Poker Night in America: Nolan Dalla

Poker Night in America is the latest offering of televised poker and their crew is here at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, FL for four days of action. The new show is onsite to tape three days of high-stakes cash games and the Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” Championship final table.

Their philosophy is to provide a glimpse of the game in a different fashion than other poker shows offered to the viewing public. Poker Night in America wants to reveal the real action you would find at a live cash game.

“It’s what I call experimental television. What we do is try a lot of new things that have never been tried before. We start with basically a cash game and we show what a real cash game is like, with regular table conversation.” Nolan Dalla commented.

“Nothing’s doctored, this is really the way people talk and behave in these cash games. This is really poker in the raw. And that’s what we’re showing.”

Dalla is the Creative Director for Poker Night in America and was around the game well before the much-publicized “Moneymaker” boom in 2003. He’s known for his writing prowess, including the popular Stu Ungar biography with Peter Alson, but he’s also a poker historian, crusader, and friend of the game.

Dalla’s goal is to produce an entertaining show with some of the best poker players in the world. But beyond skill at the table, Poker Night in America is also looking for people to entertain their viewers.

“This is real money; this is $5,000 up to $20,000 so you have to have the means to sit in this game. One thing we were really eager to have was players who bring fun back to the game.” Dalla said. “The table talk, the characters, the personality.”

“You don’t have to be a clown, we want people willing to show themselves on television and be talkative and animated.” Dalla continued. “The game is more about cards and mathematics, it’s about people and we’re trying to highlight that.”

Poker Night in America is adding a new twist during their visit to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, FL with the first televised all-female cash game. The lineup includes Melissa Burr, Jamie Kerstetter, Danielle Anderson, Natasha Barbour, Jessica Dawley, and three-time WSOP bracelet winner Vanessa Selbst among others.

“There have been some Ladies Night events but we’ve never seen a ladies’ cash game, first time in history, on television. It’s never been filmed.” Dalla explained. “Poker Night in America is about experimental television, trying new things and we’ll give this a shot. I expect it to be a really interesting day. “

In addition to their normal cash game production, Poker Night in America will also be live-streaming the final table of the Seminole Hard Rock “Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open” Championship. Play is set to kick-off at 1pm and the live-stream will go live on a 30-minute delay.

Nolan Dalla (center) goes over the schedule with the players
Nolan Dalla (center) goes over the schedule with the players