ESPN (ended 2005)


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Show Summary

Three aspiring gamblers team up to attempt to bring down the "King of Vegas," Don Everest. "The Matador" has achieved that nickname through countless victories, mostly against those interested in bringing him down. But when a man named Seymour (Kenneth Walsh - The Practice, Judge Harrod) comes knocking, Eddie (Eddie Cibrian - Invasion, Russell Varon), Clark (Todd Williams - Third Watch, Detective Barlow), and Miami (Kristen Lehman - Killer Instinct, Detective Danielle Carter) decide to attempt to take down "The Matador" and all his glory. Everest is good buddies with the president of the Colorado Casino, Bart "Lowball" Rogers, or at least he tries to be. Together they call the shots at the casino, and sometimes that means inflicting pain on those considered threats in any way to "The Matador," "Lowball" or the casino in general. The series unfolds during nine episodes, revealing information from the character's pasts, and also the present day action of running a casino and trying to take down a legend. Character Guide: • Don "The Matador" Everest: The King of Vegas. "The Matador," having earned his nickname for taking on all of the bulls that try to slay him, is the undisputed champion of Texas Hold 'Em. He "wrote the book on the game," and the road to greatness goes through him. On his way to earning countless riches by mastering poker, "The Matador" amassed a loyal group of influential backers. Some believe that he uses this influence to rig the game and that he can't win on his own. But no one really knows for sure. One thing is certain ... The Matador is the most ruthless and feared player in town. • Eddie: The women find him handsome, charming and intuitive. He is one of the most gifted young poker players on tour. He's one of the new young guys of Texas Hold 'Em, and is looking to take down the old guard. Eddie, born to a -addicted father and an emotionally distant mother, turns to cards for his escape. He is looking to take down the big dog, "The Matador." • Miami: She's sexy, seductive, and as tough a poker player as any in Vegas. She desperately wants to take down The Matador for personal reasons. She had left the game not too long ago but now plans to make her triumphant return to the big show. • Clark: A degenerate gambler who is just as talented as Eddie. He has never lived up to his father's expectations and turned to poker as an escape. His quest to prove his father wrong is manifested in his many insecurites. He plans to rid himself of his family by sitting at the top of Vegas. • Nickel: He lost his only brother to an addiction and is out for sweet revenge. When his life spiraled out of control, he sued The Matador and The Colorado Casino. His brother, Wayne, had made a videotape in which he revealed all of the ways in which The Matador rigged games. He will stop at nothing to prove to everyone that The Matador is a con artist, not a poker champ. • Dee Everest Daddy's little girl? Hardly. This wild-child of Sin City is looking to have fun. But when you're the daughter of "The Matador," people tend to treat you with kid gloves. Makes it tough to earn a living, but she needs money to live a certain lifestyle. If "The Matador" keeps bankrolling Dee, will she and Eddie be able to maintain a real relationship, or is "The Matador" just using her to keep tabs on his new protégé? • Bart "Lowball" Rogers Bart "Lowball" Rogers is the president of The Colorado Casino and a longtime friend of "The Matador." These two conquered Las Vegas together, but it's clear that their old alliance is about to fold. He's under an enormous amount of pressure attempting to control the money and chaos from the current craze. But he's also a cagey, political animal, intent on convincing the owner of the casino that they need to operate on the up and up. One thing is clear ... "Lowball" will have to be one step ahead at all times if he plans to survive. FAQ: What does "tilt" mean?: "Tilt" is a well known term in Vegas. It essentially means off-kilter. When you're at the table, you're in the zone, and you have that edge. Then, all of a sudden, something happens that takes you off your game and that little thing is all it takes to lose in Vegas. (i.e.: a bad hit, too high a raise, etc.) Is this the first drama from ESPN?: No, it is the second. Playmakers was an EOE drama that debuted in 2003. It was a hit but the NFL, the league that it was essentially portraying, pressured ESPN to scrap it. Can a drama based on poker actually work?: There have been several movies based on poker that have been successes. The list includes: Rounders, The Cincinnati Kid, Maverick, and Luckytown. Is The Colorado Casino a real casino in Vegas?: No, The Colorado Casino, which most of the show action takes place in, is fictional. However, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a real event. It is held at Binions Horseshoe Casino in Vegas. Is the show filmed in Las Vegas?: It is actually filmed in a warehouse in Toronto, Canada. ESPN Broadcast History ----------------- January 13 - Thursdays 9:00 - 10:00 PM (Presented in HDTV on ESPNHD)moreless
Kristin Lehman

