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Busting Off Best Damn Poker Show

Tonight some of you may have had the opportunity to catch the first episode of FoxSports' Best Damn Poker Show. I have been documenting my experience as part of the cast in a series of Poker Pro articles, but I thought I'd share a bit about watching the edited version of the show.

So, in the end, I played big slick way too passively and got voted off the island. Here's the rest of the story…and some lessons learned:

1. Don't play poker tired. Poker is like driving or operating heavy machinery or hooking up. You shouldn't do it while impaired in any way. This includes drugs or alcohol, distractions from personal problems or anthing else that might diminish your ability to manage your emotions and exercise good judgment. I arrived to the set of BDPS running on empty. I was jetlagged and operating on zero sleep. I tried to sleep in the morning before the shoot but got a call @ 5 AM and was barely coherent by the time the cameras were rolling.

2. Don't overestimate or underestimate your opponent. Trust your read on your opponent and stay with it. I gave the guy who caught the jack on the river to crack my dominant hand. I was convinced he was masking a big hand here and not calling me w/ K/J preflop, out of position. I should have realized if he had a real hand he would have come over the top, partiulcarly being chip leader. Why risk seeing a flop? Again, this is tied to lesson #1.

3. Don't assume too much in poker I was convinced I was better than several other players at the table and didn't see any reason to try to impress the judges. I just figured I would roll through the first round, get caught up on sleep, then fire up with my usual game which would more than hold its own against this crowd. Unfortunately, I didn't take it "one game at a time" as they say in sports and never had the chance to share my game with the world. In retrospect, this might be a good thing. Hopefully lots of people have seen the show and will assume I am a passive player (boy, will they be in for a surprise!)

4. The camera does not add 10 pounds. But it does lie. The sequence they showed the action is completely out of order. I recognize this is done for dramatic purposes, but it just seems gimmicky. I believe poker has it's own inherent drama and doesn't need to be augmented by creative editing. Here's hoping we can avoid these mistakes on our feature film. Let's keep the drama on the felt, not in the editing room.

Okay, my blatant PR move for Life on Tilt is complete. Maybe you'll see some images of my "agony of defeat" moment in the future. In  the meantime, enjoy the show – there's some great fireworks coming up in future episodes.

From the 23rd best player on the show,

John

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