Negreanu Featured in New Poker Series ; The ‘M’ Concept

Daniel Negreanu to Be Featured In New Scripted Poker Series
By Earl Burton
If there is something that is in the news about poker, it seems poker professional Daniel Negreanu has been a part of it lately.

Although there isn’t a network, cable channel or online outlet announced for it as yet, the Canadian-born Negreanu (who does spend quite a bit of time in the United States) will be a part of a new scripted series about professional poker players. Called Four Kings, the series will focus on four people – three poker players and a bookmaker – as they traverse the world of Las Vegas. The characters will, according to the description of the program, “focus on their friendship as they stick together and watch each other’s backs through everything that comes their way in their search for becoming world champions.”

Looking at the cast for the show, it does appear that they have some actors with at least an inkling of poker in their blood and some fresh comedic faces. Actor Robert Iler, who played A. J. Soprano on The Sopranos (and will take on a producer credit with this show), looks to be one of the core four characters as “Rob.” Iler has taken part in many major tournaments and, in 2005, was in an underground poker club when it was raided by police. Along with Mars Callahan, who is portraying “Mars” in the series and who cashed in the 2011 World Series of Poker Championship Event, the poker side of the equation seems to be covered.

Another actor in the series is Kassem Gharaibeh, a popular YouTube comedian portraying “Sam” that is looking for his first big break in Hollywood. Perhaps adding something on the beefcake front is stuntman/actor Quinn Early, who will play “Q” on the show. Early’s acting chops are a bit slim but he does have significant credits for his stunt work in the drama Olympus Has Fallen and the comedy Hot Pursuit to his resume.

Negreanu will, naturally, be playing himself on the program and he has other familiar celebrity names that will join him on the show. From the poker/entertainment world, comedian/actor Kevin Pollak will make an appearance on the program and ten-time boxing champion Roy Jones, Jr., will also be featured. For Negreanu, Pollak and Jones, the number of episodes that they will appear in are not known at this time.

When it comes to something other than poker tournaments, the travails of poker on television – and, to be honest, in cinematic efforts – has been less than stellar. Poker occasionally makes an appearance on popular television shows such as Bones, House and, most recently, CSI: Cyber. In that CSI: Cyber episode, online poker was particularly dragged over the coals as a method for money laundering by terrorist organizations (where have we heard that before?).

The last “show” that was centered on the world of poker was ESPN’s Tilt. Although it featured an outstanding cast of Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs, Thelma & Louise and Kill Bill) and Eddie Cibrian (The Cave, The Best Man Holiday) and was created by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (the brains behind the seminal Rounders and the forgettable Runner Runner), it was widely panned for an inaccurate depiction of modern-day Las Vegas and, in particular, poker. After a nine-episode first season, it was not picked up by ESPN for a second season.

There are plenty of potential outlets for Four Kings in today’s viewing world. It is probably not going to be a part of any network offerings (as they have already announced their upcoming programming for fall 2015), but cable companies might want to take a look at the show. Cable networks such as TNT, FX and TBS would be logical places, but the half-hour format of Four Kings might work against it. The subscription channels such as HBO and Showtime might be suitors, which would allow for some more risqué content to be used.

The most likely place for Four Kings to land (if you’re not looking at Hulu, Amazon Prime or Netflix as possibilities) would be Poker Central. Poker Central is looking at a launch in the fall of 2015 and would need programming to take up its schedule. Add in the fact that Negreanu has signed up with the burgeoning channel as a partner and it makes Poker Central a potential front runner for Four Kings.

As of yet, there isn’t a premiere date for the program either. What will be interesting to see is if Four Kings can deliver an entertaining program as well as present the poker lifestyle in a form close to reality.

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Explain Poker Like I’m Five: M

Series Teaches You The Basics Of Poker Strategy And Terminology
by Card Player News Team
When you’ve played poker for years, it’s easy to forget that technical poker speak may as well be a different language. Many players just picked up a deck of cards for the first time and are wondering what the hell a reverse implied range merge against a large stack to pot ratio is.

Maybe you are new to poker as well and want to start analyzing the game at a deeper level, but the lingo and foreign concepts get in the way. To help, _Card Player_ brings you this series, Explain Poker Like I’m Five.

Every issue, we’ll take on a new term or idea, perhaps one you might come across elsewhere in this very magazine, and we’ll break it down to its simplest components.

The Concept: M

What Is It?

Also called M-ratio or M-factor, M is utilized to measure the size of a poker player’s stack relative to not only the big blind, but all blinds, antes, and the cost of playing each round, or one entire rotation around the table. A large M means that a player can afford to wait many rounds before running out of chips. A small M means that a player is getting short stacked and must look to make a move relatively quickly.

Okay, Now Explain It Like I’m Five

M is a way to measure how big or small your stack is by telling you how many rounds you can last without playing a hand.

Give Me An Example (Or Two)

Developed by Paul Magriel and popularized by Dan Harrington, M is calculated by dividing your stack by the sum of the small blind, big blind, and total antes.

So, if you have a stack of 10,000 chips at an eight-handed table with blinds at 200-400 with a 25 ante, your M is 12.5. The total cost per round is 800, meaning you can wait 12.5 rounds, if the blinds do not increase in that time, before you are blinded out of the tournament. If your stack was only 4,000, however, your M would lower to 5, putting you in a much more desperate situation.

In the Harrington on Hold’em poker strategy book series, Harrington advocated tailoring your play to the size of your M. An M of 20 or above falls into the green zone, which allows you maximum flexibility. An M between 10 and 20 is in the yellow zone and takes away some options, possibly forcing you to play more conservatively.

An M between 6 and 10 is in the orange zone, where it becomes important to pick your spots wisely. An M between 1 and 6 falls into the red zone, limiting you to moving all in or folding in order to maintain maximum fold equity. Any M below 1 is in the dead zone and means you will be completely reliant on luck to stay alive in the tournament.

As the tournament field gets smaller, the tournament director will consolidate players and the value of your M can be reduced because each table will begin to play short-handed. This adjustment results in your Effective M, which means that players must alter their playing style to account for the fact that the blinds and antes are coming around much faster. ?

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