World Poker Tour: Season 2

World Poker Tour: Season 2

Shout demonstrates that watching World
Poker Tour: Season 2 can be exciting

World Poker Tour: Season 2

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In recent years professional level poker has burst out of odd spots on the sports channels to such basic cable networks as Bravo, TNT and even VH1.

At first many, myself included, would have to wonder, ‘why should I sit and watch other people play poker?’ The answer is simple, it is engrossing viewing. I first came across ‘ the World Poker Tour ’ while channel surfing one night and now have to admit, I’m somewhat hooked. Admittedly, part of this is I make a living with statistics and after all forms of gambling is affected by this science. The participants in the World Poker Tour of this level are not casual about the game, it is their livelihood, in fact it is what this live for. Pots in a single game in World Poker Tour: Season 2 can amount to over a quarter of a million dollars; a single raise can be more than the average American earns in a year. There is something exciting about watching such incredible sums of money bandied about almost as if this was a Friday night penny ante game. That’s not to say these professional gamblers are not serious about their game, they play this game with deadly seriousness.

These are men with the proverbial ice water in their veins. As the camera focuses on their faces there is hardly a glint of human emotion, these are men that make their livings by buffing, the slightest telling glint to their eye can cost them a small fortune. One player has a unique way to hide his features. Phil Laak, better known by poker fans as the Unibomber because of the gray hooded sweatshirt and dark sun glasses he wares. When the action gets to the highest level of tension Laak pulls the strings on his hood looking like a grim version of Kenny from South Park. Each of the players has his own unique style, some with dapper suites, others looking like a Midwesterner on vacation in the big city. What binds them together is they are the best poker players in the world.

The variation of the game of the World Poker Tour they play may be unfamiliar to many out there. This is not the usual five card stud or seven card draw many of us played in college. The form used here is no limit Texas Hold ‘em. What makes this game so difficult is it uses the least number of cards possible. Two cards are dealt face down to each player. A round of betting ensues. This is followed by dealing three communal cards, called the flop, face up. There is another round of better followed by another card, the turn, face up. After another round of bets the last card, the river, is added to the face up cards. The winner is the one that can make the best hand between their cards and the communal cards. In a format such as this strategy reins supreme. A player can bluff by going all in, pushing his entire stack into the pot. If he can intimidate his opponent then the sizable pot will be his. Men like this have to know the odds to a myriad of possible hands calculate in a moment what they need and read what they can from the others.

The DVD presentation of the second season of the World Poker tour is very well done. Mostly this is because of the production values afforded World Poker Tour: Season 2. First, the game is handled almost like a football or baseball game. There is a pair of commentators who provide a play by play account of the action. Typical of people in this position they also give some insight into the style and backgrounds of the players. The audience is also privy to the hidden cards of each player. A side by to the left of the screen shows each player’s cards, the communal cards as well as the percentage of winning, bets and total pot. Even if you are a casual poker player you will find yourself almost instantly drawn into the game. Then there is the gallery of fans rooting for their favorite player. These men are heroes to those that follow professional poker and they are quite vocal when a brilliant gamble is made. Naturally, there is a pretty girl, Shana, that introduces the various segments to liven up matters between hands. Some of these segments involve aspects of the game such as how to bluff, tactics and poker terminology. What has become standard is coverage of such poker games are the cameras that are embedded in the rim of the table. The audience sees the cards at the same time as the player, adding to the drama. They even had one little bit on how to roll your chip between your fingers, sure to impress your friends!

World Poker Tour: Season 2 is presented by Shout in an eight disc box set. Seven discs are devoted to the actual tournament while the eighth contains a wealth of extra information. There is a one hour special of the World Poker Tour: Season 2 Championship with extensive technical analysis by poker greats Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Hegreanu. Next are in depth profiles of the major players followed by a featurette on how Hollywood as become captured by the World Poker Tour. Last there is a little poker college called Poker Corner. Here, Shana goes through numerous ways to improve your own game.

The World Poker Tour: Season 2 DVD is in full screen with Dolby Stereo but it gets the job done. The video is crisp, the audio clear and really for this type of material that’s all you need. You’ve all seen the numerous celebrity poker shows, now watch the grand daddy of them all. Shout demonstrates that watching poker can be exciting with World Poker Tour: Season 2.

Movie Review of World Poker Tour: Season 2
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