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Poker News | World Poker News

Poker2Nite: Season 2, Episode 1

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Poker2Nite returned to television in its new home on Versus, with the first show of its second season.  Joe Sebok and Scott Huff were once again the co-anchors, while Dana Workman presented a number of feature stories during the half-hour, which is clearly geared toward bringing a very young audience over to Ultimate Bet, if this first episode is an indication of what we can expect for the rest of the season.

Much was made of the latest in the sometimes entertaining, always-disturbing prop bets that host Sebok makes with Gavin Smith and Jeff Madsen.  The most recent was a last-longer bet at the WPT Main Event at the LA Poker Classic.  Since Sebok lost (he busted with pocket aces), he has to get BOTH Smith and Madsen’s FACES tattooed somewhere on his body.  At the end of the show, the audience was invited to check out different artists’ renditions of the inking in order to vote for which one Sebok will be sporting in the future.

In the show’s recap of the latest news in the world of poker, Sebok and Huff spent a couple of minutes analyzing the list of players for NBC’s Heads-Up Championship, which was announced this week.  Sebok felt that the biggest omission was the absence of Kathy Liebert, whereas both were somewhat disturbed by the presence of Kara Scott and Phil Gordon, the latter of whom they ridiculed for playing more Rochambeau than poker.  Sebok admitted, however, that he wouldn’t want to have to be the one putting the list together.

A new feature that is being introduced this year is Dana Workman on the “Girls of Poker.”  As a man who hit his 20’s in the 1970’s, it is astounding to hear professional women of any type referred to as “girls” in 2010, especially when girls are kicking boys’ butts on every rung of the academic ladder.  Even more disturbing was the interview with this week’s guest, Lauren Kling, who finished in the money in the LA Poker Classic Main Event.  For heaven’s sake, the woman is a Cal-Berkeley graduate!  Can’t you come up with better questions than “How many of the players at your table try and hit on you?” and “How do you live your life away from the table as a poker hottie?”  We found out that Ms. Kling likes to go shopping (to which Ms. Workman responded “Don’t we all?”), but clearly this feature is intended to show off a pretty player who will cause the target audience (read 16-25 year old “men”) to salivate.  Sorry guys, this segment needs a serious overhaul.

Adding to the general air of eye candy was Huff and Sebok’s featured guest, Trishelle Cannatella, who is best known for participating in some of the raunchiest on-air sex in reality television history, and who earned her spot on camera by making it to the final table of the WPT Celebrity Invitational (she wound up finishing third, by the way).  Before beginning their interview, Sebok and Huff took a look back at the red carpet event leading up to the Celebrity Invitational, which had Lacey Jones speaking with Jenny McCarthy, Tia Carrerre and Samm Levine prior to the event.

The interview with Cannatella actually went much better than the earlier conversation with Kling.  Although I have seen it written that Cannatella making a final table is proof positive that poker is NOT a game of skill, she came across as someone who takes the game seriously, is humble about her level of skill and is intent about continuing to seek out mentors so that she can improve.  She admitted that she taught herself the game through Poker For Dummies, but has clearly spent a lot of time trying to get better.  She even gave a very graceful answer to the inevitable questions about her “Real World:  Las Vegas” past by saying that she doesn’t regret just having a good time when she was younger, but would go back and do a few things differently if she could change the script.

To finish up their segment with Cannatella, Sebok and Huff introduced another new wrinkle to the show, called On The Clock, in which their guest has to answer as many questions as possible in 60 seconds, with the season’s guest who gets the most “correct” winning a trophy.  The questions were a mix of poker topics:
•    “What is ‘the nuts’?”
•    general info - “What is the capital of Norway?” (She knew it was Oslo, by the way)
•    and personal questions - “Who is your favorite poker player?” -  “Joe Sebok.”  

For what it’s worth, Cannatella got 8 correct within the time limit.

To wrap up the show, Workman did a round-up of what’s going on online, focusing mostly on what people are Tweeting and writing about on their Facebook pages.  Workman’s picks for the best tweets of the week were Jeff Madsen, who after being busted at the LA Poker Classic, wrote “All my chips now belong to Tiffany Michelle.  She won an Amazing Race,.” and the always entertaining tweeter Erik Seidel, who stated “I think Sarah Palin’s vocal cords were made by Toyota.”

As you can see, this show attempts to bring a sort of Hollywood glitz and flash to the world of poker, with mixed success.  Sebok and Huff definitely have some enjoyable chemistry together, and their banter keeps the show light and friendly.  As a sort of Entertainment Weekly for the poker world, Poker2Nite will probably continue to have a niche audience.  However, whether Versus, which is now owned by Comcast, which is asking for huge fees from its competitors for its inclusion on their systems, will attract enough viewers to make it viable, remains to be seen.

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