Yesterday we brought you Part 1 of an interview with "Poker2Nite" hosts Joe Sebok and Scott Huff, and because we don't like to break our promise, we've decided to publish part two.
This question is for Scott. You’ve been in the entertainment industry for a while and done work outside of poker. Do you have a sense of pressure to perform and lead the way for the team?
Huff: Not really. I just want to do a good a job. I think that’s me as a person. All of us want to put something out there that is a quality product. I can’t dictate whether people still care about poker. I can’t change that, but we have to do the best job we can to attract more people to the game. We’re going to use the tools we have and combine them with the news and interesting personalities from the game. I don’t think our success ultimately relies on whether we do a good job. We can only do our part and hope people like the end results. It has always been a team effort and it will continue to be a team effort. This is obviously an amazing opportunity.
What is the show going to do to appeal to different audiences such as the hard-core poker fan and the casual enthusiast?
Sebok: That’s the whole nut that needs to be cracked. I don’t think we have that completely figured out yet. That’s the whole point of the show in essence. We need to bring people into the poker world enough so they know that we get it and we’re not just noobs who are new to the game. We’ve been around for a while. At the same time, you can’t alienate those that aren’t familiar with the game. I wish I had a really easy answer to give you, but unfortunately, as we have learned in doing poker media, it is always a challenge to captivate an audience. You have to keep poker fans locked in by asking questions that make sense, but at the same time, you can’t make it too complicated or you lose those that aren’t as familiar with the game. This is our real task. It will be a tough week-to-week challenge we're going to have to try to figure out.
Huff: Honestly, and hopefully this will come across as I want it to, people who are hardcore poker fans will most likely be into the show just by virtue of the fact that they have never had anything like this given to them before. Even if we do some peripheral stuff some weeks or its more personality-based, not strategy-based, it should still keep hard-core fans happy. There really aren’t a lot of entertaining options for hard-core poker fans so we’re hoping we can provide content that will keep everyone interested. My expectation is that even if we have to keep it basic at times, it will still appeal to serious players. We’re lucky that the World Series Of Poker, ESPN and the World Poker Tour are all working with us to give us access to footage and personalities. We’ll also get to shoot on site at some of these properties so we’re not being hung out to dry when it comes to getting good video to keep viewers entertained.
How has working as a team for so long prepared you for this opportunity?
Sebok: It hasn’t. We haven’t technically worked on radio shows that often in recent years even though in many ways we’re responsible for a lot of the early poker radio.
Huff: We have no chemistry. At all.
Sebok: I agree. We have no personal chemistry.
Huff: I don’t know what that means.
Sebok: In the end, we're trying to get back into working together as a team and find the give-and-take that is necessary to make the content fun. Obviously it happened quickly when we worked together back during the Circuit days because we got so used to working together. I’m excited to be working with this group again.
Huff: I miss Gavin (Smith) already.
Sebok: It’s kind of funny. Huff petitioned to have Gavin take my spot but I was already entrenched so there was nothing he could do. I think we’re all really excited to be working together again. Having the team back together and having (Joe) Stapleton running the show is a great thing for us. One of the things that has been so exciting about this project is that we keep getting to work with the same people and that makes us stronger. It is really satisfying to take the next step with all of the same people and be locked in together.
Huff (jokingly): I think it will be hard for me to find the chemistry with Sebok again. I think it will be interesting to see how it comes together. It is a totally different medium than radio, so the show comes together. It will be a challenge. I think we’re both good at expressing complete thoughts as you can tell from our ridiculously long-winded answers during this interview. It’s going to be hard to keep us focused and shut us up after just 22 minutes. That’s going to be a whole new skill for us to learn. Tune in Wednesday nights to see if we can pull it off.
What’s been your favorite thing about the process of putting the show together?
Sebok: Nothing so far. It is really stressful, to be honest, although suit shopping was awesome. I think that is definitely number one. I don’t think there is a number two yet, but I’ll let you know once we’ve got the first show in the books. It has been really interesting to see how things are coming together. Television is so complicated, much more complicated than I expected. I may have a ton of experience doing radio and other forms of media, but this is definitely much tougher. There are so many things you need to pay attention to. A ton of work goes into it. Whether it is Stapes doing the writing or building the studio, there is so much going into it that if anyone drops the ball, this cool project will kind of fall apart. I’m learning a lot of this stuff on the fly. I’m just trying to keep an open mind and do a good job.
Huff: I’m sticking with suit shopping. There is just so much that goes into doing TV. It’s not like doing a podcast from someone’s kitchen table or doing a radio taping from the Bellagio or more recently from an actual radio studio. It’s pretty fun to have some of these things out of your control. Like Seebs said, we’re not building the set or producing the show. There are people that have these roles, so it frees us up to do what we do best.
Make sure to check out today's first episode of "Poker2Nite" on the Fox Sports Network (FSN). Check your local cable company for the air time and appropriate channel.
*Photo Via Joe Stapleton