OK, I have to say it: Tilt is awful.

I’ve stayed away from talking about ESPN’s train wreck at 30 frames per second, Tilt. However, I just can’t keep my mouth shut anymore: the first episode was completely unwatchable, and the subsequent shows have been almost (but not quite) as bad. This show is poorly written with horribly one-dimensional, stereotype characters, and (with the exception of Don McManus) poorly acted. Even worse, it is an insult to the game of poker as well as the city of Las Vegas.

Let’s set the record strait…

1.) No, there is not rampant cheating in casinos. If you play a poker in a legitimate Las Vegas casino you can feel secure that the game is on the up and up. There is no house-sponsored cheating as depicted in Tilt.

2.) None of the top-10 poker players are flat-out criminals. Most are just regular guys with an unusual penchant for math and phsychology. They aren’t gangsters. I promise. (OK, Daniel Negraneu once killed a hobo with his bare hands. Just kidding.)

3.) The police in Las Vegas are no more corrupt that any other city. The chief of police does not regularly commit murder in his own office.

I’m really disapointed in Tilt– Rounders (written by the same guys) was a great movie. However, to try to take the seedy, underground nature of the early 90’s poker scene in New York and try to make it fit into the disneyland-esque corporatization of modern Las Vegas is just silly. Vegas was a mob-run town 40 years ago, but not any more. It’s pretty squeaky clean.