Thursday, January 03, 2008

2 + 2 + Rounders = ?

Two Plus Two PokercastThat new “Two Plus Two Pokercast” made its debut this week. The show has a special page over at 2+2 that includes one of those auto-players. There’s a newly-created forum dedicated to the show as well.

Looks as though they want us to listen while we browse, but I never ever listen to podcasts when I read. Or when I play poker, for that matter. (My brain doesn't do that.) I believe the podcast will eventually be fed into the iTunes pipeline. I am no fan of iTunes and don’t use it, and so am hoping eventually to find a generic RSS feed to load into the program I do use. (I assume all that stuff gets worked out here shortly.)

Have always enjoyed Rounders, the Poker Show, the long-running precursor to this new podcast. First heard it sometime around the spring of ’06, and probably haven’t missed a week since. (Nor have they, I believe.) I’ve long thought co-hosts Mike Johnson and Adam Schwartz handled interviews quite well -- the shows almost always featured guests. They both have been competent observers of the poker world, as well, and their occasional editorial commentaries usually come off as well-thought out and reasonable (to me).

Am a bit curious to see whether or not joining the 2+2 empire will change the show in any meaningful way. Looking at that other poker podcast also directly associated with a popular, high-traffic poker forum -- Pocket Fives -- I’d say the most obvious danger here would be for the show to become too insular, which might keep ’em a core audience, but would be a big turn-off for new listeners (or some fans of Rounders, yr humble servant included). I say this also because of that “us-and-them” thing that occasionally rears up over at 2+2 -- an attitude that sometimes seemed nurtured and encouraged by (some of) those who run the place -- something that also might promote such exclusivity even further.

The somewhat lengthy segment with which this week’s debut began -- called “Forum Static” -- might partly exemplify what I’m talking about (depending on yr POV). Johnson and Schwartz will be using the segment each week to discuss various hot topics currently being discussed on 2+2, something that may or may not be of interest to those who don’t follow threads regularly. Kind of depends on the topics, I suppose. A couple of the ones this week were on the gossipy side, but this might prove a decent enough way to cover the week’s poker headlines.

This week’s interview was with the oft-irascible Mason Malmuth, 2+2’s grand poobah. I found the conversation fairly engaging. Malmuth doesn’t do a lot of pub, and when he does do the occasional interview he’s always such a curmudgeon it can’t help but be engaging. They talked about the origins of 2+2, Malmuth’s own career as a player, the PPA and legal stuff, and his experiences and ideas regarding writing and publishing poker books. Nothing about plagiarism, of course (some recent 2+2 “forum static” I wrote about last week).

Malmuth even uncharacteristically showed what could be mistaken for modesty here and there. When asked about what might happen on the legal front with regard to online poker, he admitted he had no idea (who does, really?). He also admitted having recognized he didn’t know as much as he thought he did when first starting out as a player. (I guess that might count as humility.)

Other features include the “Sklansky Minute” (sort of like those super-sober “Tips from the Bear” one can hear over on PokerRoad Radio) and a weekly sound clip from another 2+2 author. This week Ray Zee tells us about all of the animals running around his land in Montana.

The show has a similar vibe, but is clearly something a little different from Rounders. I don’t expect the show to stay the same, of course. But I do hope the new association with 2+2 won’t overly inhibit the guys from speaking out about certain topics. Or drive ’em so far into the 2+2 world they can’t see clearly what’s happening without.



Anonymous Bobby said...

Hi, concerning the auto player... very annoying indeed, but you can download the cast as a file. If you look in the source code of the page the file is there:

Should work.

1/04/2008 11:51 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Thanks for the tip, Bobby!

1/04/2008 12:44 PM  
Blogger WillWonka said...

amen brother...

I loved Rounders for what it was or hopefully will continue to be. I liked how they talked up Canadian poker players (I'm from the US) as well as some of the other regional/personal type stuff.

Now, I haven't lisetned yet but will now that I see the download tip from above.

Hopefully, it works out as this has been my favorite to listen to.

1/04/2008 1:02 PM  

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