Tick tick tick tick . . . .

“They wanted the show to be honest, and they kept it honest. I didn’t watch the show, but I didn’t hear any edits that were really disingenuous. They had to tell a story, and stories are never real, but they showed a view of the show that was certainly as accurate as the one you’re reading now. They just let it happen with honesty and integrity.”   – Penn Jillette

The show Penn’s talking about may surprise you. He’s writing about his experience on “Celebrity Apprentice,” a show that this quote, out of context, might make you think he supports and was proud to be on. Just to be clear, that’s not the case, but while Penn rips the Donald, and one of his fellow contestants in particular, new ones at several points in the essay “Here come our “celebrities” – cue the freezing rain,” he respected the producers, and what he saw as a kind of integrity to the show. THIS COULD NEVER EVER EVER BE SAID HONESTLY BY ANYONE EVER ABOUT ESPN’S WORLD SERIES OF POKER SHOW. It tells lies about time, about personalities, about just about anything it can to make drama out of bunch of guys sitting at a table playing cards. It tells nonstop lies of over-inclusion and omission. The announcers tell lies, the editing is horribly dishonest. The show does its network a horrible disservice. Okay, I feel better now.

And yet . . . we who love poker keep watching – as I’ve said before, it’s the only game in town if you want to watch the WSOP.

That all said, if you like/love poker but don’t watch it on TV for the reasons stated above, there are two days every year to watch, and those days are tomorrow and Tuesday, because on those two days, ESPN offers extended, nearly real-time coverage – you get to actually watch people play poker.

So tune in! I’ll be lining up outside the doors of the Penn & Teller theater like a Deadhead with an “I need a miracle” sign, at 2pm for the 6pm start time, to get good seats (it’s first come first serve, apparently).

I’ll be posting all night (long after the TV ends, alas), both here and tweeting (@jamieberger) and Facebooking and all that jazz too. Join me, and, hey, regardless of how X does tomorrow, I’m sticking it out til they’re done for the night/morning, so please consider dropping a line, retweeting – let me know you’re out there! Thanks!

After meeting Amir “Player X” Lehavot (and his sis and his mom and his dad and his wife and his baby boy) last night for the first time in person, I’m more on board than ever. The impressions I’ve had from our online acquaintance were reinforced and then some – he’s just a really sweet, soft-spoken, understated guy, reminds me of friends and neighbors over the years. Below is another interview with him. Consider hopping on board Team Amir – as I think you’ll see, there are gonna be some VERY loud, boistrous, dare I say obnoxious, crews on hand for the younger players (ie everyone but Amir), and sending good vibes this way can’t help!

november nine

Here’s one intro to Amir which can lead lead to intros of the other guys (along that right-hand column), if you’re interested:


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