The PartyPoker Premier League III tournament series has started showing online. Check out the episodes here .
Twelve players begin, and each plays a round robin series of 6-man tournaments, with points awarded for high finishes. I like this format; despite the turbo shortstack structure, it’s probably as good an indication of skill as you’ll find in TV poker. It’s the kind of format that rewards adeptness at 6-man play, shorthanded play, and heads-up play, and should make for great television.
Also making for great television? The lineup of poker wizards and mad(wo)men they’ve assembled. I’ve ordered the group into three categories, each more entertaining than the next:
THE TALKERS :
Phil Hellmuth (11-time bracelet winner)
David “The Devilfish” Ulliott (WPT and WSOP champion)
Tony G (the Mouth from Australia)
Vicky Coren (EPT champion)
Roland de Wolfe (WPT and EPT champion)
Andy Black (Premier League II champion)
A better collection of gabbers you’ll never see. This is a combustible mix that should provide for some sharp dialogue, some trash talk, and some explosions.
Tom “Durrr” Dwan (online cash game legend)
Annette “Annette_15″ Obrestad (2007 WSOP Europe champion)
These two are the kind of players that will play any two cards, raising and reraising and rereraising the heck out of them, putting maximum pressure on their opponents. A couple of young, internet freaks looking to make their presence felt on the live stage.
THE SILENT ASSASSINS:
JC Tran (WPT Player of the Year and WSOP champion)
Nenad Medic (WPT and WSOP champion)
Juha Helppi (WPT champion)
Peter Eastgate (2008 WSOP Main Event champion)
These boys don’t talk much, but play fearlessly, tricky, and intelligently. I’m most looking forward to watching an extended period of newly-minted Main Event champion Eastgate. We only got to see him play a few hands during the WSOP telecast, and he should get more time here to mix it up.
If you just watch the opening teaser for episode one, where they show highlights from the series (including what promises to be another — or several — Hellmuth blow-up) you’ll be hooked.