If you ever think television interferes with poker too much, you should see the game Vanessa Selbst, Theo Jorgensen and Fatima Moreira de Melo are playing right now.
A moment ago, Moreira de Melo made a pretty standard bet on a board of 7♣Q♣K♥10♠ and after Selbst folded, Jorgensen went into a quick monologue before throwing out raising chips. Moreira de Melo sighed and folded and Jorgensen reached for the pot, but then a woman clutching a clapperboard in one hand and wearing a radio headset intervened and told them the action wasn’t good enough.
“Sorry, we need to go again,” she said.
Selbst scowled. The Team PokerStars Pro from the United States has her hair in a perfect shark-fin and is wearing her characteristic game-face. But she clearly disliked the intervention of the television producer, and who wouldn’t. The producer now started feeding cards back into the deck!
At one end of the table, opposite Moreira de Melo’s position, were four men and one other woman, manning cameras, sound equipment and a make-up brush. They were blatantly standing far too close to the action for the players’ comfort, and were interfering horribly with play.
Furthermore, Selbst was also evidently disgusted by the word-play being indulged in by Jorgensen, who had been spewing out sexist invective for the past five minutes. “You got no shot,” Jorgensen had said after Moreira de Melo bet at that turn. “Considering the fact you’ve got make-up on, you’re playing pretty good. You wanna play, baby girl?”
Selbst winced and seemed on the verge of throwing up. Jorgensen, who is a committed family man and one of the most polite players at the tables, had also clearly been adversely affected by the additional attention. He was acting decidedly against type.
Another woman wearing a zip-up tracksuit top leaned over the table and took control of the chips. She looked at a picture on a hand-held camera screen, and tried to start distributing them back around the players.
“Do you remember how much was in the middle?” Selbst asked.
“No, my stack’s not right!” Moreira de Melo said.
Apparently without any care for the integrity of the game, the woman in the tracksuit simply got on with giving chips back to the players. It was, frankly, outrageous.
It was also, you have probably guessed by now, entirely fictional. For a short period on Day 1B of the EPT Grand Final Main Event, a small section of the tournament floor became a television set. Moreira de Melo is currently playing a starring role in a Dutch TV drama named “Bluff”, which focuses on the rags to poker riches story of a character named Phillip.
Phillip wasn’t in attendance today, but the producers had seized the opportunity for their secondary characters to attend a major poker event, and found the perfect back-drop. Jorgensen is the villain, named “Wild Bill”, while Moreira de Melo plays the angelic “Fiona”.
In addition to Selbst, the Team PokerStars Pro brothers Christophe and Mattias de Meulder also feature in cameo roles, while Gaelle Garcia Diaz plays herself.
It’s not clear at the moment how this plot actually works, nor whether this will turn out to be more Cincinnati Kid or Lucky You. But it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the Dutch TV schedules for later in the year — if only to find out what Jorgensen had in that hand.