Kristin Lehman


Amelia Cooke

Amelia Cooke

Dee Everest

Eddie Cibrian

Eddie Cibrian

Eddie Towne

Todd Williams

Todd Williams

Clark Marcellin

Michael Madsen

Michael Madsen

Don "The Matador" Everest

Don McManus

Don McManus

Bart "Lowball" Rogers

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  • Very nice poker serie

    Nice show about poker. The game is realistic and the scenes well-done, which is the more important in a poker serie, no? The charachters are not perfect, but overall the story is very nice, especially for poker lovers.
  • Poker turned into a TV series. Winner in my books

    My poker craze started when I started playing poker, and I was a fish then but I'm better now. After a string of good wins, I wanted to explore the world of poker in the media, starting with the cornerstone of poker themed entertainment, "Rounders" written none other than the two men who created "Tilt", Brian Koppelman and David Levien. And "Rounders" was a great film but "Tilt" was a little slower, as expected for a TV series. It started off introducing the main characters and their motivation for beating "The Matador" played by Michael Madsen, who does a good, but not memorable, job as the villain. Still enjoyable to see him in action as that was part of the reason why I also wanted to check this series out. But too be honest, I didn't really care who starred as the main cast (but they all deserve praise nonetheless) as the subject of poker got my attention before anything else. I was going for Eddie all the way and the actors playing Clark and Miami gave him a solid support and the team dynamic to keep me watching. The cameos by various poker players made me point at the screen and go "Hey, it's that guy!" And their interactions with the actors entertained me wholeheartedly.

    The main plot was a bit generic and moved a bit slow in the opening three or so episodes then picked up some steam towards the remaining half. The last three episodes were best of the series as it not only set up the end of the show but it also had the vein of watching the WSOP, namely Norman Chad and Lon McEachern commentating and seeing camera shots and pocket cams of the poker action and that the actors were considered "real players" instead of characters. Different, but effective for a conventional TV series.

    Overall, a very good series tying in drama with poker. In my opinion, there was a possibility of a second season. Maybe Eddie, Clark and Miami would have to beat Dee, who is very much the femme fatale of the series and the manipulative type that played Eddie like a violin, seeing as Don had the last laugh(?). Other than that, I would have hoped Koppelman and Levien thought of something interesting before the show got axed. If you're a poker fan, check it out. If you're not... get into it!

    My rating: 8/10

    PS: Fans of "Billable Hours" would recognize star and creater Fab Filippo as Dean Whitmark, Dov Tiefenbach as Crackle and Jennifer Baxter in a small role as one of Miami's former associate's wife. Not surprising as this series was filmed in Canada.moreless
  • Review

    For a poker show, this show was more then I could have ever asked for when I sat down to watch it on a weekly basis and the fact that it was cancelled after only one season is very dissapointing. and considering where they left us at the finale, a second season would have been great and with how big poker has gotten since Tilt went off the air I am very surprised that we havent gotten a second season yet. The cast was unknown, yet they all did a great job in there first big role on TV. I wish this show would come back for a second season, thought that seems highly unlikely at this point in time.moreless
  • This was like rounders coming to a tv series.

    The show was great. It consists of a few card players trying to get the chance to take down the best poker player in the world who at one point has beat them good in a game already. The guy who plays Don (the best player in the world) did a very good job of showing how he was so good at winning and at the lifestyle of someone who plays poker and is good at it. Another angle of the show had a brother who was a PI I believe loooking into his brothers death and it has something to do with the poker going on at the casino that Don likes to play at. The casino is dirty and they have people coming to investigate. This show was very exciting and every episode would deffinately keep your attention. As far as a poker tv series it will never get better then this show was.moreless
  • Doing what Rounders did...And just as sweet

    This is such a great show! They took a sport in which is so great and made a show that is pretty true to life. People are really that good at reading people, and the story arc was really well thought out. The story was just as good as Rounders, and ESPN did such a great job, and they used real poker players. Mainly they used Phil! What else is there to say about a show that is one of the best that was on Tv this last year. The only negitive thing I have to say about this show is that it only ran for 9 episodes.

    "Quote Nevermore"


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Drama, Sports