Poker After Dark
After Dark is NBC's latest foray into
the televised poker market. After their successes
with the National Headsup Championship
and the pre-Superbowl tournament from two years
ago, it's no surprise they are back in the poker
Poker After Dark pits 6
poker pros (or high stakes "celeb" players)
in a week long $20,000 buyin single table winner
take all tournament. The show is on NBC weeknights
after the Conan O'Brien show and there is a recap
"Director's Cut" of the prior week on
Saturday's after Saturday Night Live. You may
also watch the archived episodes on NBCSports.com
under the poker tab.
The production values on this show
are first rate, the editing is first rate and
the show looks very good. Of course the return
of former World Poker Tour hostess Shana Hiatt
doesn't hurt. Shana has more to do on this show
than on the WPT as she gets to comment on the
table action and interview the players during
the tournament (not only when they bust out).
As of this review, there have been
two weeks of the show and the list of players
that have played is a who's who of the poker world.
Week one featured Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Huck
Seed, Steve Zolotow, Gus Hansen and Shawn Sheikhan;
if that wasn't enough heavy hitters for you, week
two featured Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Mike
Matusow, David Grey, Gabe Kaplan, and Jerry Buss.
This show is unique in that there
are none of the typical poker announcers commenting
on all aspects of the hand, there is a mysterious
of camera voice that makes sporadic commentary
but it isn't too intrusive; however most of the
comments are meant to be jokes which are generally
not very funny. This lack of commentary allows
the viewer to hear the poker players banter back
and forth; which is sometimes interesting and
sometimes not so interesting (seriously David
Grey, no one wants to hear you sing).
If that show has any weakness, it's
that the $20K buyin and subsequent $120K payout
isn't big enough to keep the high stakes players
all that interested (even though it is the player's
own money). They all seem to make "last longer"
bets (when you bet that you will survive a tournament
longer than the other player) to spice up the
game. It's as if they are on the show to just
promote themselves or whichever online site they
are affiliated. This minor weakness isn't enough
to spoil my enjoyment of the show.
If you're a poker fan or an insomniac; definitely
give this show a look. You can also win your way
onto the show through special tournaments on Full
Review by Donald Key.
this and other reviews in the Lizard Lounge.