Brian Farrelly | Lancaster, PA | 08/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is very educational. It seems that the players and the commentary about the action, makes for a good learning experience. I did not agree with all of the commentary, but I thought quite a bit of it was informative. I especially liked the comments by Mark Gregoritch. Maybe it was the editing, but it seemed that there was a ton of bad beats in this tourney.
In the final episode, Doyle Brunson's pocket Queens ran up against Gus Hansen's Aces. Doyle looks foolish but if you consider the rest of the tournament from the first episode and the type of hands that Gus was playing, Doyle's move made sense.
>End of Review. Great DVD.
*** A couple of sidenotes and things I would like to see to improve these type of poker DVDs. ***
In the photos section you see Gus Hansen holding up a big check for $500,000. Which does not make a lot of sense because the commentators mention that first prize was $1M and they also say the buy-in was $400K. It never mentions what the other payouts were and I have not found them on the Internet.
One major thing I do not like about these poker shows is they do not display hand numbers. I know there are a lot of "boring" hands that do not make for good TV, but I would like to get an idea how much time passes between hands. Also I would like to know more about the structure. I would like to know the current level how much time is left to the next level etc. It is hard to tell when levels change every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour? from watching the DVD.
I would also like it if there was an option on the DVD to turn off the hole cards so you could guess what the players are doing. The commentary would need to be turned off as well. Then you could always replay and turn on the hole cards, after you have made a guess. This would make the DVD even more educational."
Bernard Chapin | CHICAGO! USA | 02/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As far as poker DVDs go, in terms of both educational value and entertainment, I'd place this one far ahead of the Ultimate Poker Challenge and just behind WSOP and WPT. The event is rather contrived as it appears that each of these uber-pros had to contribute $400,000 to play in the event yet only $1,000,000 went to the eventual winner. It is clearly a made for TV happening which meant that the losers had substantial insurance against going broke. Regardless, the players are all that and three bags of chips. I think FSN did an excellent job of table selection and one can quickly see why Gus Hanson either wins tournaments or flames out during the early stages. He is the surprising star here and torments more logical (and legendary) players like Chip Reese with his "raise with any two cards" mentality. Speaking of Reese, the real reason these DVDs are worth your hard-earned money is that the interviews with the stars are awesome. It's not the stuff of ESPN as we don't meet their wives or families very often. There's little folksy klatch here. The side monologues given by the players are serious and memorable. Hearing Lederer, Ivy, Reese, Greenstein, and Brunson give cogent advice about how to play hands is worth the price of admission. The analysis is great which brings me to the commentators. Poker pro Mark Gregorich and writer Michael Konik are an excellent team and discuss the action with a critical, but not disrespectful eye. They flow together well, and I found them more on point in reference to what was actually happening at the table than Norman Chad or Vince van Patten. It's an aficionado's view and one I truly appreciate. The only thing lacking here is player diversity. That's what's so wonderful about the WSOP. You see a ton of different guys there and it makes for riveting viewing. Aside from that, this one is outstanding."