I’ve written here many times over the years both about Mike and Adam’s original podcast, “Rounders, the Poker Show” (that ran from April 2005 to December 2007) and the 2+2-based show they’ve been doing since January 2008. A remarkable run not just for podcasting, but for poker, too, where there are very few on the reporting side of things who’ve lasted that long.
In the interview the pair start out talking about how the original “Rounders” show got started, discuss the move to 2+2, and then share some thoughts about memorable moments and guests. The conversation next moved over to consider their contribution to the chronicling the story of poker -- especially online poker -- over the last eight years. I got them to opine a little toward the end about the state of “poker media” (so to speak), too.
Regarding that latter subject, Mike brought up a point about the passion many who get into reporting on poker demonstrate, which he attributed to the fact that the great majority of those who write and report on poker play the game as well. (Such is true of the two of them.)
I think Mike’s right on that count, that is to say, just about everyone who takes a shot at podcasting about poker or writing/reporting on poker in some fashion is at the very least a casual poker player, with many being a lot more serious about the game than that. I also think that among those who end up sticking with poker reporting for a lengthy period the amount of time spent playing the game often begins to wane (something I’ve experienced), but there nonetheless still exists that ability to think about the game from a player’s perspective.
Kind of makes poker different from other sports and/or other subjects of news reporting, if you think about it, in which that overlap between participant and observer isn’t so great.
With most sports, for instance, ex-players frequently become broadcasters or get involved with the media, but they necessarily do so after their playing days are behind them. Poker, meanwhile, doesn’t really feature players “retiring” and then moving over to the media side (except perhaps when it comes to that sort of gradual sliding away from playing to which I was just referring). That is, the line between the two -- player and reporter -- is not just blurry, it’s essentially non-existent.
To build a little further on Mike’s point, when it comes to those few who have reported on poker as long as Mike and Adam have, it’s probably safe to say just about all of them have a special passion for the game that has sustained them. I know that is the case for Mike and Adam, and I think the poker community has a lot to be grateful for when it comes to what those two have contributed to the game over the years.
It was definitely fun to talk to a couple of guys with such enthusiasm for poker, not to mention take a shot at interviewing a couple of the best interviewers in poker (in my opinion). Check out the interview.