margolis, Jeremy Sisto, Don Cheadle, Shannon Elizabeth, Jason Alexander, and Shana Hiatt; spoiler (highlight to see): Gonzalez was the only celebrity to reach the final table; Andy Bloch won, and Allen Cunningham came in second place.
United States Poker Championship ESPN 1997-2000, 2003-06 Trump Taj Mahal (Atlantic City, NJ) Lon McEachern and Norman Chad Event last played in 2010
Celebrity Poker Showdown Bravo 2003-06 Palms Casino Resort Dave Foley and Phil Gordon 25-player shootout tournament with all celebrities
Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament Fox Sports Net 2004-06 Golden Nugget Chris Rose and Howard Lederer Turbo tournament with 20-minute blind levels; Season 2 in IMDB and Season 3 in IMDB
Professional Poker Tour Travel Channel 2006 various U.S. casinos Matt Corboy and Mark Seif Part of the WPT (sort of an all-star game); merged back into main tour after one year
Calvin Ayre’s Wild Card Poker Fox Sports Net 2006 The Compound [Calvin Ayre's residence] (Costa Rica) Chris Rose and Robert Williamson III Calvin Ayre founded Bodog in 2000
Poker Royale GSN 2005 Pechanga Resort and Casino (Temecula, CA) John Ahlers and Robert Williamson III Series of themed poker tournaments; Another episode on IMDB

[SS] “At the peak of the poker boom, you could watch a dozen different poker shows every week!”

[RR] “And now we’re down to just three.”

[SS] “The Game Show Network alone seemed to fill up most of the week with episodes of High Stakes Poker.”

[LL] “I think they replaced them all with Family Feud.5 At least until the next poker boom.”

[SS] “All we need is for a woman to win the World Series of Poker Main Event.”

[RR] “Or a celebrity.”

[LL] “Even making the final table might do the trick.”

[RR] “It’s probably just as well though. Watching poker on TV really isn’t the best way to improve your game.”

[SS] “Yeah, most shows edit out all the previous hands you needed to see to understand what’s really happening in the current hand.”

[LL] “But, it’s still entertaining!”

[RR] “Speaking of which, what about celebrity poker shows?”

[SS] “Oh, I have a separate list for those…”

Footnotes:

  1. A game show is “a television or radio program in which contestants answer questions or play games of skill or chance in order to win money or other prizes”, according to Dictionary.com.
  2. The table is sorted by recency. Tap on the header to sort by any column. You need to view the post by itself for this to work. {Added Doubles Poker Championship on 3/19/14.}
  3. All locations are in Las Vegas, Nevada unless specified otherwise.
  4. NBC also aired one “Battle of Champions” tournament on February 1, 2004.
  5. The NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship was also cancelled in 2014 but may return next year.
  6. Apparently, this is Family Feud marathon week. According to the GSN schedule, 172 (!) families are feuding this week [yes, an astonishing 86 half-hour episodes, over a quarter of their air time].

Related Links:

Full Tilt Reimbursement!

[RR] “I got my Full Tilt money back!” Roderick the Rock exclaimed.

[LL] “Congratulations!” Leroy the Lion responded. “You see the money in your bank account now?”

[RR] “Yep. I got this email last Tuesday:”

Dear ftpCustomer:

The purpose of this email is to inform you that your Petition for Remission has been approved and you are entitled to receive a distribution from the assets forfeited in connection with United States v. PokerStars, et al., pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

A payment in the amount of $amount will be paid electronically via ACH to the bank account that you specified in your Petition. This payment represents the full amount of your Full Tilt Poker Account Balance, which you confirmed on the Full Tilt Poker administration online filing site. Payment will be made within the next seven business days.

If you have any questions, you can call us toll-free at (866) 250-2640, email us at info@FullTiltPokerClaims.com, or write to us at Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 9965, Dublin, Ohio 43017-5965. For additional information you may also visit the administration website at www.FullTiltPokerClaims.com.

[RR] “Then I checked my bank account on Friday and there it was!”

[LL] “I guess I’m officially worried then. I didn’t get an email one way or the other, and of course that means nothing got sent to my bank account.”

[RR] “Have you called them?”

[LL] “I emailed and am waiting to hear back. I’m not an affiliate or a Full Tilt Poker Pro, and I got a confirmation for my petition in September, so I don’t know what happened.”

{A day later…}

[LL] “I didn’t get any response to my email (big surprise), but (bigger surprise) when I called their toll-free number, I was only on hold for a minute when a real, live honest-to-goodness American-accented human being picked up.”

[RR] “Wow.”

[LL] “After confirming my petition number, name, and address, he gave me some bad news. My account balance was zero.”

[RR] “Uh oh. Someone managed to steal your balance?”

