Last time I wrote a blog post, I was preparing for the third season of Le Maison du Bluff, a reality poker show for French TV. It completely filled all of my time for six weeks, but it was a big success once again this year. We got really good articles about the show in the poker press and also in the general press, so I'm quite pleased.
It was a tough six weeks. We just lived for the show every day. Nothing else mattered. We were not aware of what happened in the world, like news or sports. We had a very bad internet connection so it was difficult to be able to play poker or to live like a normal person. I played not one hand of poker during the six weeks. You can read my thoughts in the lead up here.
We had two channels; one on TV and one on the web, and I was providing commentary with Benjamin Bruneteaux every day. The web commentary was totally live. I think we did roughly 100 hours of commentaries during the six weeks. It was difficult to fill all that time.
We used a style that is not really common in France. We tried to comment on this show as if we were South American soccer commentators. They overwhelm the drama for every play. We tried to do the same. We gave nicknames to all the players based on their style or the things they would say. Sometimes the nickname didn't have any link with the player at all but we just thought that it was funny.
The web commentary was totally live, usually really late at night. It was often 1am or 2am when we started and then had to provide three to five hours of commentary. But we could also do whatever we wanted. If we didn't want to talk about playing styles for 15 or 20 minutes we could talk about something else. For those web shows, we were just there to entertain people. We weren't there to try to make people play better poker.
I think that was the most challenging and most fun aspect of the whole experience. It was really motivating. We had to focus quite hard just to be able, every night, to do something funny and different.
I was also one of the instructors for the players. We set up several interviews with the players just before the final table, and during the game they could talk with me whenever they wanted. That was interesting. I was able to see what kind of feelings several different people can have before one important event.
One of the best moments of the whole journey came at the end, when we had a wrap party. Everybody from the show was there -- the players and all the staff -- drinking and swimming until the end of the night. We all had breakfast together at about 8am. Everybody was leaving right after the party so everybody wanted to stay together one more time. It was like a new family for six weeks. Those people are the only people you see every day. You don't want to leave them.
But of course you have to, and so I did. Right after the show I participated in another France Poker Series event, where I finished 3rd in the High Roller Event. I played the Main Event too, and was chip leader for 6 or 7 levels, but I busted out on Day 2.
It was really nice to play again, to see other people, normal people, who are playing poker for fun. The guys who qualified and who play the FPS events could be your neighbor or someone you see on the street. It's not an EPT. It's a local tour. It's pretty nice to see those people, sitting at the tables and having fun. They're the people that make poker and shows like Le Maison du Bluff so fun and rewarding.
Julien Brecard is a member of Team PokerStars Pro.