All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward. – Ellen Glasgow
Norm did a lackluster job for his first outing but was better on the second show (with his hands in his pockets instead of motioning awkwardly). I really liked Gabe and thought he was a better fit for the show, but I am trying to keep an open mind about Norm. His humor is more dry and prickly, and he does not seem to share Gabe’s reluctance to be critical of the plays made by some players. Even if he is able to humor us and pull this off moving forward, he will never be able to offer the insight of a true poker insider and veteran of the poker scene for over 30 years (like Kaplan). Good luck, Norm.
Gabe and Mike Sexton are the best poker announcer/commentators out there. They are the best because they are entertaining but even more so because they have the background and experience necessary to provide some real insight and analysis of the game we love so much.
I always liked a good mix of amateurs/recreational players and pros so the first couple of shows aired have not disappointed in that regard. Selbst seems terrible, maybe worse than the recreational players at the cash game. I thought the non-pros played fair but not exceptional, Ruffin being the sole winner so far. Although there have been a few bluffs and Viffer has played a lot of marginal hands, the action has been no more than a shadow of what Dwan and Ivey brought to the game. They are sorely missed.
I liked the deletion of the Negreanu spot – it was awful anyway. The addition of the Legends of the Game – Puggy Pearson, by contrast, was quite enjoyable. Since they mentioned Sailor Roberts, I wonder if he will get a shout out on a future episode.
Overall, I am enjoying the show and was not as disappointed as I thought I would be when I first heard about the changes (but I definitely don’t see them as an improvement). I hope things improve or this show (that I have enjoyed so much) may be nearing its last season.