Friday, July 08, 2005

Japanese girl in the WSOP

Last night I turned on the tv to watch a dvd, and noticed that one of the Japanese variety tv shows was doing something about poker players and the WSOP. I watched a few minutes of it -- they had a short bit on Scotty Nguyen, with little dramatic re-enactments by actors, and a similar short bit about Stu Ungar winning millions, losing it all to sports betting and drugs, coming back to win a third time, then dying in a hotel room after. Then it got into a segment with the various regulars on the show ("talents") describing their best "Poker Face" and some time in their life when they managed to bluff someone else into thinking something untrue, or controlling someone else through psychology, or the like. My interest waned, so I set my ReplayTV to record the rest of the show and figured I would watch it later.

I skimmed through it after getting home from work today - turns out they had some middle-aged english-speaking poker authority figure (no one I recognized) there with a translator, and each talent was describing why they should be the one on the show selected to go compete in the WSOP! In the end, the guy (I should go back and catch his name) chose... a cute young Japanese girl of no apparent ability! Why? "She showed the initiative by coming over and sitting on my lap even before we had been introduced, and that impressed me."

I must have missed that part!

Update: apparently the guy was Tom McEvoy, one-time winner at the WSOP and author.

Maybe there's something to that decision. The guy must have realized that if her first instinct is to use her feminine wiles on him to extract favors, she might be psychologically controlling enough to succeed in poker.

Anyhow, after the show the girl began to get private training in poker by a professional dealer, and will be participating in the WSOP. I assume in the main event - it was not clear from the show. I'll be keeping an eye on later eps of this show to see if they do a followup to show how she did.

And here I thought they didn't know or care about poker in this country. This could be a good sign.

Okay, this is the girl. Let me know if you see her at the WSOP with camera crews.

Update: I dug up a good deal more information about this girl, whose name is Satoh Tamao. Please see my followup posts, particularly this one.

No comments: