James Corden, the British comedian and the presenter of CBS’s Late Late Show, recently tried his hand at being a poker dealer.
Taking on the thankless task for the “Take a Break” segment of his show, Corden may not have had the necessary poker skills to serve the players at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, but he was certainly able to keep them entertained.
Aside from rattling off a sequence of nonsensical pseudo-poker phrases, Corden led Planet Hollywood’s patrons in a rendition of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face.
On top of singing Gaga’s poker hit, Corden initiated a series of games, including one card stud.
Despite being made up on the spot by Corden, the game appeared to be a hit and even brought out the gambler in one woman who was prepared to bet her tablemates $1,000 a hand.
Eventually, however, Corden was replaced by someone with bit more experience and he was sent outside of the casino to help the taxi stand workers usher customers into their cabs.
As you’d expect, the skit focused less on the nuances of poker and more on Corden’s comedy quips, but it did shine a positive light on the game. Over the last few weeks the “gambling” industry has taken something of a battering in the mainstream press.
The recent backlash against Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) has stirred up yet more debates regarding the online gaming industry in the US.
Although online poker and DFS are unconnected, many pundits in the US have linked the two industries and that’s brought some unintended negative attention to the game.
Despite being regulated in three states, US online poker is still in a precarious position and the pushback against DFS could end up harming the industry’s chances in currently unregulated states.
In fact, one example of this negative press was seen earlier this month on Last Week Tonight. Picking up on the DFS industry’s claim that its offerings don’t amount to “gambling,” John Oliver spent almost an hour arguing the opposite.
Likening DFS to poker, Oliver painted a picture of two activities that were undeniably gambling. Right or wrong, this sort of exposure isn’t something either industry needs at the moment.
In fact, if poker is to be accepted as a sport in the way Alex Dreyfus of the GPI wants, then it will have to move away from these sorts of negative representations in the mainstream media.
Although Corden’s poker skit won’t serve as much more than a pinprick on the public’s perception of game, it’s certainly true that every little bit helps.