It’s Poker on Triple Espresso

Today’s NY Times included a story about a new Fox show: ” “Poker Dome” will encase a group of players in a soundproof, glass-walled stage, while viewers and a studio audience watch everything they do.

Microphones will capture game chatter, and pulse monitors strapped to the gamblers will track their heart rates. Robotic cameras will scrutinize every nervous tic on the gamblers’ faces, projecting the angst of brinkmanship onto oversized video screens. New to the mix will be an N.B.A.-like shot clock that gives gamblers only 15 seconds to bet, check or fold, an innovation that Fox says will increase the rate of play to 80 to 100 hands an hour from the usual 15 to 20. “It’s poker on triple espresso,” Fox boasts in a “Poker Dome” news release.

The growth of the poker industry, meanwhile, has led some television executives to bet that darts, dominoes or blackjack will be next. A group of Las Vegas and Los Angeles entrepreneurs has filmed a new blackjack tournament that it is pitching to networks as the next big thing. For his part, Mr. Greenberg at Fox still sees poker as the biggest game in town — and “Poker Dome” as its most robust incarnation.

” ‘Poker Dome’ will be the Nascar of poker,” he said, “because of its style, design, graphics, information and the speed with which the game is played.”