One of the biggest advantages Sky Poker has over many of its competitors, is that it enjoys the backing of the massive Sky TV Company (and thereby, News International) and as such, it can enjoy some extra facilities that may not be available on other sites.
One of the most obvious and striking of these is the fact that Sky Poker has its own dedicated Poker TV Channel. It’s called Sky Poker TV and it is on Channel 861 if you own a Sky TV system, or you can access the channel direct from the website on your computer, smartphone or tablet.
It is worth checking however that you are using a free WiFi connection, or you have enough data allowance if viewing on a mobile device as streaming video can quickly use up your data allowance and incur additional costs with your mobile contract provider.
Let’s learn a little more about Sky Poker TV, how it fits in with the Sky Poker site and how it is useful to you as a poker player.
What is Sky Poker TV?
Sky Poker TV is a TV Channel that operates throughout the day on the Sky TV Channel 861, or you can access the channel via a browser or a downloadable app. The site is linked directly to the Sky Poker website.
What kind of shows does Sky Poker TV show?
There are a wide range of programmes shown on Sky Poker TV these include:
Shows for beginner players
These are shows where a presenter and one of Sky Poker TV’s resident poker experts, will preview some hands taken from the Sky Poker TV tables and give their expert opinion on how the hands played out.
They will focus on what players did well or did badly and then they give advice to beginner players on the subtle nuances of the game using examples taken from the TV tables to highlight the key points.
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Highlight shows of poker tournaments
Sky Poker run a large number of poker tournaments, such as the UKOPS XIII series as well as many other real-world poker tournaments across the UK.
In addition to the live action from the Sky Poker tables, cameras will also travel to casinos in the real world to record the action at the tables and these are edited and shown as highlights, usually over several shows, on Sky Poker TV.
Occasionally, when Sky Poker are running a big promotion or a Main Event then Sky Poker TV will show what is happening at the tables live.
Again, they will have presenters plus two or sometimes more poker experts casting their eye over the action and key hands from the table are shown as part of the program.
Aimed more at the intermediate to expert players, the strategy shows focus on developing a player’s poker strategy beyond that of a beginner player, although some shows are aimed more at novice players.
These shows focus on developing viewers understanding of basic, intermediate and advanced poker strategy and once again, uses examples taken from the Sky Poker TV tables.
Occasionally, in between shows Sky Poker will run a short snippet featuring a poker expert who will preview how a hand played out on Sky Poker. These snippets are somewhat ad-hoc but when they appear they usually give players an insight of whether players played a hand well or poorly and poker experts give their impressions on how the hand unfolded.
On any show that is being shown live, Sky Poker presenters do encourage users to contribute to the show by sending in their poker queries to the experts – usually via email. The experts will answer these queries in as much detail as they can and on most of these live programmes, there is a large percentage of the time devoted to viewers’ queries to help them resolve one or more aspects of their poker game.
Will I appear on Sky Poker TV?
First off, probably the most obvious way to potentially get on Sky Poker TV is to play on the Sky Poker TV tables on the website or within the app.
Sky Poker TV review the play on these tables regularly and will take hands from these tables to use as content on their TV programmes.
Therefore, if you play on these tables more often, then there is a better chance your hand will be featured on the TV shows at some point.
Another way to get on TV is to contribute an email to the show when a live show is in progress. If your email is interesting enough, then it will be read out and your query answered by the assortment of poker experts that are co-presenting the show.
Finally, if you play in real world casino tournaments, if you reach the latter stages of a tournament which Sky Poker are filming then you could get on Sky Poker TV this way, although this is by far the most difficult of the three ways!
How you can use Sky Poker TV to improve as a UK poker player
Without doubt the best way to use Sky Poker TV to help you improve is simply by watching the programmes. Each of them offers an insight into different aspects of the game.
Obviously the programmes aimed at beginners, or improving strategy are clearly aimed at helping players improve, so it is an absolute no-brainer to tune in to these shows. Keep track of the TV Schedule to see what aspects of the game are being discussed and if there’s a particular area of weakness in your game, try and watch a show that will give you advice on how to rectify it.
However, even watching the shows that feature highlights from tournaments or live tournaments are great for allowing you to observe how other players, usually very strong players, play the game and you can glean a lot of information and tips by simply observing the game.