What to say if you liked it
A thrilling, visceral mental duel between the best poker players in the land; or at least the finest players in the land who are famous enough to get an audience for a game no-one, save those who obsess over the “razzmatazz” of Las Vegas like teenage boys once obsessed over Lara Croft, understands.
What to say if you didn’t like it
• Five celebrities tumbling gaily down the slippery slopes of fame have their falls temporarily halted by participating in a game with has very little discernible skill among this low quality of player. They may as well just play Snap.
What was good about it?
• There was nothing really good about it, or much wrong with it either. It’s just like a vista you might encounter while out walking which is quite nice to look at but any charm soon fades after a few days when it becomes mundane and commonplace.
What was OK about it?
• The players were a fairly personable bunch. Rory McGrath tried to inject some humour into the game, but his efforts were ultimately crippled by him being Rory McGrath. He now looks like a full keg of beer that the landlord’s trying to roll out of the cellar but he won’t fit through the hatch into the bar.
• We like Helen Chamberlain on Soccer AM, but here she swapped surreptitious smiles with snooker player Matthew Stevens and not much else.
• Jonathan Maitland, one of those crusading hack types, tried to sound invigorated and
energetic but his effervescence was strangely neutered like when a confused dog, bereft of his sex-drive after getting castrated at the vet’s, sees a bitch he quite fancies for the first time since his operation.
• Matthew Stevens won this “heat”, but for most of the time sat quietly in his chair like a muddy pair of shoes cast off in the throes of passion by a couple just back from the pub.
• Victoria Coren is far too intelligent for a show like this; it’s like getting Oscar Wilde to lecture on poetry at Borstal. She did her best with the commentary but because of the repellent game of poker she was merely fine.
• Jesse Birdsall was second to be eliminated which meant we were robbed of the pleasure of watching his mechanical face in action. A good hand would see his face drop like a guillotine to mask his delight, whilst a poor hand would mean resignation would appear all over his face like fires springing up over a besieged WW2 city if viewed from the bomber pilot’s perspective.
What was bad about it?
• As a sedative or painkiller it doesn’t quite match up to morphine.