Mad props to cookee, who got this tape to me on time by paying way more than she should have for priority shipping. Also for cutting the commercials out.
The first thing you need to know is: I know nothing about poker. I know about as much about poker as I do about the no-fly rule, or who won the Stanley Cup last year, or how much a bag of dope goes for these days. Don't email me to try to teach me about poker; better people than you have tried, I can assure you. The only reason I can even summon up a phrase like "no-fly rule" is I read a lot of Sars's stuff, and it's the sort of thing she refers to often. I'm not going to be reporting every card played, so if the poker geeks among you want to critique every game in detail, tape the show the next time it's on. Apparently, Bravo runs it a lot. When it comes to colour commentary, my strength is paint chips, not card games.
This show, which I've never seen before, starts with a lot of glitzy, Vegas-y graphics and late-night-talk-show-style music and voice-over. The host is actor Kevin Pollak. I know who he is, but I looked him up on the IMDb and I don't think I've seen even one of his nine hundred films, so I didn't know what to expect. He was, however, not especially funny. Is it just me, or does he remind other people of Jim Belushi? Also, he was wearing a jacket, an open-collar shirt, and a fedora, a look that I think is really played, and for some reason annoys me out of proportion. It's just...doofy. So he blathers and I gather that there are going to be a series of games, with the winners of each competing for an ultimate prize of $250,000 for the charity of the winner's choice -- or maybe $100,000. There's mention of both figures, and it's not at all clear to me how the prizes break down. The person providing blow-by-blow commentary along with Pollak is a poker expert named Phil Gordon. Pollak welcomes Timothy Busfield (Danny Concannon), Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg), Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler), John Spencer (Leo McGarry), and Martin Sheen (aw, you know who). I'm very sad that Brad Whitford's not a part of this. Don't you think Brad would have brought the troublemaking, rabble-rousing energy this show needed? Richard's in a pale apricot shirt and even paler jacket. Martin's wearing a dark blue V-neck sweater over a light blue shirt. Timothy's wearing a nice-looking very pale greyish-blue shirt made of some very appealing fabric that I want to touch. John's in a slate-blue shirt with a tan jacket. Do I even need to tell you Allison looks fabulous? She's wearing black pants, black high heels, and a black sleeveless top with one of the straps arranged off the shoulder. There are little bits of sparkle in the top, but nothing tacky.