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Today in the 3-Bet we find Phil Galfond, weighing in on the great poker personality debate, Isaac Haxton finds flattery does get you everywhere (or at least invited to podcasts) and Gaëlle Garcia Diaz takes the reins of France's "Poker Big Brother."
1) Galfond: Give Nerds a Chance
If poker's "New School" of players - primarily online, introverted (more or less), brainy, relatively quiet - has a poster boy, it might be Phil Galfond.
One of the greatest poker minds of his (or any) generation, Galfond is as good as it gets when it comes to poker - and, in our eyes, potential "poker ambassadors."
Translating that to TV ... that's the tricky part.
Weighing in on the great "poker personality" debate in his blog yesterday Galfond offered up a much-needed bridge between the Old School/New School using his own appearance on High Stakes Poker as a case study. Great excerpts are plentiful but here's one:
"Just this past summer, I came 2nd in the $25k 6-max WSOP event. The difference between 1st and 2nd place was somewhere around 350k. I can’t count the number of times I’ve lost > $350k in a day, and I usually get over it the next day when it happens.
"That 2nd place haunted me. I beat myself up daily over a few hands, again and again and again, for at least two months. I still get a twinge of the regret from time to time.
"I wanted the bracelet 100 times more than I wanted the money. I would view winning the Main Event bracelet as an honor and as a responsibility (for me… not for everyone). The day I bust the main event stings each and every year, just like it does for most of my peers.
"I really do love the game of poker (for too many reasons to list) and I love the poker world (young and old). I want the game to be respected and to thrive. I know that I’m far from alone in my generation with how I feel about the game of poker." Read the full, excellent piece here.
2) Haxton Likes Rogan, Rogan Likes Haxton
Parallel to the great personality debate raging in poker comes the discussion of what kind of commentary works best for poker TV/live streams.
We mentioned Daniel Negreanu's take on it yesterday, comparing it to a Winter Olympics broadcast and arguing it's the backstories/characters that really make the stars.
PokerStars Team Online pro Isaac Haxton, he of a more New Schhol/strategy driven mindset and one of the true "expert" commentators on the game, argued for a balance between character and information.
The TV host he thinks does that best? Comedian/UFC kingpin Joe Rogan. Who agreed? Rogan, of course, who offered up a spot on his super popular podcast in return:
@RealKidPoker Comparing poker to the Olympics is perfect… if you want poker to be like snowshoeing, which people only watch every 4 years— Isaac Haxton (@ikepoker) February 11, 2014
@RealKidPoker But for something that is on tv consistently every week like other popular sports, in-depth analysis is completely appropriate— Isaac Haxton (@ikepoker) February 11, 2014
@RealKidPoker Poker lends itself to serious analysis on TV even more so because so many fans of the game play poker competitively themselves— Isaac Haxton (@ikepoker) February 11, 2014
@RealKidPoker Furthermore it’s insulting to the viewers to assume that they can't or don’t want to understand the real mechanics of the game— Isaac Haxton (@ikepoker) February 11, 2014
@RealKidPoker More serious doesn’t have to mean less fun. TV commentary can be sophisticated while still being lighthearted and entertaining— Isaac Haxton (@ikepoker) February 11, 2014
@joerogan Wow, I'd love to! It would be an honor! Praise Odin!— Isaac Haxton (@ikepoker) February 12, 2014
3) Garcia Diaz Takes Over on Maison du Bluff
Did you know PokerStars France has a poker-themed reality TV show called Maison du Bluff that's about to enter its fourth season?
We didn't either, but it looks something like a poker version of Big Brother - contestants are selected by online qualifiers on PokerStars.fr, they move into a fancy house and try to outlast the rest in poker/non-poker challenges. The winner, at least this season, will get about €150k in prize money and tourney entries, which is pretty cool.
Also new this season? PokerStars presenter Gaëlle Garcia Diaz is taking over as host, which makes it quite appealing - even if you can't understand why Jean-Pierre is upset at Francoise (it's probably something about eating someone's macarons).
We kid. Here's a sample from last season featuring France's King of Poker, ElkY: