Remember the old saying that you can't judge a book by its cover? Such is the case with the Professional Poker Tour, that offshoot of the World Poker Tour that's recently made its way onto the tube. Early indications, judging by the poor quality of the advance press material, was that the show would be a cheap WPT knockoff trying to shore up some of the loss of glamour from a program (the WPT) now challenged by many others for bragging rights among all those shows not the WSOP.
I didn't know what to expect when I came across my first episode of the program, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is as poker-y a poker program as I've encountered in recent months, and all serious players and fans should give it a look. Despite the stance of many pros toward all things WPT, there are any number of other big names still in the field, and the show focuses on the play and the trappings of play at the table, rather than the ridiculous segues of food-slicing card flings we see elsewhere. There's also more poker action here than the neverending parade of all-in pushes we see on programs such as... well... the WPT.
To my mind this is better poker, and a better show.