Jay Rosenkrantz Recaps 2 Months, $2 Million

We’re eight episodes through the G4 online poker reality series “2 Months, $2 Million” and the cast is $507,000 in the black. Among those who made waves in last week’s episode was Jay Rosenkrantz, who sat down with Poker News Daily to discuss his heads-up match against David “Viffer” Peat and the show in general. “2 Months, $2 Million” airs at 8:00pm ET on Wednesdays on G4.

Poker News Daily: Has it been surreal to watch “2 Months, $2 Million” unfold on G4 every week?

Rosenkrantz: It’s very, very, very surreal.  Emil Patel and I live together in New York City and host a weekly party with all of our friends and family.  Dani Stern is here for most of those also.  Watching a hyper-stylized version of our summer with friends from childhood and college is pretty damn fun, but definitely weird.

For instance, seeing Emil get sneak attacked and destroyed by water balloons is hilarious both in the fact that it’s just really funny, but also that we somehow convinced a television network to put our dumb asses on television.  Each “week” is actually around 80 hours of footage broken down into 21 minutes, so while the Jay, Emil, Dani, and Brian Roberts developed on television are very much accurate depictions of all of us, sometimes we get sold a little short (or are given too much credit).  All in all, though, it has been an awesome experience and we all badly want to go back for Season 2 next summer.  $2 million or bust!

PND: Has there been a traffic boost on your poker training site, DeucesCracked, as a result?

Rosenkrantz: Yes, our traffic and signups have gone up and I’m really happy with the results.  We’re not talking like we doubled our membership, but considering a lot of people watching the show have never been exposed to poker or poker training videos before, I like the influx of new, genuinely curious users.  [CardRunners founder] Taylor Caby got a deal with Full Tilt, so obviously I had to go out and one-up him with a television show.

PND: Talk about the roller coaster of a ride against David “Viffer” Peat.

Rosenkrantz: Some behind-the-scenes information about that match.  First, it was one of our producer’s (Brandon) duties throughout the summer to try to arrange high-stakes matches for us.  We wanted to play pretty much anyone (other than the top, top players) at heads-up No Limit.  As our results started to not look great around Week 5 or 6, the four of us realized that we needed to push Brandon to seek out more matches for us.  He put word out to most of the card rooms and poker agencies, but a lot of people just didn’t understand what the show was about, didn’t want to play us, or the money we wanted to play for was too big.

A few people accepted though, among them David Benyamine, Viffer, and Sami Kelopuro (LarsLuzak).  Viffer’s doing a television show called “The Bet” and wanted the guaranteed exposure, so the match was set up to occur near the end of Lockdown (Lockdown, by the way, was an idea I had before the summer even started that the network wasn’t really into, but we were able to convince them of its merits when push came to shove).

We started playing and Viffer was playing really erratically and running me over.  I was coming off 36 hours straight in the war room and had not only just lost back everything I made during Lockdown, but also lost a great episode for the TV show because now I was down a lot.  I was expecting him to be a loose-passive live pro, but he wasn’t really anything like that, which caught me by surprise.  The producers had their heads in their hands, they didn’t know what to do, and they’re not from poker, so they were just lamenting why I didn’t stop when I was up on him.  Not only that, Brandon was feeling awful that he set me up to get crushed by this live shark and our chances of coming anywhere close to the goal were basically shot.

Then, Viffer took a break to get food and came back playing crazier than ever.  I bad beat him in a huge pot to get close to even and this sent him on huge tilt.  Total bajunky – this is when he started mashing pot.  He had been doing it earlier, but not nearly as often, and now he was re-raising tons of hands and mashing pot constantly.

People speculate about how he would have such an obvious tell, but honestly it’s not obvious when you’re sitting there stuck $100,000 trying to claw back to even not only so you can win your money back, but also so you can save an episode of a TV show.  We’re playing $40,000 No Limit, I had a big piece of myself, and the cameramen and producers were visibly shaken by what was going on.  I had a lot of things on my mind unrelated to clearly processing what was going on in the match, not to mention that I had spent 38 hours in the war room!