[LL] “After the recent Bitcoin fiasco, the thought crossed my mind. But the agent on the phone was completely calm when he said he’d search their database for my name.”

[RR] “And certainly there weren’t any other Leroy the Lions playing on Full Tilt!”

[LL] “Nope, just me. And somehow I’d managed to create two petitions, one with bank info but no balance; the other with the balance but no bank info. I finished filling out the petition that had a balance, and I hope to get paid in the second wave.”

[RR] “When will that be?”

[LL] “The agent didn’t know. But there’s plenty of money left in the fund, so I’m not worried. Just have wait a little longer.”

[RR] “After almost three years, what’s another few months?”

Wheel of Poker

[Studio Audience] {Shouting in unison} “Wheel… of… Poker!”

[TV Announcer] “Ladies and gentlemen, Prince Manhattan and Donna Doubletree.”

[PM] “Welcome to Wheel of Poker…! So glad you could all join us today. Everyone leaves a winner on Wheel, not like in a poker tournament.”

[PM] “Our first toss-up is a Phrase. It’s worth $1,000. Buzz in as soon as you know the answer.”1

A

A
R

H
A
R

H
N
A
R

H
N
A
A
R

H
P
N
A
A
R

H
P
N
A
C
A
R

{Bing!}

[PM] “Peter.”

[Peter Kent] “A chip and a chair.”

[PM] “That’s all you need!”

A
C
H
I
P
A
N
D
A
C
H
A
I
R

[PM] “Peter Kent from Joliet, Illinois. You’ve won the thousand bucks! I hear that your father used to have an interesting job.”

[PK] “You may know of Joliet Prison from its role in The Blues Brothers movie or as the set for Prison Break. Well, my dad used to be a warden there. He would threaten to lock me up there if I misbehaved. Made sure I knew that I could steal pots, but I better not steal pot.”

[PM] “Next, Clark Stark from Menlo Park. At least your parents have a sense of humor.”

[CS] “We named our brown dog Bark and our black cat Dark, but they wouldn’t let me have a shark. By the way, the town is actually called Edison, New Jersey, but I attended Menlo Park Elementary School and shopped at Menlo Park Mall.”

[PM] “And Tony Parker from Parker, Texas. Are your parents friends with Clark’s? No relation to the basketball player, I presume.”

[TP] “No genetic relationship, but we we were born on the same exact day.”

[PM] “Do you get a lot of phone calls and mail for him?”

[TP] “Very little; most people probably try to contact him through the Spurs, and Parker is a suburb of Dallas, almost 300 miles from San Antonio. I wouldn’t mind accidentally getting one of his paychecks.”

[PM] “Okay, time for the second toss-up, a Quote to decide who’s going to win $2,000 and start the first round.”

B

H
B

Y
H
B

Y
H
B
E

Y
H
B
E
O

Y
H
B
E
T
O

Y
H
B
E
I
T
O

Y
T
H
B
E
I
T
O

Y
T
H
L
B
E
I
T
O

Y
T
H
L
B
E
W
I
T
O

{Bing!}

[PM] “Clark.”

[CS] “May the flop be with you.”

[PM] “Correct, from that Jedi of Poker, Doyle Brunson. He may be old, but he can still kick your butt.”

M
A
Y
T
H
E
F
L
O
P
B
E
W
I
T
H
Y
O
U

{A video plays describing the featured prize, which a player can win by landing on the Prize wedge and solving the puzzle.}

[TV Announcer] “All totaled, a prize package worth $4,920.”

[PM] “The category for this round is Before & After:”

[PM] “Clark, the wheel is yours. Well, not literally. Just give it a spin.”

[PM] “$350.”

[CS] “‘T’.”

[PM] “Two ‘T’s.”

{Bing! Bing! Donna reveals the two ‘T’s next to each other in the middle of the bottom row. Clark spins again.}

T
T

{Honk! Honk!}

[PM] “Half a car. Pick up that license plate.”

[CS] “‘R’.”

[PM] “One ‘R’.”

R
T
T

{Clark thinks for a moment then spins. The wheel slows down on One Million, rotates into Bankrupt, but just makes it over to the next wedge.}

[PM] “$400.”

[CS] “‘N’.”

[PM] “A pair of ‘N’s.”

R
N
T
T
N

[CS] “I’d like to buy a vowel. An ‘I’.”

[PM] “Cyclops. One ‘I’.”

R
I
N
T
T
N

{Clark smiles then spins again.}

{Honk! Honk!}

[PM] “The other car half. If you’re handy with tools, you may be able weld those two halves together.”

[CS] “‘G’.”

[PM] “One ‘G’.”

R
I
N
G
T
T
N

[CS] “I’d like to buy an ‘O’.”

