About 10 years ago or so it would of been hard for me to turn the tv on one day without finding a channel that had some sort of poker show going on. We had “Poker After Dark”, the WSOP main and a few other events, the WPT schedule, and High Stakes poker at GSN to name a few big ones.
Fast forward past black Friday and things have cooled off. The poker companies aren’t spending as much money in the US because of the smack down from the government. We used to see poker commercials everywhere, but not so much these days unless you’re in a local market. The national ads for PokerStars have been long gone.
That doesn’t mean poker is dead in the US. No way. You actually have more choices these days than ever before, and the best part is that a lot of it is free to consume!
Poker GO (pay for)
I’ll get the pay for service out of the way first. They are new to the market this past year with their reign at the WSOP this year. A lot of the tourneys were streamed with their service. They seem to be doing well too as they have restarted the old “Poker After Dark” series of high stakes poker.
The return of Tom “durrrr” Dwan was a huge success as people flocked to the site to see him play some poker. It had been years since anyone had seen this guy play poker for the masses to watch.
Twitch – Lots of free stuff
With Twitch you have a host of options. You can watch players playing from their accounts online and learn from their play. You’ll get to see hole cards from their perspective a lot of the time when they elect to show them, and they usually run almost live with a 5 minute delay or so. It’s great entertainment. You have people like Jason Sommerville, Doug Polk, Tonka, and Lex showing off their poker skills.
You can also watch a bunch of poker rooms live poker table cash games. I’ve learned some interesting stuff watching these people play at the cash games and the commentating is sometimes good sometimes not so much, but almost always entertaining. You can even engage with them and shoot out some questions. I highly recommend it. Just get on Twitch and search for “poker” and you’ll find a bunch of stuff.
The live cash games usually run at night. One of the oldest and most famous is “Live at the Bike”. A newer options is the Bellagio “POTS” stream which is also cash game action similar to Live at the Bike only you get a glimpse of one of the most poker rooms on the Strip.
If you’re looking for something a bit more entertaining then I’d suggest checking out Youtube for some poker Vlogs. One rising star in this realm is Andrew Neeme. He’s been vlogging at Youtube during the past year and he has a sizable following. When people watch his videos they usually give him the praise that it feels “real”, “genuine”, “entertaining”, and while also being “educational”.
I’ve seen a few videos and I would highly recommend watching Neeme. He comes off as a genuine easy going guy that could be one of your friends if you knew him. What he’s doing for poker is nothing short of spectacular. Keep it up Neeme! (pronounced Knee Me) as he told us once in his videos.
Another great Youtube persona is Doug Polk. Some people love him, and other hate him, but one thing for sure, he knows how to entertain. I think the guy is just hilarious. I love watching what he has to say about whatever. Oh yeah, he’s also a damn good poker player and you get to look into how this genius works at the tables. Say what you want about Polk, his results say it all.
If you watched the WSOP the past summer then you might have seen Negreanu talking about his vlogs. He also had a vlg going this summer with great quality production and entertaining stuff. He gave away three WSOP main event seats near the end of his vlogging for the summer which was really fun to watch. I hope he decides to do it again next year.
This is just a small sample of the type of poker we still have to watch. It might not be on the traditional TV in a sense, but it’s still available for you to consume. You just have to know where to look.