One of the best ways to learn poker is to watch hours and hours of poker videos. Watching professional players make their play is a great source of knowledge with respect to poker strategy. Apart from watching pros play, the commentary on such poker videos is very insightful for someone who wants to understand professional poker. Keeping that in mind, this article suggests three poker shows to look out for, if you want to improve your poker skills.
High Stakes Poker
High Stakes Poker was a TV program which focused only on cash game poker, and was broadcasted by the cable television network GSN in the United States. The poker variant played on the show was no limit Texas hold 'em (the Cadillac of poker, as poker royalty Doyle Brunson calls it). While the participants on the show include some amateurs, it is dominated by professionals who’ve amassed millions of dollars in poker money. It is that same money which is at stake in this show. Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth Jr. and Daniel Negreanu are some of the big names that appear on this show. The first three seasons featured a $100,000 minimum buy-in. However, from the fourth season onwards, the price of poker kept going up. Minimum buy-in was set at $500,000 along with three forced blinds and an optional straddle.
High Stakes Poker has had some really memorable hands which have become very popular to watch online. One of these includes Gus Hansen winning a $575,000 pot from Daniel Negreanu. Hansen flopped set fives while Daniel flopped set sixes. The turn card gave Gus quads and Daniel sixes full of fives in what has to be one of the sickest coolers ever aired. Along with Tom Dwan’s insane $408,000 bluff against Phil Ivey and his $919,000 pot win against Barry Greenstein, High Stakes Poker consists of the most exciting players with unforgettable hands. All the episodes are available on YouTube.
PokerStars Big Game
The PokerStars Big Game, or sometimes simply called the Big Game, is a poker program sponsored by the online poker cardroom PokerStars. The show follows a Pro-Am format in which the six-handed cash game has a mix of professionals and amateurs. The Big Game stakes an amateur, known as the “loose cannon,” with $100,000, who plays 150 hands of no limit Texas hold 'em poker against five other players (pros and semi-pros), who buy in with their own money (not more than $500,000). The “loose cannon” gets to keep all the money he or she wins above the initially staked $100,000. At the conclusion of the season, the loose cannon with the highest winnings wins a North American Poker Tour (NAPT) passport.
Daniel Negreanu, Tony G and Phil Hellmuth are some of the pros who have starred in this show. All the episodes are available on YouTube.
Live at the Bike!
Live at the Bike! is a live poker game, aired directly from the Bicycle Casino, in Los Angeles, United States. Mid stakes games are also telecasted along with high stakes ones. Since it is a live game, there is no chance of it being scripted or edited. This show mostly consists of semi-pros who are very close to becoming pros. Sometimes the action can be a little slow, because every player is risking his/her own money. But it is a great way to learn how to play tight poker. Most poker videos available on YouTube are of sick coolers where a Ten Eight off-suit manages to beat King Queen suited. That is not how you win money at poker. Therefore, Live at the Bike! is a really good learning experience, especially with the commentary in the background.