[PM] “One ‘O’.”

R
I
N
G
T
T
O
N

{Clark appears to know the answer but spins again.}

[PM] “$500. Sorry, you can’t win one and a half cars.”

[CS] “‘D’.”

[PM] “Three ‘D’s!”

D
R
I
N
G
D
D
T
T
O
N

[CS] “Drawing Dead Button!”

[PM] “Dead on. ‘Drawing Dead’ and ‘Dead Button’. You just got yourself $3,500 and a new car worth $25,000, which we promise to deliver in one piece.”

D
R
A
W
I
N
G
D
E
A
D
B
U
T
T
O
N

[PM] “The second puzzle is a Movie Quote. Tony, you’re under the gun.”

[PM] “$600.”

[TP] “A ‘T’, please.”

[PM] “Two ‘T’s.”

T
T

[TP] “I’d like to buy an ‘I’, please.”

[PM] “One ‘I’.”

T
T
I

{Tony looks surprised as he spins again.}

[PM] “$700.”

[TP] “An ‘H’, please.”

[PM] “Two ‘H’s.”

T
H
T
H
I

[TP] “I’d like to buy an ‘A’, please.”

[PM] “Bullets. Two ‘A’s.”

A
T
H
A
T
A
H
I

[TP] “I’d like to buy an ‘E’, please.”

[PM] “One ‘E’.”

A
T
H
A
T
A
H
I
E

{Tony reluctantly spins again.}

[PM] “$700.”

[TP] “An ‘N’, please.”

[PM] “Two ‘N’s.”

A
T
H
A
T
A
N
H
I
N
E

{Tony spins and lands on Bankrupt. A slide whistle plays and Tony loses his $3,450.}

[PM] “Sorry, bad beat.”

{Peter spins.}

[PM] “$800.”

[PK] “‘Y’.”

[PM] “You are too wise for me.”

A
Y
T
H
A
T
A
N
H
I
N
E
Y

{Peter spins again.}

[PM] “$500.”

[PK] “‘M’.”

[PM] “M & M.”

A
Y
T
H
A
T
M
A
N
H
I
M
N
E
Y

[PK] {Speaking in a bad Russian accent.} “Pay that man his money.”

[PM] “Indeed, and we’ll pay you your $2,600 for solving that puzzle. I’ll personally kick in another 200 if you never do that impression again.”

P
A
Y
T
H
A
T
M
A
N
H
I
S
M
O
N
E
Y

{A video describes the third round bonus prize. It’s a week-long trip to Las Vegas, show tickets, meals, and other goodies worth a total of $5,000.}

[PM] “The category is Title and Author:”

[PM] “Peter, you get to spin again.”

[PM] “$900.”

[PK] “‘B’.”

[PM] “There’s one ‘B’.”

B

{Peter spins.}

[PM] “$800.”

[PK] “‘Y’.”

[PM] “Two ‘Y’s.”

B
Y
Y

[PK] “I’d like to buy an ‘E’.”

[PM] “Five of a kind.”

E
E
E
E
B
Y
Y
E

{Peter spins.}

[PM] “$500.”

[PK] “‘T’.”

[PM] “Tea for two. Two ‘T’s.”

E
E
E
T
E
B
Y
T
Y
E

{Peter spins.}

[PM] “$400.”

[PK] “‘S’.”

[PM] “One ‘S’.”

E
E
E
T
S
E
B
Y
T
Y
E

{Peter spins.}

[PM] “Free Play. You can guess a consonant for $500 each or take a vowel for free.”

[PK] “I’ll take an ‘O’.”

[PM] “Four ‘O’s.”

E
E
E
T
S
O
O
E
B
Y
T
O
Y
E
O

{Peter beams, then spins.}

[PM] “$900.”

[PK] “‘M’.”

[PM] “Mmm mmm good! Three ‘M’s.”

E
E
M
E
T
S
O
O
E
B
Y
T
O
M
M
Y
E
O

[PK] “Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo.”

[PM] “Excellent answer. Excellent book. Excellent payout of $6,350 plus the $5,000 trip!”

E
L
E
M
E
N
T
S
O
F
P
O
K
E
R
B
Y
T
O
M
M
Y
A
N
G
E
L
O

[PM] “$3,000 toss-up for the next spin. The category is Rhyme Time:”

&

U
&

U
&
T

U
R
&
T

U
R
&
T
N

{Bing!}

[PM] “Peter.”

[PK] “Burn and turn.”

[PM] “Burn and turn and earn $3,000!”

B
U
R
N
&
T
U
R
N

[PM] “You get to spin first. The category is Same Name:”

&

[PM] “$650.”

[PK] “‘T’.”

[PM] “Trip ‘T’s.”

&
T
T
T

[PK] “I’d like to buy an ‘E’.”

[PM] “Two ‘E’s.”

E
&
T
T
E
T

[PK] “I’d like to buy an ‘I’.”

[PM] “A set of ‘I’s.”

E
I
&
T
I
T
I
E
T

[PK] “And an ‘O’.”

[PM] “Quad ‘O’s.”

O
E
O
I
&
O
T
I
T
I
O
E
T

[PK] “I’ll spin.”

{Slide whistle plays.}

[PM] “Sorry, that’ll cost you your turn and your $1,200.”

{Clark spins.}

[PM] “$800.”

[CS] “Show me a ‘B’.”

[PM] “Bingo bango bongo! Three ‘B’s.”

O
B
E
B
O
I
&
O
T
I
T
I
O
B
E
T

{Clark thinks for a moment then spins again.}

[PM] “$5,000!”

[CS] “‘N’, please.”

[PM] “Four ‘N’s!”

O
B
E
B
O
I
N
&
O
N
T
I
N
T
I
O
N
B
E
T

[CS] “I’d like to solve the puzzle… Probe, Blocking, and Continuation Bet.”

[PM] “It’s a safe bet that you just won another $22,400 for a total of $50,900! Clark, you’re today’s Wheel winner!”

P
R
O
B
E
B
L
O
C
K
I
N
G
&
C
O
N
T
I
N
U
A
T
I
O
N
B
E
T

[PM] “Please spin the bonus wheel to find out which envelope you’ll be playing for.”

{Clark spins and hands the envelope to Prince.}

[PM] “Your bonus puzzle is a Person:”

[PM] “We’ll spot you the ‘R’, ‘S’, ‘T’, ‘L’, ‘N’, and ‘E’ because we like you so much.”

{Bing! Bing!}

L
E

[PM] “Please give me three more consonants and a vowel. You’ll have ten seconds to solve the puzzle after all those letters are shown.”

[CS] “I’ll take a ‘D’, ‘C’, ‘K’, and ‘A’.”

{Bzzz!}

L
E

[PM] “Glad that helped so much.”

[CS] “Puzzle? Puffle? Pimple?… Wiffle? Waffle? Baffle? Bumble? Bubble? Bubble Boy!”

[PM] “Yes! Less than a second before your hand was going to get mucked.”

B
U
B
B
L
E
B
O
Y

[PM] “Let’s see what’s in the envelope… $50,000! $100,900 isn’t a bad day’s work. Thanks for playing Wheel of Poker!”

[TV Announcer] “Wheel of Poker is brought to you by THETA Poker Pro, the strongest, fastest, and most configurable Texas Hold ‘Em game in the App Store.”

Footnotes:

  1. If you want to play along, scroll down a few lines at a time. Post might not display properly unless you view it by itself.

Related Links:

Jeopokerdy!

{Jeopokerdy! intro theme song plays…}

[TV Announcer] “This is Jeopokerdy! Let’s meet today’s contestants. A poker pro from Portsmouth, New Hampshire,… Adam Wigginton. An amateur from Twin Falls, Idaho,… Pierce Bailey. And our returning champion from San Ramon, California,… Carter Hu, whose two-day winnings total $60,000.”

[TV Announcer] “And now, here is the host of Jeopokerdy!, Donald Cammron!”

[DC] “Welcome back to Jeopokerdy!, where your poker knowledge can win you cold, hard cash without risking any of your bankroll.”

[DC] “Today’s Jeopokerdy! categories are:”1

HOMOPHONES HOLE CARD HANDLES MAIN EVENT CHAMPS AUTHORS WHO SAID IT? QUEENS OF POKER
$200 $200 $200 $200 $200 $200
$400 $400 $400 $400 $400 $400
$600 $600 $600 $600 $600 $600
$800 $800 $800 $800 $800 $800
$1000 $1000 $1000 $1000 $1000 $1000

[DC] “In the Homophones category, we’re looking for answers with two words that sound the same. Carter, the board is yours.”

[CH] “Authors 6.”

THIS POKER PRO DOLED OUT HIGHER LEVEL ADVICE IN “ACE ON THE RIVER”

[DC] “Carter.”

[CH] “Who is Barry Greenstein?”

[DC] “Right…”

[CH] “Queens of Poker 8.”

THIS WOMAN BECAME THE FIRST FEMALE TO CASH IN THE WSOP MAIN EVENT IN 1986

[DC] “Adam.”

[AW] “Linda Johnson.”

[DC] “Incorrect…”

[DC] “Carter.”

[CH] “Who is Wendeen Eolis?”

[DC] “Right…”

[CH] “Homophones 6.”

