Tilt Poker Series, episode one

Just started watching this series last night after waiting almost a month to have the DVD box set delivered to me.

Ebay was the only place i could find the series, I paid 6 bucks for it including shipping.

It's super low budget, cheesy acting, and a lot of the typical over dramatic slow rolling poker calls that movies are guilty of, but the realism of the hands is at least one thing they have gotten right.

Often when a movie has a poker scene you get these ultimate case bad beat hands. A good example is in Casino Royal, the last hand of the tournament where it's straight flush beating full house beating smaller full house beating flush (I cant remember exactly what it was but you get the point). Basically the problem with this is that the maker of the movie gives the audience the impression that this sort of thing happens often in poker, when in reality straight flushes are incredibly rare, and for a straight flush to beat the second nut hand is so rare that casinos offer sometimes huge jackpots to people that lose in this type of situation.

A few years back 109 players shared a $914,474 progressive bad beat across all the participating Caesars Entertainment poker rooms. The soon-to-be happiest unlucky guy in Vegas, Robert Kopke, picked up pocket kings and faced off against Jungok "Sarah" Whang with her pocket Aces at the no-limit game at Planet Hollywood. They got all the money in pre-flop and the flop of A-K-A made for an exciting wait for the turn and river. Two shots for his 1 outer for 182,952 is about 3.8%, but he managed to hit it and send the room into hysteria.

The "winner's" share of the jackpot was $91,447. The other 107 people playing at the qualifying tables won $5,982 each. I don't know about you, but at the levels that I play at, that would make for a very successful Vegas trip.

These types of situations don't happen as frequently as Hollywood would make you believe, and in the new series "Tilt", the hands are more realistic. In one of the first hands they show, Chris Bauer's (Whom you might remember as Frank Sobotka from "The Wire") character flops a set of 2s, only to be run over by Michael Madsen's (Whom you might know from everything) character's 2nd nut straight, when he hits it on the turn. Michael Madsen plays the wiley Pro, and they manage to get all the chips in the middle because he frustrates and confuses Chris Bauer's character. Very realistic hand situationally, banter-wise definitely less realistic, but at least the banter makes sense even though Madsen overacts horribly in this scene.

They introduce you to a few other characters, and there is the implication that there is some cheating going on, but we don't really know how other than some vague reference to hand signals and chip stacking. And then another character makes a deal with some stranger to dump all his chips to him in a tournament, and there doesn't really seem to be a clear sense as to his motivation for doing this.

If that sounds confusing, good, because yes I'm confused.

The realism of the hands, and the celebrity appearances (Saw T.J. Cloutier and Daniel Negreanu in the first episode) is going to be enough to prod me into finishing this series, It's pretty entertaining and fun to watch even with all the overacting and confusing plot lines.