Vegas Virgins



Colin MacFarlane (narrator)


Lou Krieger (poker expert)

Dr Sally St John PhD (success strategist, it says here)


Lion Television for Challenge and CGTV, 2005


Five Brits and five Americans who are inexperienced in the world of gambling are sent to Las Vegas to take a two week crash course in poker. The winner gets a seat on the high rollers table for a shot at $10,000 (about £6,000).

There are some quite neat conceits at work here. Each day our virgins are taught aspects of poker that make you a winner (such as the importance of keeping a poker face, the importance of bravado and so on). To see how good our virgins are at this sort of thing, they are put through Fear Factor-lite tasks, such as bungee jumping and not cracking your expression when two boa constrictors are placed around you. The players who succeed at the tasks are given extra chips at that evening's poker tournament.

The evening's poker tournament is very important because the winner gets to eliminate a fellow contestant, alternating between US and British each day (so it doesn't ever become a battle of numbers).

Our biggest problem is that, well it's rather ponderous and we found ourselves fast forwarding through the Fear Factor-y bits because they managed to make them Not That Interesting. And poker games are only fun to watch when the viewer is privy to information our players don't have readily - we're not really offered anything of a kind here. And in condensing the game into twenty minutes, we're not invited to get into it either.

Still, the phrase "dulcet tones" was practically invented for voiceover Colin MacFarlane, so that's alright then.


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