BACK TO BACK'S FIBERS

[DC] “Carter.”

[CH] “What is Flack’s flax?”

[DC] “Yes, for Layne’s linen.”

[CH] “Who Said It? 1,000.”

[DC] “That’s the Daily Double.”

[CH] “I’m all-in.”

[DC] “For 3,000 then…’”

THIS TEXAN SAID, “YOU CAN SHEAR A SHEEP MANY TIMES, BUT YOU CAN SKIN IT ONLY ONCE.”

[CH] “Who is um, um, Amarillo Slim Preston?”

[DC] “And you’ve doubled up…”

{Carter builds his lead to almost $15,000 as the Jeopokerdy! round ends. After a commercial break, the next round begins.}

[DC] “Today’s Double Jeopokerdy! categories are:”

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR 80s RUNNER-UP ANAGRAMS CATCH PHRASES WINNING HANDS NBC
HEADS-UP
NOVEMBER NINE
$400 $400 $400 $400 $400 $400
$800 $800 $800 $800 $800 $800
$1200 $1200 $1200 $1200 $1200 $1200
$1600 $1600 $1600 $1600 $1600 $1600
$2000 $2000 $2000 $2000 $2000 $2000

[DC] “In the 80s Runner-Up Anagrams category, we’re looking for players who finished second in the WSOP Main Event in the 1980s. Pierce, since you’re in third place, you get to select.”

[PB] “Catch Phrases for 400, please.”

PASS THE SUGAR

[DC] “Carter.”

[CH] “Who is Joe Hachem?”

[DC] “Good on you.”

[CH] “NBC Heads-Up 12.”

THIS DANCING WITH THE STARS CHAMPION RUSHED PAST DAVID WILLIAMS IN THE FIRST ROUND IN 2011

[CH] “Pierce.”

[PB] “Who is Emmitt Smith?”

[DC] “Yes.”

[PB] “Catch Phrases for 800.”

ALL YOU CAN EAT, BABY!

[DC] “Carter.”

[CH] {Wipes sweat from his brow after having pressed his buzzer a thousand times during the show.} “Who is Men Nguyen?”

[DC] “Indeed.”

{Adam and Pierce barely stay alive to get to Final Jeopokerdy!, so all that remains is to see how much Carter will add to his winnings.}

[DC] “Today’s Final Jeopokerdy! category is:”

ROUNDERS

{Another commercial break lets the players jot down their Final Jeopokerdy! wagers.}

IN THIS CASINO, MATT DAMON’S CHARACTER, MIKE MCDERMOTT, GOES TOE TO TOE WITH JOHNNY CHAN, BLUFFING HIM OUT OF A POT WITH RAGS

{The Jeopokerdy! song plays as the contestants write down their final questions.}

[DC] “Pierce, you wrote… ‘What is the Taj?’. That’s right! And your wager was… $1,800, doubling your total to $3,600 and moving you into second for the moment.”

[DC] “Adam, you put down ‘What is the Taj Mahal?’. Good. Your bet of… $2,600 also doubles you up. You now have $5,200.”

[DC] “Carter, you answered ‘What is the Trump Taj Mahal?’ That was indeed the full name of the casino when it opened, and you wagered… $27,400. Added to your $32,600 brings you to a nice, round $60,000 and doubles your three-day total to $120,000! We’ll see you back tomorrow, Carter.”

[TV Announcer] “Jeopokerdy! is brought to you by THETA Poker Pro, the strongest, fastest, and most configurable Texas Hold ‘Em game in the App Store.

Footnotes:

  1. You can read through all 61 clues in the game quickly at my Jeopokerdy! page or play a game with one or more players with the Jeopokerdy Round and then the Double Jeopokerdy and Final Jeopokerdy Rounds (apologies for the incorrectly implemented Daily Doubles; BYOJeopardy only has one Daily Double in the Double Jeopokerdy round, and the Daily Doubles have their own categories instead of using the column’s category).

    Post might not display properly unless you view it by itself.

Who Wants to Be a Poker Millionaire?

[Host Don March] “Welcome to the very first episode of Who Wants to Be a Poker Millionaire? We’d all like to build our poker bankrolls up to a million dollars, but our show’s contestants have a chance to do it much more quickly. Correctly answer a mere fifteen questions, multiple choice, no less, and you can walk away with an oversized piece of cardboard that says you’ve won a million dollars! You can’t cash it, actually getting the money will require more of your time in paperwork than the game lasts, and the government will want its share, but it’s all worth it in the end.”

[DM] “Millionaire has always been a natural fit with poker, especially as we’ve returned to the original primetime Millionaire rules. The payout ladder looks like a blind schedule, with the stakes increasing as the event goes on. The game is like a freezeout at first, since busting out leaves you with nothing. But later on it’s also like a ring game where you can cash out whenever you want.”

