“Hey is that Jerry Seinfeld doing the commentary for the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl?”
That’s what several confused viewers asked when they first tuned in to the Twitch stream of the $300k buy-in event.
Spoiler: It’s not Seinfeld. But it is a fellow New Yorker. Viewers are instead listening to the voice of veteran poker pro Nick Schulman.
“No I haven’t heard that before,” laughed Schulman when asked about it.
“You know, I’ll take it. If people are comparing me to anyone — good or bad — I’ll take it.”
Schulman is much more established as a player with over $7 million in lifetime live tournament winnings but is earning rave reviews as a commentator (along with his partner Ali Nejad, a veteran commentator in poker).
“It’s a nice feeling that we’ve got some positive responses and we’re going to try and keep it up,” said Schulman.
“You can’t really please all the people all the time. I’m just kinda calling it how I see it with Ali [Nejad] and hopefully people like it.”
From Shipping Pots to In-Depth Discussion
Nick Schulman playing the WSOP.
Schulman has played in the biggest tournaments in the world — including the $1m Big One for One Drop in 2012 — so it may come as a surprise that he isn’t playing.
“I do want to be out there but let’s be honest it’s an incredibly tough field and the opportunity to watch the event start-to-finish and give my two cents is special,” explained Schulman.
“Just being a part of something like this is special whether you’re playing or commentating. I’m sure I’ll have a chance to get out there at some point going forward.”
Schulman is friends with PokerPROductions producer Mori Eskandani and jumped at the opportunity to provide commentary for the big buy-in event.
“I’ve done a bit of commentary here and there,” he said. “It’s not my first time but I’m still a bit of newbie.”
Numerous Pros Picking up the Mic
Fans have benefited from being able to get some insight from a pro that’s actually played in legitimately scary-big tournaments.
Schulman isn’t the only poker pro to take a turn behind the mic over the last year as pros Sam Grafton and Griffin Benger have been providing commentary for the Global Poker League.
Before that Antonio Esfandiari and Olivier Busquet did commentary for ESPN’s coverage of the WSOP.
Schulman has been finding the experience immensely useful.
“It’s interesting, it’s almost more tiring than playing because we have to play every hand whereas when you’re playing a tournament you take a few off,” he said.
“It’s very rewarding though, I love it and I think it’s great for my game. I’m thinking about poker in an almost deeper way than when I’m playing.”
Nick "No Twitter Account" Schulman
One of the most interesting aspects of Schulman’s new role in all this is that he basically avoids social media and doesn’t even have a Twitter account.
“On a day-to-day standpoint I don’t think social media is for me. Maybe. I don’t know. I haven’t gotten on there,” he said.
“However getting to do something like this does two things for me: 1. I’m able to do my tiny little part to contribute to a game that I love and has given me so much. 2. There’s really nowhere I’d rather be than watching the best poker players in the world and talking poker.
“This is really what I love to do.”
Today is the last day you’ll get a chance to hear Schulman’s musings on the Super High Roller Bowl but commentating is something he’s likely to do more of in the future.
“I like doing it, so why not?” said Schulman.
Just don’t expect to hear any “What’s the deal with poker?” jokes anytime soon.