1. Q: How did you get involved with the UPCC?
A: I started as a guest host with Chad. I was playing in the UPC tournament during the first season and an acquaintance of mine introduced me to Danny (the producer of UPC).
We struck up a conversation and in the course of it, he asked me to guest host. So it continued from the first season, from doing the one guest spot to increasingly doing more and more.
2. Q: What is your favorite part of co-hosting UPC?
A: I like the camaraderie that Chad and I share. I also like the freedom aspect in UPC’s approach to building the show. They give Chad and I a lot of artistic freedom to say what we want to say and in the way we want to say it.
3. Q: So you guys aren’t working from any kind of script – your comments are all off the cuff?
A: It’s all off the cuff.
4: Q: Are you guys recording your comments live as you watch playback or do you know what’s gonna happen in each hand?
A: It’s a combination. We don’t know what’s coming. We haven’t seen the tape ahead of time so it’s got that live feel. However, we do have sheets that tell us what the blind structure is and who is holding what in each hand. So we may look at these sheets in a cursorily way just to know where the action’s gonna be; yet we still don’t know what’s gonna happen. This gives us a knowledgeable yet free-flowing feel of a live show because we are watching it for the first time just like the viewer at home is.
5. Q: So when a suck out happens, you’re as surprised as we are.
A: Yes! Absolutely! (laughs) And that’s the fun of poker, that luck factor – you don’t know what’s coming until it does, and it is a surprise to us.
6. Q: Do you and Chad have a personal relationship outside of UPC?
A: Well, we travel on the professional tour together so we are frequently competitors across the felt. We were recently in Europe together, and travel all over the world. UPC is a home that we come back to and shoot the shows together – it’s a great relationship.
7. Q: What kind of players would you say are attracted to the UPC tournaments?
A: The players are so varied. You have some top notch pros and you also have some weekly players who are locals around Vegas. We also see a lot of tourists and satellite players that are trying their luck, maybe for the first time ever in a casino tournament. It’s an interesting mix and I feel it gives the show a wonderful dynamic.
8.Q: Do you ever play in the UPC tournaments?
A: Sometimes I play in them and sometimes I just go down to Binion’s to watch the show being taped. It’s interesting to see the other side of the show, the directing aspect and how live cuts are called. Sometimes I’m in standing in the audience watching the action and the camera guys are trying not to catch me on tape because as far as the television audience knows, I’m supposed to be in the booth. But I’m very interested in how these shows are produced.
9. Q: Are you thinking of a career change?
A: It’s always been a dream of mine to have my own production company. I’d like to produce any type of shows or films that illuminate the human condition, the journey of the spirit that connects people. Like how in poker we have the thrill of victory, the things that change in the turn of a card – it’s a wonderful journey. But I still have some work to do in the game of poker so I can’t imagine making any career changes within the next twenty years or so; but you never know what will happen. You never know what the river card is gonna bring.
10. Q: Anything you’d like to say to our viewers at home?
A: Keep watching. Enjoy the journey.