Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Weeeee. No sleep. Rough night of poker.
Plus, I'm on blog tilt.

Here's the skinny on this new poker TV show. Just what we need, eh?

Uber pending if I can stay awake....


TV poker about to reach new heights

In retrospect, it seems inevitable that the popularity of TV poker would lead to the erection of a Pokerdome for a new poker series in which cards will carry computer chips and the marquee event offers the winner $60 million — a payday billed as the biggest ever in sports.

Sounds like satire. But Fox Sports Net will announce Monday the creation of the Mansionpoker.net Pokerdome Series, a sort of case study in wretched excess that also seems like a promising TV property.

Take the so-called Pokerdome, which Fox will build in Las Vegas and use only for the series. It will be in a mall or hotel — not a casino — for the same reason TV poker only associates with online poker sites that don't charge and don't offer actual gambling: TV networks like to show they have scruples.

Players will be encased in one-way, mirrored glass with microphones everywhere so fans seated around the dome can hear and see everything, without being seen or heard. George Greenberg, executive vice president of FSN, made up of Fox's 20 owned or affiliated regional sports channels, says the dome "will be a Cone of Silence, as Maxwell Smart would say."

Cards will carry computer chips, so fans know what cards are discarded. And the series, starting in May, will include new "speed poker," giving players 15 seconds to act or lose immediately. That, says Greenberg, will be "poker with a shot clock."

Greenberg says sponsor Mansion, a Gibraltar-based online gambling company, also will get a big "brand awareness" show July 12 at an Australian casino, where six players put up $10 million apiece — winner take all. Greenberg says he has three entrants, whom he declined to name, and the event might be on the Fox broadcast network.

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