Monday, September 12, 2016

Podcast Recommendations: Alan Boston on Thinking Poker & Kara Scott on the Remko Report

Had a chance over the weekend to listen to a couple of poker podcasts which I found very interesting and entertaining, so I wanted to pass them along here.

One was the most recent episode of The Thinking Poker Podcast, co-hosted by Andrew Brokos and Nate Meyvis. I’ve mentioned the TPP show here many times before -- and in fact appeared on that one a couple of times, once very early when they had just started, then again more recently.

Last week they had as a guest the poker player and sports bettor Alan Dvorkis -- better known as Alan Boston. I’ve often enjoyed hearing Boston talk about sports betting on other podcasts, and he’s an entertaining follow on Twitter for sure, especially when expressing misery and/or vitriol regarding bets gone wrong.

Other than exchanging a few tweets with him about Todd Rundgren on Twitter, I haven’t really interacted with Boston that much -- one hilarious exchange at the WSOP from a few years back comes to mind -- but I’ve always found him an interesting, thoughtful guy whenever he’s interviewed.

On the TPP show the interview was divided between some stud strategy talk (including some anecdotes about Danny Robison and Stu Ungar), and discussion of helping others with mental issues (and dealing with one’s own). All pretty engaging and not what you typically hear on poker podcasts.

The other was the latest “Remko Report” on which Remko Rinkema interviewed Kara Scott. Besides being friends with both Remko and Kara, I’m a big fan of both as well. As you might imagine from two people so good at talking and expressing themselves, their conversation is highly enjoyable.

The first half or more of the episode is poker-focused, with some good discussion about various things including the ongoing struggle to introduce poker to larger audiences, some good talk about Joe McKeehen and this whole (overdone) topic of WSOP Main Event champions needing to be “ambassadors” (Kara and I agree they don’t), and some further discussion about how the WSOP Main Event is currently covered and what could be changed.

They also share notes on the challenges of interviewing poker players, something I think both do very well in part because they are both so interested in examining more closely what goes into making a good, engaging interview. (It’s a lot harder than it looks or sounds, as they both are well aware.)

From there they cover some of Kara’s life before becoming a poker presenter. Some of this story I knew before, in part from having interviewed Kara myself several years ago for Betfair Poker. (That’s another one of those interviews that has now disappeared from the internet -- and which I may try to recover and republish here at some point, as I’ve done with some of the other ones.)

I knew about her background as a teacher, something I very much enjoyed talking to her about given how that’s an experience we have in common. I knew a bit about her growing up in Canada and moving to England, as well as her transition from teaching to training in Muay Thai and then becoming a presenter for a martial arts show. Which eventually led (along with some acting gigs on the side) to her getting involved with poker television.

There were other things discussed with which I was less familiar, including some having to do with how getting involved with poker and the poker community helped Kara at a time in her life when such help was really needed. Here the show reminded me a little of Boston’s appearance on TPP, if only for the way both interviewees got across the message of how important it is to have support from others, especially during difficult times.

If you have a couple of hours when you’re driving or cleaning barn stalls or doing something else where you need some interesting audio to fill that noggin’, check out both shows:

  • Thinking Poker Podcast Episode #186: Alan Boston
  • Remko Report #45: Kara Scott Opens Up About Her Life Before Poker
  • Photos: Alan Boston courtesy PokerNews; “Kara Scott at the Main Event of the World Series of Poker 2015,” Dutch Boyd, CC BY 2.0.

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