Face the Ace

Saturday 9:00 PM on NBC Premiered Aug 01, 2009 Between Seasons


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Face the Ace

Show Summary

NBC deals out the cards with new poker series Face the Ace hosted by Steve Schirripa of The Sopranos fame.

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/8/2009

Season 1 : Episode 2


    Blog Spotlight: "Face the Ace": Hated It


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    • NBCs Poker Heads up Championship meets Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in this weak poker show. Amateurs play heads up with poker pros with an opportunity to win $1M. First round, win $40K. Risk the $40K to win $200K. Risk the $200K to win $1M.moreless

      As a starting point, I love poker shows. I look forward to High Stakes Poker and coverage of the WSOP every single week. I record many of the shows and watch them multiple times. At desperate times, I've looked for other poker shows to try and feed my poker TV itch (I once painfully sat through some weak show on BET or something that had clueless people playing poker against each other).

      So, a primetime show on poker on NBC was a must show to check out.

      The concept is ok. They find amateur shlubs (truck drive living in his basement, ex navy guy) who are "decent" poker players and let them play heads up against randomly selected poker pros. $20K in chips each, if they win their first match, they win $40K (and can walk). If they want to risk it, they can play a second match for $200K. Again, if they want to risk it, they can win $1M or nothing. Bottom line, any poker player (or anyone that watches NBCs HU show) knows that HU poker is a good deal of luck as well as skill. If the blinds are going up fast (which they seem to do), you need to be aggressive, get decent cards, and get your money in there and hope for the best. I play HU online and I've had matches that last 1-2 hands and I've had tournaments that last 30 minutes (at online speeds).

      SPOILER ALERT - Going to discuss what happened in the first show.

      The first guy comes up and gets AA the first hand, then QQ. He's playing Ivey who gets way too aggressive on the second hand with Ace rag. When Ivy re raises with A6, our amateur shoves and wins. A blind monkey could have played the hand and won. Our navy guy decides to take the $40K and leave -- honestly pretty weak. $40K is good money for him I'm sure, but he should take the shot -- $40K to play HU and win $200. The second guy lives in his basement and Steve, our Big P**sy host keeps trying to be funny about talking about that or creating some ridiculous banter with the semi-eye candy girl who seems to serve no purpose except opening the doors that the Poker Pros emerge from. He plays a few hands (again, that were semi- on auto pilot -- KK, flush draw, etc.) and actually manages to win his first and then his second match. At the end, he decides to risk his $200K and go for the $1M -- which we'll have to wait for next week on...

      With no HSP, Poker After Dark, WCP, or WSOP, these are desperate times for poker fans. There is a new show coming out on G4 called 2M2MM in a few weeks, but this is all we have right now. Overall, I generously rated the show a 5 - disliking the show for most part for the following reason.

      1) I'm a Sopranos fan, but Steve is a terrible host. Sorry. The reason why I like Gabe Kaplan on HSP is because he's a good poker player who can actually provide interesting insights on the players and what they're doing. Steve just swoops in at any pivotal hand and asks dumb questions.

      2) HU poker is not as interesting as ring table games. Again, I play HU tournaments online often, so I know the degree of skill and luck involved. Two hands in and Ivy is risking the tournament with A6? Not good poker, just a shove and pray move by him.

      3) Cut the banter with the eye candy. I know the producers are trying to bring in other viewers who might not be poker fans. But nobody is watching this show unless they like poker. If you want to have her dancing on a pole as the pros and amateurs make bets and decisions, that might be amusing to watch.

      4) Show MORE hands of poker, not fewer. Cut the artificial drama with the long pauses and ridiculous interviews after each hand. "Soooo, you had QQ and bet it and your opponent raised, what were you thinking when you decided to push all in with your queens???????". Duh.. A drunk monkey would have done the same thing with QQ. If the tournaments are truly only lasting 3-5 hands (it seems they are showing all the hands, the tournaments are just going very fast), then have more "contestants" on each week. I'd rather see some good poker played with more hands - perhaps have the blinds go up slower initially to let the guys play the game....

      5) I get it, $40K/$200K/$1M is a lot of money for our amateur shlub.... But enough with dumb questions again, "What would you do if you won the $1M????" "Would you move out of the basement???".... Again, Steve is a terrible host...

      Bottom line, I would be surprised if this show makes it. Haven't seen much advertising for it and it's pretty weak. I do think it's great that our "guy living in his basement" put the $200K up for risk to win the $1M. But, there's a big difference about playing 4-5 hours of poker to win $1M vs. playing ONE round of inflated HU poker --- risking 5 times what he makes each year -- on what could come down to a single card. So, I hope he does well..

      I look forward to another season of HSP.....moreless
    • © 2009 NBC Universal, Inc.

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