PND: Did Peat’s betting tell prove to be true 100% of the time? How tough was it not exposing it every time so he wouldn’t adjust?

Rosenkrantz: Not 100%, but close to it.  As you can see in the episode, the atmosphere in the room transformed from tense and excited to giddy and incredulous.  It was really important to make sure that I didn’t take away or hero call down every single pot he was bluffing in and I’d have to guess that is definitely why he didn’t notice until it was too late.  In that last $316,000 pot they showed, it was actually a good bluff by him where I happened to have a huge hand, but considering how often I was defending to his 3bets, it was a good bluff and I have to fold all of my non-two pair hands by the river.  There were lots of cooler pots I also won that they didn’t show like 3-3 versus A-K on an A-3-X flop and A-K versus A-J on an ace-high flop.  So, while it was an amazing, rock solid read, it was definitely made to be a little bit more cinematic than it actually was.

Funny aside – when I got back to up $100,000 on him, the producers started begging me to quit.  They were so shook up that they could barely hold the cameras straight.  The money was just so huge and incomprehensible, I had just completed this legendary comeback, and they couldn’t bear to deal with the thought of me losing more again.

Of course, we’re all poker players and there was a drought of nosebleed action this summer, so all of a sudden I had this insanely profitable spot and there was absolutely no way in hell any of us were stopping.  There’s all of this great rough footage of Paul and Terry (the Executive Producers) begging me to pick up and go relax with the guaranteed win outside the war room and the four of us just berating the hell out of them for being huge donkeys.  I think Brian threatened to cut off someone’s pinky finger.  Anyhow, it worked out, the producers knew not to try to argue with us about poker ever again, and Brandon got out of the doghouse and was celebrated as a hero for the production.

The next day, the network executive in charge of the show showed up to the house to see how Lockdown had gone, saw the big black number in my column on the tally board, and G4’s collective brain exploded.  Two years in development, seven episodes’ worth of footage and storylines, and they still didn’t fully understand the kinds of swings and drama that were possible in poker until that moment.

PND: Did you foresee fewer high-stakes games happening this summer? Had that been the trend?

Rosenkrantz: It was the trend, but every summer for the past three years, the games had picked up.  We didn’t foresee the complete death of nosebleed No Limit and, because of that, we were really ill-prepared.  I wasn’t as good at Pot Limit Omaha as I should have been and a few of us should have learned mixed games over the year.  Second season or not, we won’t be caught off guard like that again next summer.

PND: What’s your favorite non-online poker activity you guys have done so far and why?

Rosenkrantz: Definitely trampoline dodgeball.  Unfortunately, I think it’s cut from the show, but if you can get a group of people together in Las Vegas and want to blow off steam, there is nothing more fun than trampoline dodgeball.  I can’t even properly describe it because it’s so crazy.

PND: Would you use a different strategy from the beginning if you had to do the show all over again?

Rosenkrantz: If we get a second season, we will have 10 months to prepare and now that “2 Months, $2 Million” has a passionate following in the poker community, I think more well-known pros will want to play us.  More game selection, more opponents, and more chances to win or lose big – I think those are the best parts of the show.  We learned so much this summer about how to approach the goal and about how to make a compelling television show about it.  I just know in my heart that if we go back, it will be week to week, consistently, the best poker television there has ever been.  I’ll guarantee that.

PND: Heading into Week 9, how are you feeling about making up $1.5 million to reach the goal?

Rosenkrantz: Not good.  We obviously are not going to make it, but the question is whether or not we will crack $1 million.

——————————————————————————————————-

By Dan Cypra for POKER NEWS DAILY | Posted on October 13, 2009

News taken from: http://www.pokernewsdaily.com/jay-rosenkrantz-recaps-2-months-2-million-5510/

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