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HEADLINE: Poker After Dark to Feature Young Pros Vs. Old School Pros
Ever since the boom of Internet poker and the rise of its young stars, there has been a debate about who is better, Internet players or live players? This week’s brand-new Poker After Dark episodes will feature one such competition. Going back to the traditional six-player winner-take-all $20,000 buy-in tournament, the featured players will be either young Internet superstars or legendary live pros.
Here is the lineup and each player's bio, provided by the CardPlayer.com player database:
Brian Townsend — After working his way up from grinding low-stakes limit games online, Brian Townsend now sits with the biggest players in the world. Most tournament players live for a score of $2 million, but for Townsend, $2 million is just variance. The young man and former University of California, Santa Barbra, student now resides in Las Vegas, and his favorite hangout is none other than the "Big Game" in Bobby’s Room at Bellagio.
Although Townsend is one of the best cash-game players in the world, he rarely plays tournaments. He has lifetime winnings in the low thousands, and he blogs that he has trouble bringing his A-game during events. Regardless, he is considered one of the best players in the world.
Doyle Brunson — Doyle Brunson is the most famous of them all. He’s known as the "Godfather of Poker," and even has a hold’em hand named after him, the 10-2, because it’s the hand that won him back-to-back World Series of Poker championships. He revolutionized the game of poker and set the standard for excellence by which other players would be measured.
Born Aug. 10, 1933, Brunson grew up in Longworth, Texas. Young Brunson had natural athletic and academic gifts. The Minneapolis Lakers drafted Brunson, but after severely breaking his leg, his athletic career ended.
During the 1950s, he played small-limit poker, but graduated quickly to the higher-stakes games and traveled throughout Texas playing in the biggest games with the likes of Sailor Roberts, Amarillo "Slim" Preston, and Johnny Moss.
Brunson's first book, titled How I Made Over $1,000,000 Playing Poker, became Super/System. It transformed the game and gave ordinary players an insight into the way professionals played and won. His second book, According to Doyle, was published in 1976, but was later retitled Poker Wisdom of a Champion.
Brunson has made tons of tournament final tables, holds a World Poker Tour title, and is tied with Johnny Chan for the second-most WSOP bracelets, with 10.
Tom Dwan — Tom Dwan is a well-known online player who goes by the name "Durrr" (though the number of r's in "Durrr" varies from site to site). Dwan attended Boston University as an English major, but he dropped out after one year. Since becoming of age, he has entered several World Poker Tour events. His first televised final table came in the 2007 WPT World Poker Finals. Dwan started the final table as the chip leader and eventually finished in fourth for more than $324,000.
Johnny Chan — Johnny Chan holds an immortalizing poker record that prognosticators say might never be broken. He won back-to-back World Series of Poker main-event championships in 1987 and 1988, and followed them with a second-place finish in 1989 against Phil Hellmuth. Considering the large fields of the WSOP in recent years, he will likely be the last person ever to win two main-event bracelets in a row.
Also known as the “Orient Express,” Chan was born in China in 1957. He moved to the United States in 1968 and briefly attended the University of Texas. When he was 21, he dropped out to become a professional gambler.
Chan was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1992. He is currently tied at 10 with Doyle Brunson for second-most WSOP bracelets (Phil Hellmuth has the most, at 11). He has more than $5 million in winnings, and is a high-stakes cash-game player.
Huck Seed — Huck Seed may not be the type of poker celebrity who deliberately draws attention to himself, but the 1996 World Series of Poker champion’s poker accomplishments sure do.
Seed is a self-professed gambler with a very impulsive nature. In 1989, he took a leave of absence from his engineering job at Caltech to play poker. He never returned.
Since then, he has won four WSOP bracelets. Two are in razz, one in pot-limit Omaha, and one for the 1996 no-limit hold’em main event. He has cashed in numerous major tournaments in nearly every form of poker that is still competitively played. His poker range is showcased in his WSOP bracelets, as well as in his seven-card stud event win at the 2000 World Poker Finals and third-place finish in the 2006 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Seed is a Full Tilt pro.
Andrew Robl — Born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan, Andrew Robl began playing poker in high school. As many players do, Robl went broke the first couple times playing poker for money. Determined to improve his game, Robl began devouring every poker book he could get his hands on and got a grip on the game. He began steadily making money and climbing stakes both online and live. At age 21, Robl moved to Vegas to pursue his career in poker. He continues to make the money in major live tournaments and regularly competes in high-stakes cash games. His online moniker is “good2cu.”
The first episode premieres on Tuesday at 2:05 a.m. on NBC. Five shows will appear in the same time slot for five consecutive days. On Sunday at 1 a.m., a special “Director’s Cut” episode will air and recap the week’s action. For more Poker On TV listings, click under the Tools and Tips link on Card Player.com
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