[DM] “I’m sorry if you were hoping we’d bring back the Fastest Fingers contest. Some of these poker players can do chip tricks like you would not believe, so I’m not trusting them not to game a Fastest Fingers round. Nope, the contestants you’ll see here have earned their way onto our show by winning incredibly complicated preliminary rounds using just their brains, their cell phones, and their right pinky toes. And maybe we really liked their backstories. Hey, we’ve got ratings to worry about; you worry about your own problems.”

[DM] “So, without further further ado, from India via Parsippany, New Jersey, please give a warm welcome to Jagadeesh Visthunaisamy, who totally made my day when he told me I could simply call him JV!”

{Applause dies out as Jagadeesh settles into the hot seat.}

[DM] “JV, how does it feel to be the first contestant on a brand new game show that may not make it past the end of sweeps week?”

[JV] “It’s totally cool. I’ve always wanted to be a Bollywood star, but Hollywood will have to do.”

[DM] “Uh, you do know we’re in New York City, right? Actually, to save production costs, the studio was moved a few blocks into Harlem. We’ve already lost a few people on the streets, but hey, we need to do what we can to thin the contestant herd.”

[JV] “The Big Apple is great! Reminds me of my little hometown of Mumbai, the City of Dreams.”

[DM] “I’m glad you’re already used to the overcrowding, noise, and pollution… I hope you’ve been dreaming about correctly answer fifteen increasingly difficult questions. You have three lifelines to help you out: Fifty-Fifty, Ask the Audience, and Phone-a-Friend. Are you ready to play Who Wants to Be a Poker Millionaire?”1

{Jagadeesh gives two thumbs up.}

[DM] “For $100:”

What Texas Hold ‘Em starting hand is nicknamed “Snowmen”?
A: Pair of Threes B: Pair of Eights
C: Pair of Jacks D: Pair of Kings

[JV] “That question makes me feel like set-mining… with my Pair of Eights.”

[DM] “And you hit your set for $100! Nice start. For $200:”

What casino hosted the entire World Series of Poker from 1970 to 2004 and the end of the Main Event in 2005?
A: Binion’s Horseshoe B: Dunes
C: Sands D: Stardust

[JV] “They had that million-dollar horseshoe, which might be an auspicious omen for me. Binion’s. Final answer.”

[DM] “That’s a ringer for $200! On to your $300 question:”

What poker player is nicknamed “Clever Piggy”?
A: Allen Cunningham B: Daniel Negreanu
C: Jason Mercier D: Jonathan Little

[JV] “I love wordplay. For example, my last name anagrams to ‘Humanity Visas’.”

[DM] “Don’t you think you might have made a bad career choice becoming a programmer then?”

[JV] “I try to use my visa as much as I can. And my Visa card, too.”

[DM] “And I take it, you’ve already discovered the answer to the $300 question?”

[JV] “Allen the Cunning Ham. Final answer.”

[DM] “Shrewd answer. You’ve got yourself three Franklins. Next up, for $500:”

Whose Fundamental Theorem of Poker first appeared in print in 1983?
A: Amarillo Slim Preston B: Dan Harrington
C: David Sklansky D: Mike Caro

[JV] “Well, I’ve read books by all of them except Preston, and Sklansky’s definitely one of my favorite poker authors. He’s the guy. C. Final answer.”

[DM] “Fundamentally correct. You’ve won $500. Remember, if you miss this next question, you go home with squadoosh.”

[JV] “Can I have the hot seat as a consolation prize if I get it wrong? As much as I like my Herman Miller Aeron, this chair totally rocks.”

[DM] “Actually, it’s not a rocking chair, but I get what you mean. We still need it, but when this show crashes and burns, look for it during our going-out-of-business sale. Now, for $1,000:”

How many times does a player need to bust his or her opponent to capture the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship?
A: 5 B: 6
C: 7 D: 8

[JV] “It’s set up like the NCAA Final Four tournament before they added those silly play-in games, so that’s six rounds… But wait, the Heads-Up finals are best of three, so that’s seven games instead of six. C. Final answer.”

[DM] “The check you take home today will now have at least four digits to the left of the decimal! To double your money to $2,000:”

What female was the last woman standing at the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event, busting out just one place after her boyfriend?
A: Amanda Musumeci B: Breeze Zueckerman
C: Erika Moutinho D: Leo Margets

[JV] “I remember watching that on ESPN. They were at the same table for a while, which caused a bit of a stir. The answer is C, Erika Sands nee Moutinho.”

