A Good Read on 60 Minutes: Fluff

60 Minutes ran its poker feature last night.Image501810

Nothing groundbreaking here, but if nothing else, it should help legitimize poker further, which could (hopefully) move our sport closer to legalization…

As far as content of the story goes, this was straightforward stuff.  The piece opened by featuring a no-name grinder‚Äîher name is Robin, and she sits at the limit tables in Vegas grinding out a living.  Her goal is to make $5,000 a night.  To her, deception is key.  She doesn‚Äôt look like a poker player, and she uses that to her advantage. 

This didn’t set up the rest of the feature very much.  And I blame this on Rather.  Had you seen what a goofball he was later on, looking at his cards awkwardly, wearing a ball cap and cheap sunglasses, you wonder how this ‚Äúanchor‚Äù walked through life as a man at all.  How do you live to be 97 and never play cards?  Terrible.  Just terrible. 

I‚Äôm assuming most of the audience though was tuned in to see what the pros had to say.  And eventually we got there.  A few of the top pros were spotlighted: Negreanu, Jennifer Harmon, and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson.  They BRIEFLY discuss some of the tricks of the trade.  You know, how important it is to read people, how weak means strong and strong means weak, things that any poker player worth his salt already knows.  It wasn‚Äôt like a magician revealing his tricks on national TV, while other magicians watching are just wishing he‚Äôd shut the f‚Äô up cause he‚Äôs ruining it for the rest of ‚Äòem.  If you’re reading this right now, chances are you’ve known these "secrets" for a long, long time.

Could help but think that the story would‚Äôve been bolstered by a dose of Doyle or T.J. doling out some of their wisdom.   But I suppose 60 Minutes was dumbing down the content for the non-poker-playing audience.  It was fluffy, but fine.  Poker is on primetime.  It‚Äôs a start. 

Have to admit, the best part of the spot was on Chris Moneymaker.  I know a lot of people think that Moneymaker was a flash in the pan when we won the 2003 WSOP main event.  It was all luck they say, etc. etc.  And the way these poker tournaments are edited, it can look that way.  Now of course, you need A LOT of luck to win a tournament with 800+ rounders (i.e. the 2003 WSOP main event).  But give Moneymaker his due; the guy played smart, and as 60 Minutes covered, he studied Farha’s mannerisms, picking up tells.  I don’t think Farha did this kind of studying on Moneymaker‚Äîmaybe taking for granted that he (Farha) is a pro and Moneymaker was deadmoney.

Of course, this is all speculation, but it sounds reasonable.

So Moneymaker—who really does have one of the all-time greatest poker names—wins the WSOP main event and poker REALLY explodes.

And that‚Äôs it.  This was pure fluff.  Nothing hard-hitting.  Just 60 Minutes covering something that is really hot right now.  If nothing else, hopefully the piece draws a few more people to the game, and gives poker further credibility on the path towards legalization.


2 Responses

  1. iPod

    April 21, 2005 7:10 am, Reply

    I really liked when the one lady gave Rather a some poker presents and Rather got surprised when he opened the bag and saw a baseball hat and sunglasses. He acted like it was crazy for poker players to wear hats and sunglasses. This guy really doesn’t do any research for his stories.

  2. !spike

    April 25, 2005 12:59 pm, Reply

    Maybe Rather’s bluffing? Perhaps he has his eye on changing careers, and it all started with the National Guard story? Hell, everyone know’s Bush was somewhere, probably high on coke and tucking fresh dollar bills into some lucky ladies garter belt – more power to him I say. And you can’t beat the unintentional comedy there either my friend…my vote is in for the Jenna Bush ‘Girls Gone Completely Bonkers’ volume. Damn! She looks just like her daddy – unfortunate turn of events there but – however…you know she keeps it prim and proper in the contiguous states but let’s it all hang out in the ‘real’ Cancun (acutally filmed in Texas but due to poor geography skills and free flowin’ Amsterdam like provisions we can all understand the misconception[s].) Blackout drunks – gotta’ love ’em. Also love the site!

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