Friday, May 19, 2006

"WPT Lite" Set for July Debut on Travel Channel

Too much of that security-related stuff, as found in several recent posts, makes for an overly stuffy blog, so it was high time for something "Lite"-er to appear on our screens.

Thank you, World Poker Tour, for answering the call. I was off on one of those web-scraping sojourns, looking for unusual poker content, when I stumbled across the following release over at Poker Gazette. "Professional Poker Tour Selects Poker Pro and Hollywood Personality as Hosts," the release screams, and indeed, the text body proclaims the upcoming debut of the WPT's distinctively named "Professional Poker Tour."

It looks like the WPT is pulling out all the stops for this one; after all, with a lawyer-turned-card-shark (Mark Seif) and an actor whose most significant role is as a recurring guest character in "The Shield" (Matt Corboy) as hosts, I'll be reserving one night a week for this... maybe two or three if I transform into a foaming TIVO addict. One thing's for sure: With a reconstituted attorney doing the play-by-play part of the broadcast, dead air should not be a problem.

--- photo sources, World Poker Tour

The above is the "hosts" publicity shot for the show --- anyone else think it's a bit cheesy? For the life of me, it looks like an outtake from ESPN's "Dream Job," the awful show that weeded through a pack of uninspiring sportscaster wannabes.

This looks to be some fun-nee stuff in the making --- the WPT honchos haven't even named the requisite eye candy as of this report. Perhaps the new WPT hostess, Sabina Gadecki (right), was supposed to have this gig until Courtney Friel's sudden departure. (And a thank-you to dedicated reader "Anonymous" for indirectly pointing out that I had a Friel shot in there instead of a Gadecki one --- I grabbed the wrong photo. Oy and vey, one each.) And about the format of play, why, the press release couldn't be any clearer:

"The action-packed PPT series will showcase poker's 250 leading stars in a new and exciting format, destined to ratchet up televised poker to a whole new level. The PPT will bring to TV viewers the cream of the crop -- 250 of the world's top poker players, culled from thousands who aspire to the first rank. With its PPT Qualification System, the PROFESSIONAL POKER TOUR has ensured the highest level of play at each and every tournament. The first season of jam-packed action will stretch over 24 weeks, spotlighting a stellar lineup of poker's All-Stars – champions from the WPT, The World Series of Poker, and European poker tournaments."

Okay, that's a "To Be Determined" if I ever read one.

One wonders, though, about the ranking specifications within that "PPT Qualification System" mentioned above. Does the 250-player list automatically eliminate from contention the growing number of big-namers who won't have anything to do with the WPT, due to the WPT's overzealous pursuit of universal/irrevocable rights? Does the list of 250 have any correlation to tournament performance outside the WPT, or is it the WPT/PPT version of an Elk's Club membership drive? Maybe the WPT will have sponsor exemptions, like golf tournaments.

Again, this looks to be a no-stops, no-expenses-spared venture. Howe else can one explain that the home page for the program doesn't even list the debut date? (It's July 5th, according to the release, surely a night when millions of undecided viewers will be flocking to their sets.) And I want to beg for action from the hyperbole police when I read dreck like this:

"The PPT will take you around the country to five of the most prestigious casinos in the world."

The rest of the promotional blurbage is every bit as funny. So thank you again, WPT; we all needed a hearty belly laugh. WPT Lite, indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The picture is not of Sabina Gadecki. Please change that.