Berkey emphasises players instead of the game itself

Matt Berkey

Ever since poker was launched online its popularity grew and nowadays we have hundreds of thousands competing on a daily basis over the internet. The game itself benefited greatly from this expansion and the number of professional poker players also exploded, while turning the game into a highly lucrative and competitive business. Matt Berkey is one of those who brilliantly combines online poker with live games and he is equally successful at both, so his opinions are worth considering by fans of the genre.

In a recent post on his blog, Matt talks about how poker television shows have shifted their focus from the players towards the game. He thinks that this trend is a mistake and praises Poker Night in America for going to great lengths to bring players back in the spotlight. Berkey advocates the importance of painting an accurate picture about the players who compete at these high stakes games, instead of allowing them to blend in the crowd.

Some of these poker professionals are easy to recognise by anyone who is even remotely interested in the game, because they featured in various TV shows and frequently compete in major live events. On the other hand, there are plenty of pros with remarkable stories that would be worth sharing, yet nobody does any effort of digging them out. Apparently, Poker Night in America is on the right track and Matt is optimistic about what the future will bring.

While overstating his commitment for making televised poker more about the players than the game, he decided to get involved personally and signed up for an episode. Initially, his plans on participating in the poker TV show were crushed as the organisers were already full for the Pittsburgh episode. Since he was born and raised in Steel City, Berkey regarded the opportunity of being a part of the show as a rare chance of letting the audience know more about him.

In his blog post, he also talks about the massive disconnect between the viewers and the players, with most TV shows only allowing the former to catch a glimpse at the lives and careers of the latter. Matt thinks that those who watch the shows should be allowed to get more involved in the action, so that they can commiserate with their favourites when they lose and cheer for them when they score a big win. In a nutshell, he thinks that transparency and conflict are every bit as interesting for the viewer as the outcome of random hands of poker.