I was bored last night, and watched the 1997 World Series of Poker on ESPN while playing a couple of online sit-and-go’s. We’ve become very spoiled by modern televised poker… being able to see the player’s hole cards, drawing odds, and professional commentators have made it every bit as compelling television as other sports. However, watching this old WSOP was every bit as entertaining for me, for a couple of reasons…
<ul><li>Poker great Stu Ungar was at the final table. He was not only a brilliant player, but a legitimate historical figure in the world of poker.
</li><li> A baby-faced version of Phil Hellmuth was one of the commentators, and listening to him accurately call each player’s hands without being able to see their hole cards was really impressive. Nobody can read a hand like Hellmuth.
</li><li>It was fun and challenging to try my own hand-reading skills, trying to put the players on cards. I was right more than half the time, which was surprising to me. (the game was surprisingly tight - very rockish play from most of the field.)</li></ul>
Next time you catch this tournament on tv, you should check it out.