Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Staying Tuned

Been keeping up with a number of podcasts (see the list over in the right-hand column), but I thought today I’d recommend three particular episodes for your listening pleasure.

Ante Up! Magazine, December 2008 issueThe guys on Ante Up! continue to roll along, still managing not to have missed a single week since the podcast’s debut way back in the spring of 2005. They are now producing a magazine, too, which one can find in Florida cardrooms (or to which one can subscribe). The mag is somewhat oriented toward the Florida poker scene, although they also include less local items like interviews with pros and other features. The Ante Up! blog appears now to be solely devoted to Florida poker news, but the podcast remains directed toward a more general audience of poker enthusiasts.

Last week’s show (the 11/21/08 episode) featured the first of a two-part interview with the Mad Genius of Poker, Mike Caro. Now I know not everyone thinks Caro is the bee’s knees when it comes to poker strategy and advice, with some wanting to judge him harshly for his paltry tourney record. But one can’t deny his poker acumen, not to mention his importance to poker history and literature as a chief contributor to the original Super/System and author of hundreds of columns. He is also a pretty funny dude. Lotsa grins in this first part of the interview, and he even addresses that question about why he has so few tourney cashes.

Lou Krieger's Keep Flopping AcesAnother show worth your time is the most recent episode of Keep Flopping Aces, hosted by Lou Krieger. On last week’s show (11/20/08), Lou had Tim Lavalli, a.k.a. the Poker Shrink, a.k.a. winner of Event 1 of Run Good Challenge 2: Electric Boogaloo, on to discuss various items related to poker and psychology. Tim offered some terrific observations about tilt (a discussion that resonated with me a bit after that brief bout I had with tilt last week), as well as some specific responses to a couple of infamous episodes from the 2008 WSOP -- Scotty Nguyen’s behavior at the $50 H.O.R.S.E. final table & Phil Hellmuth’s end of day 5 outburst at Cristian Dragomir and penalty (subsequently rescinded) during the Main Event.

I was there at the Rio for both of those events, but witnessed neither of them first hand, having been working a different tourney during the H.O.R.S.E. final table and covering the outer tables on Day 5 of the Main Event. Tim, meanwhile, was right there watching both, and has some interesting insights into both the players’ psychology as well as some opinions about how the tournament directors handled (or mishandled) the situations. Lou and Tim also speculate a bit about plans for next summer’s WSOP, including talk of going to some sort of “yellow card/red card” system like is used in soccer.

Will Failla and Eugene Todd on PokerRoad RadioFinally, if you are looking for a genuine howler of a show you might go back and check out the 11/5/08 episode of PokerRoad Radio. This was their first show from the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods. I usually end up listening to most of the PokerRoad shows when they come out, although I’ve found myself sometimes skipping through some of the “game show”-like segments (e.g., “How Much Would It Take?”) if I’m pressed for time. Ali Nejad’s humor is usually hit-or-miss for me -- sometimes he genuinely cracks me up, though not always. However, I do think he’s particularly good with interviews, which is why I’ll occasionally skip ahead to the latter half of the show when the guests come on.

On that 11/5/08 show, Nejad, Joe Sebok, and Court Harrington had two guests on at once, Eugene Todd (bro) and Will “the Thrill” Failla. As anyone who has heard Todd on the show before can attest, the man is pretty friggin’ hilarious. Failla (also from New York) is equally funny (and foul-mouthed), and the pair play off each other to good effect during this interview. To give you an idea what the interview was like, on a subsequent show they reported that someone had emailed them that the “F-bomb” had been dropped something like 115 times during this particular episode. (Needless to say, don’t follow this here recommendation if yr among the easily offended.)

Anyhow, dial up the show and skip ahead to the interview which starts at about the 42-minute mark. Then, around the 49-minute mark comes one of the funniest damn hand recaps ever chronicled. Failla tells the story of a hand he played early in the Foxwoods tourney, a hand he simply was not going to lose. Trust me, you will not be able to listen to this without laughing. Easily one of the funniest things I’ve heard on a poker podcast since Beyond the Table or perhaps that appearance by Haralabos Voulgaris on The Circuit a couple of years ago.

Hope you enjoy these. Meanwhile, for you old time radio fans a tenth episode of The Hard-Boiled Poker Radio Show is in the works and should be appearing in the near future. Stay tuned!

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