El Bicho's Hive

A Collection of Reviews Covering the Worlds of Art and Entertainment alongside other Snobbish Ramblings.

Friday, November 04, 2005


This four-DVD set collects the Best of Season 3 of the World Poker Tour, which originally aired on the Travel Channel in 2004. While ESPN first featured The World Series of Poker, it was the Travel Channels’ weekly broadcasts that brought the game as a televised event to its heights of popularity. This set features eight No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournaments from around the world, concluding with the season finale: the WPT World Championship in Las Vegas, NV.

The final tables combine professionals with amateurs competing for a combined total of more than $70 million. Among the poker players that have gained notoriety outside the gamblers are Joe Awanda, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, Tedd Forrest, Gus Hansen, Men “The Master” Nguyen and the legendary Doyle Brunson.

Poker pro Mike Sexton and actor Vince Van Patten provide insightful commentary during the matches. They discuss strategies, terminology and percentages even though the game always requires a bit of luck.

The attractive hostess Shana Hiatt joins them. She interviews the players when they get knocked out and does short features about the game called Poker Corners, 16 lessons that aired during the show where the pros offer their opinions on a number of aspects of the game. They cover playing the cards, "Bigger Isn’t Always Better," playing the players, "Table Talk," and playing the game, "Poker Myths."

As a bonus, four of the episodes in the set offer up to three hands that were deleted from broadcast. They can viewed either where they occurred during the game or separately. There is another bonus segment that features two minutes of Shana’s bloopers.

The set is great viewing entertainment with plenty of drama and suspense. It can also be a valuable tool to learn how to become a better poker player. I highly recommend it to anyone who I won’t be playing poker with in the future.