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Interview with Lee Adams of "Pokerbeat"
By Ashley Adams
 
October 17, 2005

It's a show called Pokerbeat.  Why should you care about a new poker TV show about to be released?  Because itís funny and itís different from anything else youíve ever seen.  At least thatís the line I was being fed by their chief talent,  Lee Adams.

Itís gotten so you canít turn on the television without running into some poker show or another.  They start to blur together,  donít they?  Theyíre either famous people or poker pros playing poker,  with a little bit of commentary about how to play AK suited thrown in for good measure.

Hereís an interview with Lee,  in which heíll tell you how this show is different,  why you should watch it,  and many other things that will get you interested in it and in him.  And if they donít interest you,  at least they'll make you laugh.
(Look for the premiere show of Pokerbeat on FSN New England,  Sundays at 4PM EST,  and on America One Sports,  Wednesdays at 11:30 EST.)

Who are you?  And please spell your last name.

---- I am Lee Adams.  Ay-dee-ay-em-ess.

What do you do when you're not doing Pokerbeat?

---- I own and operate a theater company called Mystery Cafe Productions in Minneapolis and I spend time with my wife Laura and two boys Tucker and Calvin.  My hobbies are fishing,  poker,  golf,  and wilderness camping.

What the hell is PokerBeat,  anyway?

---- OK,  since youíve asked Iíll give you the full public relations treatment.  Here it is. October sixth,  2005:  Minneapolis,  Minnesota.  Pokerbeat,  an informative,  fresh new television show,  is in the final stages of production in Las Vegas.  More than two years in development and orchestrated by gaming content experts,  Pokerbeat offers a stylish and unique glimpse into the world of professional poker play.  The episodes showcase top competitors and industry insiders delivering up-to-the-minute news in a fast-paced,  magazine-style 30-minute format.

Pokerbeat takes up where poker tournament programming leaves off.  "We're not TV people making a poker show,  we're POKER people making a TV show,"  explains co-creator Michael Hochman.  He,  along with co-creator Annie Adlin and co-creator Matthew Kaphan, have assembled some of the hottest names in the business.

What makes this show so incredibly unique is its level of insight.  This show is produced by poker enthusiasts for poker enthusiasts.  We all knew what we were looking for,  and were precise about the information being packaged.  We are confident true poker fans will welcome this style of programming.

Dan Goldman of PokerStars.com explains,  "There has been a lot of poker on TV in the past few years,  but no one,  until now,  has managed to catch on to a fundamental missing piece:  Covering poker as news in a lighthearted,  TV newsmagazine format.  Pokerbeat is as exciting and as revolutionary  in its own way,  as the World Poker Tour."

Pokerbeat's first season features familiar names and faces:  Daniel Negreanu,  Greg Raymer,  Barry Greenstein,  Chip and Karina Jett,  Russ Hamilton,  Linda Johnson,  Tom McEvoy,  Matt Savage,  and Evelyn Ng.  Pokerbeat is primarily being filmed in Las Vegas at Wynn Las Vegas,  Sunset Station,  and The Plaza.  A studio-produced newscast adds up-to-the-minute tournament results and industry news to an impressive array of guests,  events and comedy sketches.

How did you get started doing Pokerbeat?

---- I got to know co-founders of Pokerbeat,  Annie and Matthew,  by playing poker regularly at Canterbury,  the poker room here in the Minneapolis area.  Matthew was my favorite dealer.  We developed a rapport talking fishing and entertainment.  When he moved back to Las Vegas we had plans to maybe work together,  as he was starting an AV production company and I sometimes do corporate shows in Vegas.  I became friends with Annie by regularly getting my ass kicked by her in our fantasy baseball league.  I had sworn off television work years ago  (I used to do commercials)  but when Annie approached me with the idea that this show would be developed and controlled by POKER people rather than TV people I was intrigued.  After a few meetings with her and Michael I thought the idea was perfect and I was thoroughly impressed with the integrity and genuine enthusiasm of Annie and Michael.  I decided that people of this quality were extremely rare and I wanted to work with them.

Who is it geared to?  And don't say EVERYBODY!

---- It is geared to Frank and Trixie Robbinbottom,  who live in Manitoba and raise ferrets.

OK,  that was a dumb question.  I guess I deserved that.  How did you happen to get together for this project?

---- I think I covered that,  pay attention dumbass!

What experience did you have in the world of poker before you started to produce this show?

---- I have been playing low limit stud and hold-em for about 10 years.

Have you ever posed nude for a magazine?

---- Yes.  I was the "Before" picture in an ad for liposuction.

Who did you want to get to do something with your show,  but couldn't because you're too small time?

---- JFK.

Do you have any favorites in the poker world?

---- Yes.  Greg Reymer,  because he is just a really nice guy.

Is there anyone whom you've dealt with whom you think is a real asshole?

---- Just you.

Have either of you ever had sex with anyone famous?  Are there any pictures?

---- Just you.

Tell me about some of the segments in PokerBeat?

---- No.

Why did you decide to format the show the way you did?

---- IĻm not here to talk about the past.

Would you consider doing a segment on the bad skin and poor posture of so many poker players and why so many people in the poker room are really,  really fat  (not that there's anything wrong with that)?

---- We did that segment with Jan Fisher.

Lee,  I hear you're a comedian.  Is there anything you find funny about poker or poker players?

---- With a setup like that,  anything I say now will look contrived and not funny.  Although I do find it funny how players will agonize and fret over a two-dollar rake,  connive and barter for a free buffet ticket,  save box tops for a year to get a one-night comp room at a dive hotel and then shove four hundred dollars into a pot with queen six.....Or maybe thatĻs just me.

Tell me about some of the strangest people you've met during the production of your show?

---- Poker people are interesting in general.  The folks we met while covering the BARGE event at the Plaza were an interesting bunch.

Do you feature any of them in any episodes?

---- Yep.  we did a news segment on BARGE.

A lot of people in theater and television have really bad grooming habits.  Do any of your cast members or production folks smell really bad?

---- This is the best smelling group I have ever worked with.

What ideas are you considering for future shows?

---- We want to get more into the lives of the players.  Do our interviews with the players doing things away from poker.  As opposed to just doing a sit-down.

Any place for a great poker player,  terrific writer with a booming voice,  a great stage presence,  nice hair and boyish good looks in any segments of PokerBeat?

---- I'm afraid I have that position already.


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Ashley Adams has been playing poker for 42 years,  since learning the game literally at his grandfather's knee.  He's been playing seriously  (and winning)  in casinos,  poker rooms,  living rooms and kitchens all over the world,  for the past 12 years.  He started playing seriously in 1993 at the poker room in Foxwoods Resort Casino and he's been winning just about ever since.  He's won No Limit HoldĎEm and 7-Card Stud tournaments in Connecticut,  Massachusetts,  California and Nevada.

He is the author of  Winning 7-Card Stud (Kensington 2003)  and articles in Card Player Magazine,  Poker Player Magazine,  Live Action Poker Magazine,  Southwestern Poker Magazine,  5thStreet Magazine,  and numerous online sites.  He is under agreement for his next book,  Winning Low Limit/No Limit HoldĎEm,  due to be published by Kensington in early 2006.

He is by profession a union organizer and negotiator,  representing broadcasters,  health care workers and now teachers.  He has two daughters,  both of whom play poker.

 

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