Of Odds And Ends
As a game of betting, skill, and luck, poker is perhaps one of the most interesting games to watch and play. One part of the game is about bluffing; of out-thinking your opponent and making him believe one thing while you do another. Poker is also about skill at predicting and playing with odds. Another factor that makes poker such an exciting card game to both watch and play is the degree of risk one takes. By placing a bet to get in the game, a player automatically agrees to take a chance and battle the odds of winning the pot.
With this kind of action and excitement, it is no surprise that the World Poker Tour has become one of the highest rated TV shows on cable, and one of the most important show in the history of the mad world of poker. The show features a series of Texas Hold 'Em poker tournaments held internationally but most of which are held in America. The show's major sponsors are casinos and online poker websites. With professional poker players participating in the tournament, the World Poker Tour has catapulted poker into fame. The show has effectively increased interest in the card game as casinos and online poker sites had a boom in the number of poker players. The first five seasons of the Tour were aired by cable TV network, Travel Channel where the first season was shown during the spring of 2003. Then in February 2004, the World Poker Tour made its network debut via NBC. The network showed the "Battle of the Champions" and pitted it against the pre-game show of the Super Bowl that year.
The show is hosted by Mike Sexton, World Series Poker Winner, and Vince Van Patten, an actor. The co-hosts give detailed accounts and analysis as the game progresses, giving their audience clear insight on how professional poker players do it during a high stakes match. Though Sexton and Van Patten make it look like they are giving out commentaries as the tournament progresses, there is evidence that they have interacted with the poker players. The fact is that the commentary during a broadcast is made up of both live camera statements as well as ones that were recorded in post-production. The comments about "hole cards" are recorded after the tour, as gaming regulations do not allow hosts to see a live feed of what hole card cameras show.
Participating in the Tour are poker's biggest names. Legends like Doyle Brunoson and Gus Hansen are among those who have participated in the tour. Professional poker players win and lose by the millions. In fact, Gus Hansen, has even admitted that he has lost millions when he had bad runs on the table. However, Hansen has also won the pot of one of the first WPT events. In the WPT Season VII Championship, Yevgeniy Timoshenko won the pot that amounted to a little over $2 million.
With the World Poker Tour having a slot in primetime TV, millions of viewers can tune in on professional poker players battle it out against equally skilled opponents to win both the prize and the bragging rights of having luck at their side.