Speaking of podcasts, I continue to follow the ones listed down on the right-hand side of the page. There are a few others out there, but that list comprises the most popular ones out there at the moment, as far as I know. Not going to do a full-fledged review of all of ’em, but I thought it might be helpful to some just to give a brief rundown of what one generally finds when listening to each.
Two of the shows -- the Two Plus Two Pokercast and the PocketFives podcast -- are associated with popular poker forums, though the shows are quite different.
This year marks the second year for the 2+2 show, a version of an older show called Rounders, the Poker Show done by the same hosts, Mike Johnson and Adam Schwartz. On the 2+2 show, Johnson and Schwartz usually spend the first part of the show talking about various poker news and “forum static,” then eventually they have one or more guests on (usually) from the poker world. The pair have good chemistry and are good interviewers. Lately the podcast has become the Two-Plus Hour Pokercast, and sometimes it is difficult to find the time during the week to listen to the whole sucker. Good stuff, though.
The PocketFives show is generally just under a half-hour long and most often features interviews with online stars who participate in the P5s forums and/or write for the site. The last four episodes have all given attention to legal issues of various kinds, and frankly those shows are a bit more useful and interesting than the ones that concentrate on interviewing the wunderkinds.
A couple of other “poker news”-oriented podcasts that focus on current events in the poker world and generally feature interviews are the Hardcore Poker Show (which airs over on Sirius) and the Bernard Lee Poker Show (which airs on a Boston AM station, then gets syndicated over on Rounder’s Radio). I sometimes have a little trouble tracking down the Hardcore Poker Show as it doesn’t seem to come up in iTunes very easily. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right place over there.
And, of course, under the heading of “poker news” shows comes the new one from Scott Huff, The Poker Beat, which I discussed a little bit last Friday. I did like that first episode quite a bit, and especially like Huff’s idea to have various poker journalists and bloggers on to discuss the latest stories and issues. Have a feeling this one will likely be at the top of my queue each week.
Ante Up!, the Florida-based show hosted by Chris Cosenza and Scott Long, continues to put out new episodes every Friday. The show has gone through a few changes over the last six months or so, but still follows what (for me) is the same winning formula -- a couple of serious amateur players talking poker. As an amateur (or, more properly, “recreational”) player myself, I like being able to identify with the hosts, and Cosenza and Long do a nice job articulating various issues and concerns of interest to those in our group.
Shows that specifically concentrate on poker strategy discussions are the Deuces Cracked show (a.k.a. “Deuces Plays”) hosted by Bart Hanson, Killer Poker Analysis hosted by Tony Guerrera (author of some of those “Killer Poker” books), and All Strategy, the PokerRoad show hosted by Scott Huff, Daniel Negreanu, and Justin Bonomo. Actually All Strategy has been on hiatus for six weeks now, and perhaps may be done. I usually can only take these strategy-specific shows in small doses, to be honest, although I do think Hanson especially does a good job communicating ideas and asking interesting questions of his guests.
Other poker podcasts will also sometimes get into strategy segments while not exclusively concentrating on such. Phil Gordon’s The Poker Edge (the ESPN poker podcast) has now turned its attention to discussing nothing but no-limit hold’em multitable tourneys, although it doesn’t always have that bent to it. Three of the other Rounder’s Radio shows -- Pumped on Poker, Poker Talk Beyond the Books, and Lou Krieger’s Keep Flopping Aces -- will also often get into strategy talk, although they tend to cover other items of interest in the poker world. While all three of those are recorded live, the first two -- Pumped & Poker Talk -- are more free-form than Krieger’s show, which tends to have a bit more focus each week.
Speaking of free form, the NeverWin Poker podcast -- the “Cold Call” show -- is mainly that, too, with a lot of off-color stuff thrown in for good measure (as one would expect). Can be fairly compelling now and then, depending on the hosts and the relative frequency of crank calls, but is usually a lot of goofin’.
When it comes to genuinely compelling interviews, though, you probably can’t top Wise Hand Poker (also on Rounder’s) and the Gamblers Book Club podcast. Gary Wise tends to land guests who are most in demand, and invariably does an excellent job with the interviews (in my opinion). And Howard Schwartz’s podcast in which he interviews authors and other figures from poker and/or gambling is terrific, too. (Wrote about Schwartz’s show a couple of weeks back, if you want to read more.)
The PokerRoad Radio podcast has been mostly dormant over the last few weeks. That’s the one hosted by Ali Nejad, Joe Sebok, Gavin Smith, Court Harrington -- and maybe a couple of others -- which had been following the professional circuit and doing multiple shows at each stop. I think they’re working on changing the format, though, and perhaps going to a more regular weekly show or something. The shows are usually fun, although the games and whatnot that often fill the first half can be a bit repetitive (especially when they’re doing five shows in five days). But I do think Nejad especially does well with the interviews, and they routinely land interesting guests over there.
I think that’s all of ’em. Like I say, I know there are other shows out there. There’s the Ultimate Poker Show (on Rounder’s) -- which seems to me like a paid advertisement for UB. I think the Joe Average Poker Show still exists, but I lost track of it after its long hiatus last year. Have not really followed whatever is happening on Hold’em Radio these days, though I think they are still up and running. And I think there’s something called Poker Soup hosted by some of my buddies that I might need to check out here soon.
Let me know if there are any shows out there of which I don’t seem to be aware that you think I should know about. And share yr thoughts about these podcasts, too, if you wanna.
Meanwhile, as I say, the podcast that features old time radio shows & other storytellers bringing you tales about poker and/or gambling has a new episode tomorrow. No shinola.