[DM] “Mazel Tov! Erika and Doc Sands pocketed nearly a quarter million dollars each for finishing 29th and 30th. You can beat that all by yourself if you can answer eight more questions correctly here. For 4,000 smackeroos:”

What poker pro played two years in the Canadian Football League?
A: Doyle Brunson B: Jack Straus
C: Russ Hamilton D: T.J. Cloutier

[JV] “That’s a tough one.”

[DM] “Did you play sports growing up in India?”

[JV] “Yes, I played cricket. When I came to America, that helped me quickly pick up baseball.”

[DM] “Were you a hitter, like Jason Varitek or Joey Votto, or a pitcher, like Jose Valverde or Justin Verlander?”

[JV] “A pitcher. I wanted to be Johnny Vander Meer, who threw back-to-back no hitters, but ended up like John Van Benschoten, who had a career ERA over 9. Apparently, you’re not allowed to bounce the ball over the plate in baseball.”

[DM] “Fortunately, your hardball skills won’t be needed today. Which poker player do you think played football?”

[JV] “Brunson played basketball and ran track. Straus was a tall guy, so if he did any sports, it would have been basketball. Hamilton’s pretty big, so I suppose he could have played linebacker. But I’m pretty sure the answer is Thomas James Cloutier.”

[DM] “Is that your final answer?”

[JV] “I’ll go with Cloutier. Final answer.”

[DM] “Congratulations, JV! You’ve earned a promotion to the varsity! Cloutier played tight end for the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts, scored a touchdown, and even returned a kickoff. Onward to $8,000:”

Who was the first amateur to win the World Series of Poker Main Event?
A: Chris Moneymaker B: Hal Fowler
C: Mansour Matloubi D: Sailor Roberts

[JV] “Well, Moneymaker’s the obvious answer. He was the first online satellite winner to win the Main Event. I think Roberts was a pro. I don’t know anything about Matloubi, but if he was the first amateur winner, I’d expect him to be more famous. Fowler’s the one I’m wondering about. I recognize the name…”

[DM] “Did you have the chicken parm for lunch?”

[JV] “I’d like to use my Fifty-Fifty lifeline.”

[DM] “Computer, please remove two of the incorrect choices.”

Who was the first amateur to win the World Series of Poker Main Event?
A: Chris Moneymaker B: Hal Fowler

[JV] “Okay, that didn’t help at all. But I’ve read the Moneymaker book, and I can’t believe I wouldn’t know if he were the answer. By process of elimination, the answer must be Fowler. B. Final answer.”

[DM] “Elementary, my dear JV. You’ve got a thousand snowmen. For $16,000, risking seven thousand to win eight:”

What World Series of Poker Main Event champion turned to poker when he lost his job in the stock market crash of 1987?
A: Chris Ferguson B: Erik Seidel
C: Jim Bechtel D: Robert Varkonyi

[JV] “Jesus is a computer guy like me. Seidel might be right. Bechtel I barely remember. Varkonyi did something with money after going to MIT.”

[DM] “Probably made lots of it. I would have gone to MIT, but they wouldn’t even let me apply when I couldn’t spell it.”

[JV] “Seidel or Varkonyi. Let’s ask this incredibly smart audience here.”

[DM] “Okay, audience, please enter A, B, C, or D on your keypads, preferably not with your toes.”

{Audience voting sound effects play as the camera pans the crowd.}

8% 50% 12% 30%
A B C D

[DM] “Well, half the audience thinks it’s Seidel. Almost a third like Varkonyi. And the rest probably just hit the wrong button by mistake.”

[JV] “That’s good enough for me. Seidel. Final answer.”

[DM] “And the audience is right!”

{Jagadeesh waves to the audience in appreciation.}

[DM] “You have one lifeline left as you go for the guaranteed $32,000:”

What World Series of Poker Main Event winner’s eleven appearances on The Tonight Show during the following year greatly helped popularize poker?
A: Amarillo Slim Preston B: Doyle Brunson
C: Johnny Moss D: Puggy Pearson

[JV] “Well, that was before I started following the World Series of Poker.”

[DM] “That was before you were born.”

[JV] “Brunson’s been great for the game more recently, but I believe the first ambassador of poker was Thomas Preston. A. Final answer.”

[DM] “Pay the man, Shirley! You can’t walk out of here with less than $32,000 now. Here’s your $64,000 question:”

Who won the only World Series of Poker Main Event final table that was played outdoors?
A: Brad Daugherty B: Jack Straus
C: Jim Bechtel D: Stu Ungar

[JV] “A hundred degrees in the sun in Vegas. Who’s brilliant idea was that?”

[DM] “I voted against it, but do they ever listen to me? Actually, I heard it was only 98 degrees. I might even prefer to listen to that boy band in the air conditioning than play Hold ‘Em in the scorching heat.”

