One of the reasons the World Cup is such an international phenomenon—besides the obvious nationalism that allows fans to root for their teams with fervent intensity—is the fact soccer is one of those sports with so much tension that all it takes is a few minutes to get a casual passerby invested, with or without knowing the rules. Poker works the same way.
Whether they play for the titles or the prize money, the turn of a card can bring the highest high or the lowest low for an individual poker player.
However, Poker Central has a new show with wide appeal: Hand Histories. The six-episode documentary series is a retrospective on some of the most miraculous moments in poker history, told by the people who lived them. The most brutal losses, incredible wins and high-octane drama are reenacted in excruciating detail. The beauty of the show is that the stories are told in a way that the hardcore fan who remembers them can get an in-depth look at the thought processes that led to the crucial decisions, including strategies and mistakes that were made, or crucial gut decisions that led to life-changing wins. There’s a lot of insider talk about plans of attack and execution that are worthwhile to take notes about for people trying to win at the next table.
The first episode features Matt Affleck talking about one of the most tense, improbable moments in World Series of Poker history. If you’re a fan of his, then you know what happened—Affleck had a surefire win in his back pocket that could have won him eight million dollars, only to get one of the unluckiest breaks ever. The eight-minute video is captivating—poker fan or not. Watching people relive the times they screwed away millions of dollars is something that anyone can get behind. Or watching people replay the lucky card that set their family up for generations can sure make you want to have a productive last few hours of work.
The six-part show debuts on OTT subscription service PokerGO on July 23, with additional episodes launching later that week, and the first promo can be seen here. The premiere with Affleck will air for free for a limited time on Poker Central’s YouTube channel, and future episodes feature Daniel Negreanu, Brian Rast, Bryan Piccoli, Joseph Cheong and Jeremy Ausmus. It’ll be the perfect opportunity for fans to fall deep into the YouTube rabbit hole of dramatic poker moments, so kiss your productivity goodbye.