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Televised Poker

Not much in the way of well-wishers on my 2nd Bloggiversary, you ingrateful sons of bitches. But I do thank those who left a comment, and thank them greatly. Even so, the rest of you ruined it for the well-wishers, and so, no AC Trip Report yet. Hell, I may just can the thing altogether. How you like dem apples?

So, I was watching the tevvie last night and came across two shows that touched on poker. I consume way too much drivel in the form of entertainment, but it still surprises me that I don't see other people pointing out the ever-preseent (and growing) poker influence on television. It goes beyond the WPT and WSOP and has crept up in such shows as The Wire, where it was a predominant theme for a whole episode, Lost, as an anecdote to the survivors' intellect and mauevering about one another, and finally Desperate Housewives, in a stale and repeated attempt to give the gals some bonding time. So, let's move on to our two new entries, one show that has butchered the game of poker for several episodes in the B-story, and a great show that dropped a simple three line poker quip with great success and then deftly moved on. Let's start with the crap:

The L Word is not that bad of a show. For one, it has lesbians. For two, as far as Showtime dramas are concerned, its well written and acted, and fairly entertaining. Now, I wouldn't say this for all of the shows, nor all of the seasons, but this recent season has been pretty solid throughout, with good character development and real-feeling stories. The one place that this season has repeatedly fallen short is setting up silly artificial competitions, like the episode where Alice, the busy-body gossip of our Lesbian Den, challenges lebsian-lothario Poppy to a game of basketball. Alice, of course, rallies her lipstick lesbian friends and suddenly we are supposed to get wrapped up in a sub-par basketball montage. Yeah, definitely trying to attract the WNBA crowd.

Well, while that is fine and dandy, don't you dare desecrate my game of choice! The poker storyline goes like this: Rich girl Helena who was disowned and now has to start over broke ends up at a party with the rest of the Lesbian Den. It's a posh after party, and there is a game of high-stakes poker going on. I'm pretty sure that this is another one of those Alice-creating-a-silly-unreal-competition with another Lesbian clan, but whatever the case, Helena sits in without any real knowledge of the game. She summarily loses $50,000, without even knowing what stakes they were playing in the first place. SCREEEEEEEECH! (that's the screeching car sound effect). Hold on! She didn't know the stakes? So, what happens? Why, the head of the game, another lipstick lesbian, conveniently, lets Helena pay her debt by proposing that she come to her penthouse to pay it off physically. Okay! We are back on track.

So, Helena goes to the penthouse a couple of days later, and she's upset that she essentially has to whore herself to a beautiful women. Alright... Anyway, when she gets to the penthouse, the poker host, let's call her Host, since I forgot her name, says that she doesn't want to have sex with Helena. They play a heads-up game of strip poker and Helena wins, both her debt and freedom, and then, in a clever and obvious twist of fate, decides to screw the Host anyway. Bingo! It's like the freaking Brandi Rose story with less Penises in the Back. Has anyone copyrighted Vagina in the Back, cause if not, you heard it here first (copyright pending).

Fast forward. So, the Host is starting to exploit Helena. How, you ask. By, get this, staking Helena in highstakes games because somehow Helena became a shark overnight without even realizing it. Then the Host holds the money and is clearly controlling Helena. Okay folks, this is where I lose it. From fish to shark without any effort? Puh-lease. And, the way to exploit younger poker players is to abscond with their money, not put YOUR money on the line with the expectation that Helena the Fish will win 100% of the time and then you'll abscond with her winnings. Shiyit! Can you imagine Capt. Tom buying Brandi into 50k buy-in tournaments (another BS plot point) with the expectation that of course Brandi will win, and then he'll claim to have lost her money at the horses on an insiders tip with Brandi's consent? Okay, I'm nitpicking, but the real issue is the whole fish who is a natural shark overnight, the 50k buy-in tournament, and a scene in which the Host is whispering in Helena's ear during a game of poker in a casino. Lesbians, puhlease!

And now, for the great two lines from the Simpsons this week. The setup: Homer spent a ton of dough on a rec room for the Simpsons' basement and tries to file for bankruptcy. The judge assigns him a financial adviser who is in the kitchen with Homer and Marge talking about where they can save money.


Advisor: It says here you spend $1000 a month throwing coins into wishing wells?
Homer: Of course, stupid. I'm wishing for more money!
Advisor: And how about this? $500 a month for
Marge: What?! It's educational . IT'S EDUCATIONAL!

Right on the nose. (And kudos for the subtle reference to Marge's gambling problem from past episodes).

Now enjoy your education at

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 1:47 PM,


At 2:39 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Not too long ago, My Name Is Earl had an episode where one of the guys on the show played poker every night. It even showed a screen shot of PokerStars I believe.

Also, in The 40 Year Old Virgin the main character (Steve Carrel) plays online poker every night.

I know I've seen poker mentioned randomly on other shows like CSI and Law & Order as well.

Oh and by the way, happy blog day biatch. Keep up the good work bloggin' and trip reportin' or I will be forced to kick your ass...

At 11:16 AM, Blogger WindBreak247 said...

I'm not a religious Simpsons watcher in the least bit, but it happened to be on Sunday when I was playing darts with the wife. I thought the Marge/online gambling thing was hilarious.

You bring up a very good point. There was an episode of CSI:NY where someone was killed over a poker table, and I've seen it slipped into several other shows as well. One very recently that I can't for the life of me remember.

Never really thought much of it, but I suppose none of that was *ever* there before Moneymaker. I certainly know when something poker related is thrown into a show, I pay more attention, if for no other reason than to see if it is the least bit authentic (which it usually isn't, which is surprising, because you'd think SOMEBODY on the staff of these shows plays poker and could correct the far-fetched BS they put on the screen).


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