Thursday, March 29, 2007

Surveying the Poker Podcast Landscape (2 of 2)

Okay, here are the other six poker podcasts to which I subscribe. By the way, I should mention that Beyond the Table (discussed last post) is taking this week off but will be back next week with new shows. (Stay tuned here for details.) Meanwhile, if anyone knows of any other poker podcasts I should be checking out, give me a shout.

Poker Diagram

Poker Diagram
(website; RSS feed; RSS feed [enhanced version]; in production; last show late February)

After producing shows frequently for over a year, Henry and Zog have definitely slowed the pace here over the last few months. Their show consists of one of the pair (usually Zog) playing an online tournament (usually a $10 or $20 one-table sit-n-go), with both commenting on the action and decision-making along the way. Might sound less than thrilling in the abstract, but the two Londoners are able to keep the listener interested both with their analyses and quick-witted banter. Card Clubs also hosts a forum for Poker Diagram, though not much is happening over there. In some ways, the show’s format doesn’t really suit forum discussions all that well, as one cannot really discuss hands or particular situations without listening to the entire show first. On the most recent episode, the pair expressed their hope to begin producing shows on a “fortnightly” basis, although that goal doesn’t appear to have been realized. (A between-the-hands discussion about random card generators led me last summer to write a post called “Doing the What If Shuffle” as well as a sequel.)

Poker Podcast World

Poker Podcast World
(website; RSS feed; in production; last show 2/17/07)

Found this Australian poker podcast a couple of months ago and have really enjoyed listening to the occasional shows posted by host Synergy. Most of the recent shows have presented short interviews (some conducted by CardPlayer humor writer Max Shapiro) with figures such as Mark Vos, Billy “the Croc” Argyros, Marsha Waggoner, Jay “Moose” Moriarity, “Cowboy” Kenna James, and Robert “Chip Burner” Turner. There is also a very active forum associated with the podcast, Poker Analysis. Been a while since the last installment, so here’s hoping some new shows are coming soon. (For a longer review, see my post about Poker Podcast World from a couple of months ago.)

PokerWire Radio

PokerWire Radio
(website; RSS feed; in production; last show 3/28/07)

PokerWire Radio is, of course, the rebirth of the old Circuit podcast that featured Scott Huff, Gavin Smith, and Joe Sebok. The trio debuted the new show last February at the L.A. Poker Classic, and it was as though they’d never been away for those three-plus months. Huff appeared on the L.A. shows, but has announced his intention not to travel with Sebok and Smith to other circuit events. His place is being filled by Joe Stapleton, a man Huff introduced to us during that first week of shows as “the original king of hairy Italian comedy.” Stapleton is a funny guy and an able host, and should fit in well with Sebok and Smith (both of whom are smart and entertaining co-hosts). 2006 WSOP wunderkind Jeff “Mad Dog” Madsen is also on board as the show’s official news reader. (Here’s a post from last fall praising the old Circuit show, and here’s a more recent post announcing “The Caveman, the Cub, and Donkey Are Back.”)

Rounders, the Poker Show

(website; RSS feed; in production; live show every Sunday night with podcast usually made available on Tuesdays; last show 3/25/07)

This weekly program from Vancouver is one of the most consistent poker podcasts around, having produced shows without interruption for nearly two years. The show is recorded live on an AM sports radio station in Vancouver, then made available for download. Shows are always around 45-50 minutes long (with a few commercials), and hosts Mike Johnson and Adam Schwartz routinely bring in big name players and other prominent figures from the poker world for interviews. While the pair’s discussions of weekly poker news and the occasional strategy session are engaging, they are best with interviews, asking smart questions of their guests and -- importantly -- letting their guests speak their minds freely. Their interview of Jamie Gold just a couple of days removed from his WSOP Main Event victory was particularly well-handled, in my opinion. Some on forums suggested Johnson and Schwartz were too soft on Gold, but I disagree, and, as it turned out, they provided a ready environment for Gold to introduce that controversial persona he’s been cultivating ever since (intentionally or otherwise). (That interview ended up being entered as evidence in the Gold-Leyser lawsuit some months later.)

CardPlayer's The Circuit

The Circuit
(landing page; RSS feed; status unknown; last show 2/28/07)

CardPlayer’s podcast has fallen on hard times here since the departure of Huff, Sebok, and Smith. The revived version of the show hosted by Konan Luce, Rich Belsky, and David Singer was an ill-fated experiment that now appears to have been abandoned by the media giant after just 22 episodes. Problems with chemistry between the hosts and other factors have been discussed at length on forums (not always in constructive ways). Seemed to me that while the hosts certainly could’ve been more engaging, the main problem with the new show was a lack of focus on the tournaments they were purportedly covering for CardPlayer. Too often the show seemed to be about the show itself, with way too much self-conscious hand-wringing about its quality, how it compared to the earlier version, etc. No word at present whether CardPlayer intends to come back with yet another version of the show. It appears their focus might have shifted to the new CardPlayer TV now appearing on the site. (Previous posts discussing the new Circuit include “The Circuit 2.0” and “Common Knowledge & Common Sense.”)

ESPN's The Poker Edge w/Phil Gordon

The Poker Edge
(landing page; RSS feed; in production; last show 3/28/07)

Phil Gordon’s podcast for the “ESPN Poker Club” has been disappointing, generally speaking, ever since it first appeared about a year ago. Over the past couple of years, Gordon’s podcast reports from the floor of the WSOP have been uniformly excellent -- a fine example, actually, of what one could do with the podcast format. The ESPN show, however, has been much less compelling. Each episode begins with a brief rundown of poker news by co-host Andrew Feldman -- not always timely, and never really explored with any serious depth. Then Gordon interviews (usually) a fellow professional player, often with a focus on some particular strategy question about which the guest is called upon to provide “expert insight” (the name of Gordon’s DVD-producing company constantly promoted by the show). These brief (usually 15- or 20-minute) discussions are sometimes interesting and, in fact, insightful, though usually remain on a general level. As he’s proven in other contexts, Gordon is a terrific commentator and I think most listeners probably like his personality. One gets the impression, though, that his many other projects haven’t allowed him adequate time to make this podcast as rewarding as it could be.

* * * * *

I should also mention a thirteenth podcast I sometimes catch, “The Cold Call Show” over on Never Win Poker. Not so much a poker show as an irregularly-produced, unrestrained marathon of mayhem for Micon and his considerable legion of degenerates. The guys are funny, though, and some decent poker talk occasionally does surface amid the craziness. Only just discovered their RSS feed, and so maybe they'll make it into the regular rotation here.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Decent reviews.

I can't understand why these things are not more popular. It's free and I have learnt so much listening to them.

Thanks Shamus

3/30/2007 5:28 AM  
Blogger GWC said...

Time to either buy an ipod or get iTunes back on my desktop machine.

3/31/2007 7:27 AM  
Blogger GWC said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/31/2007 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these things should be CRAZY popular. I enjoy them so much.

Great post.

7/30/2008 10:37 PM  

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