[JV] “I’m going to have to use my last lifeline.”

[DM] “Who would you like to call?”

[JV] “Vijay, my brother.”

[DM] “You’re JV and he’s Vijay? Is he your evil twin?”

[JV] “He’s my older brother, but he can be evil some of the time. After he taught me how to play Hold ‘Em, he won my allowance from me for four straight months.”

[DM] “Great to know there’s no sibling rivalry in your family. Please get me Vijay on Skype.”

[DM] “Vijay, Don March here on Poker Millionaire. Your little brother could use a little help from you. A little payback for all the money you took from him. You should see the question and four answers on your screen.”

[VV] “Yes, I see it. And I know the answer. But it’s gonna cost you, JV… Just kidding. It was Stu Ungar. The last hurrah of his life.”

[JV] “Thanks. I owe you.”

[VV] “You sure do.”

{Skype call ends.}

[DM] “Vijay sounded pretty confident that the answer was Stu Ungar.”

[JV] “I trust him. Stu Ungar. Final answer.”

[DM] “And you’re four away from the million, minus whatever Vijay collects for his services. For $125,000:”

What network was the first to broadcast the World Series of Poker Main Event on television?
A: ABC B: CBS
C: ESPN D: NBC

[JV] “ESPN didn’t even exist until the late 1970s. NBC has the Heads-Up championship now, but I don’t think they did any poker before that. ABC had the Wide World of Sports. And CBS had their Sports Spectacular. As much as poker would have fit in with ‘the agony of defeat’, I think I remember some old clips on YouTube from CBS, so I have to go with them. Final answer.”

[DM] “You’ve got your eye on the prize! You’ve won eight bits, eight really big bits. Now, for a cool quarter of a million dollars:”

What poker pro’s given first name is actually Thuan?
A: David Pham B: John Phan
C: Kenny Tran D: Scotty Nguyen

[JV] “Before the choices appeared, I was thinking of Tuan Le, but that wouldn’t be a $250,000 question, would it?”

[DM] “It will during celebrity week.”

[JV] “Thuan Pham. Doesn’t sound right. Thuan Phan. Almost exactly the same. Thuan Tran. That’s a tongue twister. Thuan Nguyen. Sounds like Gone With the Wind. And it sounds vaguely familiar. Scotty Nguyen. Final answer.”

[DM] “For the win! Well, for a quarter million bucks at least. Two more questions for the win… For half a million macaroons:”

Who was the first player to lose a million-chip pot at the World Series of Poker?
A: Bob Ciaffone B: Erik Seidel
C: Frank Henderson D: Humberto Brenes

[JV] “I know this one! Ciaffone is the guy who gave us Robert’s Rules of Poker. And while Erik Seidel was losing his job in 1987, Ciaffone was losing the chips that helped Johnny Chan win his first Main Event belt. Frank Henderson is the guy who eventually finished second, but it was Ciaffone who gave him the commanding heads-up lead. Bob Ciaffone. Final answer.”

[DM] “Bob, Bobby, Rob, Robby, Robert, Roberto, Right-o! You just won a half million dollars!”

{Don tantalizingly shows oversized cardboard check to Jagadeesh. Jagadeesh reaches up and pretends to grab for it but sits back down.}

[DM] “You probably haven’t even seen a million rupees before, but since this is the poker version of Millionaire, here’s what a million dollars looks like…”

{An assistant ostentatiously dumps a million dollars in stacks of bills onto a table on the set.}

[DM] “No lifelines left, but you can still walk away for half a million, which isn’t half bad. My ex-wife would know all about that. JV, are you ready for jubilant victory or will you be joylessly vanquished?”

[JV] “I’m ready to go for the jugular vein!”

[DM] “Then, for one million only slightly inflated U.S. dollars:”

Which California technology company was Barry Greenstein a key early employee of?
A: Adobe B: Autodesk
C: Sun Microsystems D: Symantec

[JV] “Sweet! I’ve got an Ace up my sleeve, since I’ve read Greenstein’s Ace on the River, so I know he worked for a California technology startup. The company was founded a couple years before he joined, but in 1984, the Robin Hood of Poker was writing word processing software for Symantec. Final answer!”

[DM] “Jagadeesh Visthunaisamy, you can buy all the antivirus software you want now, because you’ve just won a million dollars!!!”

[TV Announcer] “Who Wants to Be a Poker Millionaire? is brought to you by THETA Poker Pro, the strongest, fastest, and most configurable Texas Hold ‘Em game in the App Store.”

Footnotes:

  1. If you want to play along, scroll down slowly to avoid prematurely revealing the answers. You can also try the interactive Who Wants to Be a Poker Millionaire? implementation at BYOJeopardy but please come back!