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Best birthday hands down

My birthday is October 30th, and in fact this year I spent the day in kind of an unusual way. I went to Paris with my friend and fellow Team PokerStars Pro João Nunes to shoot a new poker show for Portuguese television!

Poker shows are pretty popular in most of Europe, but in Portugal the only shows we've really had have been the EPT broadcasts. But this program that João and I did was a little different -- kind of a new thing for Portugal, really.

henrique_pinho.jpg

Henrique Pinho: another birthday gone...

The Portuguese title of the show translates to something like "The Best Hands of Poker." It's going to be targeted toward viewers who are familiar with poker but looking to learn more about how to think through hands and make decisions at the table.

When I we first arrived in Paris, things didn't get off to a good start because the cab driver took us to the wrong place initially. That made us about a half-hour late to start with, and then there was some problem with the hotel, too. But ultimately we got moved to a better hotel and everything worked out fine.

Once we began shooting the show, the mood was really relaxed, which was great for me because I'm really not a TV guy. Eventually I got used to the lights and cameras, though, and became a lot more comfortable. What also helped a lot was the fact that the chemistry between me and João was great, with him taking the anchor role while I provided commentary. So he'd introduce the players and the cards and kind of set up the situation, then he'd ask me questions and I'd offer my ideas about the hands.

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João Nunes: he loves the camera

The hands were mostly from EPT events, and what we would do would be to kind of play along with one player's hand while not knowing what the others held. It was a challenge because I'd only see the hands as they were being played and had to come up with my suggestions and strategy on the fly.

There are going to be 16 shows altogether, with each show consisting of just two hands and each hand taking 10 minutes to show. The shows are being aired in 2013, but still there is a lot of post-production involved before they get broadcasted, so an official airing date has not been set.

While I was a little nervous at first, it ended up being a really cool experience that I enjoyed a lot. So it was a very fun birthday.

Henrique Pinho is a Portuguese member of Team PokerStars Pro. Read his full bio here.

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