The first recently discovered old fashioned television series is Prize Pool, produced in syndication with several other early networks. The series ran from tokens CBS and were picked up by the stations of MGM, whose regulators refused to syndicate the telecasts, a rather staticky decision, but the board of directors studied the success of the series, and importantly the contracts with individual stations.
At present, perhaps the best known of the early poker TV shows is probably the short-lived but widely watch Texas Hold’em talk show The Poker Show with Andy Goodman, which broadcast on CBS. Goodman would go on to become the host of the late and much acclaimed Late Show with David Letterman.
The other well known late night hosts of that era were Johnny Doyle and Jack Casey, with Doyle going on to host the World Series of Poker from 1968 to 1969. Each also had their own spin-off shows. Doyle’s program, which was called simply, the World Poker Tour, had all of the major world poker tournaments, and ran for only three seasons. It is interesting to note the parallel nature of the WPT concept with that of the Hold’em concept started in Texas Hold’em, in that both were spawned out of popularity of the game and were designed to attract large numbers of viewers in the millions.
Another of the early pokerrepublik TV shows was The Poker Hour with Johnny Chan, which aired on the Travel Channel from 1979 to 1981. Interestingly, the Travel Channel moved the show from the Poker Hour to its newer, Cover Edition in 2004, the same year that the World Poker Tour was formed.
Another of the old telecasts was The Unfamous Poker Hour, which aired on WSOP from 1976, and if you do the internet search for “SCOOP,” you will discover a plethora of websites dedicated to the history of the game, and the early days of televised poker.
If you plan on watching any of these programs, it’s important to realize that the essence of what they represent is both a game of luck and a game of skill. Chan was a major influence on the endless innovations occurring in the game of poker. If you learn the historical lessons of the game, you will develop an appreciation for the method that got you to this point, and will help you to improve your game more rapidly.
Lesson 1: Learn the concepts of the game from someone who is a true expert. Did you know that Stud experts devised a method for the game that required all 10 players to be in the hand at the same time? This is a key concept that keeps on reappearing in today’s poker. It is the strength of the hand, the way the cards fit in, determining whether you have a sure winner or a sure loser.
Lesson 2: Know your limit. In poker, your limit is both the maximum amount of money that you are willing to bet, and the amount of money you are willing to raise. You are limited on how much you can bet with the exception of one round, during which you are allowed to bet twice the limit. However, there are instances that you can raise the limit when you play no limit poker.
Lesson 3: Know your opponent. Take the cliques out of poker and you will get better deals more often. You are far more likely to get good hands than bad hands in poker, hands that will post a positive EV regardless of who is playing. It just requires knowing your target.
Lesson 4: Get to know your opponent’s profile. Today, players have access to online profiling tools that allow them to know the profiles of the other players at their table. When the table is tight, it is harder to win hands. Once you know the ‘profile’ of your opponents, you can adjust your playing to be more solid. Knowing your opponents and having a good idea of what their future holds, will help you to make more stable decisions.
Lesson 5: Pay to see the cards. Let’s say that it is half price, and it will cost you $50 to see the flop in poker, unless you are playing AA. HoldingVarious combinations of cards that aren’t AA will certainly improve your chances of winning the hand.
Lesson 6: Start slow and have a low profile. In poker, the better hand doesn’t always win the pot. Having a low profile will help you to get a bargain on your hands, so it is important to build one up till the point where you can see the flop at a low cost. Also, when playing limit, the higher limit games will typically have a bigger pot than lower limit games.
Lesson 7: Bet your good hands. If you have a good hand, you need to bet it. Particularly in No Limit Hold’em Strategies, the idea of betting the flop is Revolution Riviera.