Television poker has spread all over late night TV like an aggressive mold growth, and I realized recently that it’s leaped over the proverbial shark, several times. No great revelation there, but it really sunk home for me the other night when I surfed into a game where Phil Ivey was at the table eating leftovers out of a pie tin while the other players discussed apartment hunting.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the antithesis of gripping, edge-of-your-seat television. Poker isn’t the most dramatic sport to watch (and arguably not even a sport), but I felt like at any minute Joe the Plumber might bust in with a twelve-pack of Natty Light and some generic pizza rolls.
I got into Texas Hold ‘Em — and yes, made some money playing online poker — back in the days of Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo. The poker on that show wasn’t always professional, but it was usually funny, light, and interesting if one of the guests was an actor or personality whom you admired. Those were some fun times. Looks like they’re gone now.