Ok, maybe it’s no Mike & Mike yet, but it’s got potential.
ESPNRadio debuted The Poker Edge this past Monday. Hosted by Phil Gordon and Andrew Feldman, the show covered the week that was in poker, as well as some strategy and insight from Gordon and special guest Phil Hellmuth.
Informationally, the show hit the big stories of the week, from Victor Ramdin’s WPT Foxwood’s win, to the push on Capital Hill to keep online poker legal. Gordon provided some "expert insight" into both topics.
For the WPT Foxwoods event, he mentioned how, "Victor [Ramdin] is one of those guys that’s fallen below the radar," and how Ramdin reminds him of "John Juanda, as far as approach to the game."
On the inside-the-beltway buzz concerning new legislation to outlaw online poker, Phil commented how these types of bills "come up every single year." and that he does believe that, "the bill will be defeated." Feldman chimed in with some solid info on how there are "23 million online poker players" in the U.S, "yet there’s still concerns these bills will go through." Gordon believes, "99 out of 100 people are playing [online poker] for social reasons, not a living." and that, "the government does not need to protect us from social poker."
While it’s great to continue raising awareness on the topic of poker legalization, an opportunity to discuss alternative solutions, like the Government legalizing, regulating, and taxing online poker in the States, was missed.
From there, it was on to a lengthy discussion on the art of bluffing. Phil Hellmuth dropped in to throw his two cents in on the topic (Hellmuth is known for his ability to read bluffs). He also discussed how the taping of Celebrity Poker Showdown is going (there’s "really high level poker from some people here," he says) and the new book by Blair Rodman, Kill Phil.
While informationally the show covered all of the key, timely topics, there are clearly some format improvements that could be made. The show does come off more "interviewy" than interactive at times. To keep the flow and momentum moving along, more topics, and particularly, more guests (or listener feedback) could add new life and dimension to segments.
However, Feldman (seen here with Johnny Chan) and Gordon do interact well. Gordon is about as trusted of a "brand name" you can have hosting a poker show, and he comes across consistently solid as usual. Feldman also seems like a natural at this, more than holding his own. With these two at the helm, the "cheese factor" common with some poker shows is non-existent. The elements are in place for the show to grow into more of a cool and edgy format…something that truly stands out and is still surprisingly lacking in the poker entertainment arena.
If you haven’t already, listen to (or download) The Poker Edge on ESPNRadio. And hit up ESPN.com today at 1pm for a chat with both Gordon and Feldman.