Monday, February 26, 2007

Who Needs Celebrity Poker Showdown Anyway? We've Got Hip-Hop Hold'em

With the demise of Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown" and the second season of "Calvin Ayre Wild Card Poker" yet to begin production, we need a new standard bearer for the honor of cheesiest poker production currently on the airwaves. Enter the syndicated show, "Hip Hop Hold'em," which was competing against various and sundry informercials when I stumbled across it recently. Probably losing that battle, too, come to think of it....

I decided to take one for the team, watching as much of an episode as possible.

The verdict? Oh, nothing you wouldn't expect. Lousy poker, inane commentary, and a lot of rappers I wouldn't recognize if I weren't told they were famous, which neatly outlines the shape of the particular rock under which I live. The episode I caught did include Method Man, however. Remember the truth about gimmick poker programming: The more attention paid to the trappings, the lousier the poker itself will be.

But who cares about that, after all? At least this show has a fun loser's lounge, partially offsetting in-hand graphics that are the cheesiest thing I've seen since the ABC Pro Bowler' Tour in the days of Chris Schenkel. Fans can also surf on over to and watch any episodes they've missed right on the site. And of course, the hip-hopsters are playing for charity, so the show itself does have some good going for it.

Do I know who won the episode? Nope. Do I care? Nope. It was interesting to watch --- once --- in a car-crash sort of way. Once in a while poker needs to be not-serious, doesn't it?

1 comment:

Jon said...

I liked the opening credits. At one point they show someone raking in a big pot which not only contains cash but also watches, jewelry, and various other bling. Nice touch :)