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Reality TV just won’t go away. But this time, I’m actually somewhat interested. Two new shows featuringplayers will be filming soon.

The first one features “The Crew”, the group that ESPN was drooling over at the 2004 WSOP. For good reason too – they combined for at least three bracelets that year. One of them, Scott Fishman, has even gone on to develop his own poker site and is fully entrenched in the high stakes tournament circuit. (I was actually at a final table with him last night on PokerStars. Not exactly sure why doesn’t play exclusively on his own site, but oh well.) Another one, Brett Jungblutt, does extremely well in online tournaments – just look at his stats from PokerStars. The show will chronicle their successes/failures at the 2006 WSOP. Dutch Boyd writes about it in his blog.

The other show is even more exciting because it has the distinct possibility of Phil Hellmuth getting body slammed by Randy “Macho Man” Savage. That’s right, as Paul Phillips points out in his blog, Phil Hellmuth and the Macho Man will be part of the cast of The Surreal Life 8. What’s the over/under on the number of episodes before Hellmuth declares, “If it wasn’t for luck, I’d win every one of these reality shows”?

If these shows are successful, maybe it will pave the way for even more poker reality TV. Although I’m not sure the Poker Brat getting his butt whooped can be topped. But what about these other ideas…

1) a reality show featuring a poker player who sits on his ass playing poker and blogging all day and going to the occassional tournament – just kidding. Well, not really. Network execs, I know someone who would be perfect for the lead role.

2) a show that chronicles the lives of Evelyn Ng, Clonie Gowen, and Isabelle Mercier as they live together and compete in the WSOP. You know, for the inevitable pillow fights.

3) a show with Chris Moneymaker, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Howard Lederer, Mike Matesow, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and Gus Hanson. The competition will be to see who can take the most cash off of Moneymaker. Bonus points will be awarded to whoever can make him cry first.

The Poker Players Alliance bribed all poker players to come out to the Buzio’s seafood restaurant at the Rio by offering free food and drinks. The food line was always long, and the drinks were plenty, so I’m sure they had many people sign up for the cause. The speakers were Michael Bolcerek, Nolan Dalla, Greg Raymer, Chris Ferguson, and Mike Caro. And the message was clear – politicians will do what they’re told. That is, a politician’s interest lies in getting re-elected. If they realize that the people who are voting do not support the potential online gaming legislation, they will relent. There is incredible strength in numbers. The more people sign up, the more people send letters to their congressmen, and the more people who make it clear that 1) poker is a game of skill, not chance, and 2) millions of Americans want to play poker online, the elected officials will come to realize they’re making a mistake.

When there was an online gaming bill a couple years ago which sought to regulate fantasy sports as well as other forms of gambling, the major online fantasy sports sites such as AOL, CBSportsline, and Yahoo encouraged their users to send an email at the same time on the same day to their representatives. The mass email crashed the server for three days, and the message was clear to Congress, as fantasy sports was subsequently carved out of the bill. Again, strength in numbers – voters obviously want fantasy sports, and officials want those votes. If we can do the same for poker, then we should be able to make a difference when our representatives consider the bill.

Also, as Nolan Dalla pointed out, some online gaming is allowed, including fantasy sports, lotteries, and horse racing. For whatever reason, poker is being picked on. “Online gambling is either good or it’s not good. This is bullshit.”

So I encourage all of my loyal readers (that’s right, all five of you) to sign up with the PPA (it is $20, but you get a t-shirt) and write your representative (the PPA will actually write it for you, you just have to send it), letting them know that online gaming should not be illegal and picking on poker is hypocritical.

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