Alas, any updated list of podcasts will necessarily omit the one I had rated at the very top of my rankings, Card Club on Lord Admiral Radio. Card Club bid us all farewell a couple of weeks ago, ceasing production after a whopping 84 episodes (and change). I just wanted to take a moment to thank “Cincinnati” Sean, Brent “Stacks,” “Headhunter” Mark, Evan “the Terrible,” Erik, Dan, and all the other Lord Admirals for having produced such a fine show over such a long period of time (from November 2004 through August 2006). There are numerous reasons why I enjoyed Card Club . . . I’ll just list three here.
For one, Card Club was genuinely informative when it came to poker strategy and theory. The group often quizzed each other from their favorite poker books. They also intelligently discussed hands sent in by listeners and from their home game. And they didn’t just talk Hold ’em, but Omaha, Stud (five- and seven-card), Razz, and even the odd Anaconda hand. And, of course, Columbo’s terrific One Minute Mysteries (now relocated over to the Ante Up! podcast) added significantly to the proceedings. Even though Sean and Stacks never once professed themselves to be experts about any game or aspect of poker, they were nevertheless routinely insightful in their discussions. The show was helpful in other ways as well. In their next-to-last broadcast (episode 83), Sean, Stacks, and Mark openly discussed the level of success each had achieved in their respective poker careers. I appreciated the openness with which they described their successes (and failures) at the tables. They also touched on their ambitions as poker players, all three identifying reasonable, modest goals for themselves. Any successful poker player understands the importance of self-assessment, and it helps to hear or read others having such conversations as we try to interpret our own progress as players. I think most regular listeners would agree that they almost always benefitted in some tangible way from having listened to the show.
Secondly, the show was purposely geared toward the amateur player in a way that made it both unique and particularly rewarding to short-stacked types like myself. A few other poker podcasts aim for such a focus, and some (e.g., Ante Up!, PokerDiagram) are quite successful at doing so. Most podcasts still tend to be geared more towards the professional circuit, however. While shows like Rounders and CardPlayer’s The Circuit are always interesting and worth listening to, interviews with professional players are usually hit-or-miss affairs -- entertaining, perhaps, but not always of particular relevance to us players of lower limits.
Finally, I always appreciated the inclusive approach taken by the Lord Admirals -- indeed, listening to the show was a little bit like being part of a “Card Club” that met on a weekly basis. Sean repeatedly stressed the desire to build a community of poker players with the podcast. Judging from the always active Lord Admiral forum (located over on the Card Clubs Network), comments on the show’s blog, and the extensive network of poker bloggers who continually made the podcast a common point of reference, the show appears to have been successful at realizing such a community-building goal.
Thanks again, guys, for all of the effort creating and maintaining the show for so long. Well played.
(If you’re not familiar with Card Club, old shows remain available. Episodes 37-84 are still posted on the Lord Admiral’s blog; Episodes 2-24 & 26-36 are still up over at Feedburner.)