Fox’s Hit TV Show Bones Airs Poker-Focused Episode

April 23rd, 2015 | by Brian Corlisse
David Boreanaz Fox TV show Bones

David Boreanaz, as FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, will be learning how to four-bet bluff with a straight face in the next episode of Bones. Hopefully, he plays better than a real-life FBI counterpart, who recently admitted to losing $50K in taxpayer-funded bankroll trying to crack an illegal poker game on Staten Island. (Image: Patrick McElhenney/FOX)

Bones, the popular Fox TV hit series about a forensic anthropologist who can deduce crime clues from victims’ bones, is going to have a special guest star in the form of the former vampire-loving hunk from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, David Boreanaz.

Even more exciting for poker fans who are also aficianados of Bones, Boreanaz will be showing his poker face to TV audiences on April 23 (and no doubt in subsequent reruns and the now-endless ways one can download or stream previously aired TV shows) when a new episode of Bones airs on Fox.

The forensic crime drama with comedy twists will focus on the underground poker scene as Boreanaz, as FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, searches for clues in a horrific murder case. According to the show’s preview, a gambler’s remains are found in an industrial shredder, and agent Booth is forced to go undercover and learn all he can about the poker world in order to help solve the intriguing case.

Pinnacle of an Ongoing Storyline

Although the exact nature of Booth’s involvement with the game is being kept under wraps, those with knowledge of the show will know he used to have a gambling problem, which could suggest things get out of hand.

Whether or not the writers have chosen to use this addiction to portray poker in a negative light is unclear, but throughout the show Booth does have a poker chip on him to “remind him of his gambling days.”

In real life, Boreanaz is also no stranger to poker, which is probably one of the reasons the writers decided to focus on the game for their latest episode.

Boreanaz No Affleck at the Poker Table

Over the years the TV and film actor has been a regular feature of celebrity and charity poker events, including an NHL poker evening that was sponsored by PokerStars in the wake of signing hockey pro Mats Sundin.

But unlike Hollywood A-listers like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who’ve famously won big bucks private cash games across La La Land, Boreanaz’s skills at the felt are less quantifiable. We could find no Hendon Mob stats on the popular TV star.

Regardless of how poker is portrayed in this episode of Bones, there’s a saying that any publicity is good publicity. If that holds true, then the industry could receive another positive boost when the show airs this week.

The Allure of Underground Poker

The forthcoming Bones episode is not the only time poker has been featured in a mainstream TV show.

The “underground” poker scene was famously the subject of a National Geographic documentary called Inside Underground Poker. Focusing on the players that “play for thousands” on a daily basis away from the gaze of casino bosses, the show aimed to build on New York’s reputation as hotbed of underground, illicit poker talent.

A number of successful pros, such as Erik Seidel and Phil Laak, reportedly honed their skills in New York’s poker clubs. Underground poker has always commanded an air of intrigue, and that’s something the creators of Bones will be hoping to invoke when the next episode airs.


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