Yesterday saw another key announcement for the upcoming 2021 WSOP. Jamie Kerstetter will be joining veteran WSOP commentators Norman Chad and Lon McEachern in the commentary booth this year.
Norm and Lon have been the voice of the WSOP for almost two decades. Their first year in the box was 2003, the year Moneymaker won and launched the poker boom. That boom probably owes as much to Norm and Lon—not to mention Mike, Vince, and Shana—as it does to Moneymaker and Isai.
In the last few years, in part due to its partnership with PokerGO, the WSOP has put more poker players in the booth. The idea was to take Norm and Lon’s sports-style commentary and punch it up with some more in-depth strategic analysis. Among the players who hit the booth during that time, Kerstetter was the stand-out success. Her stint in the booth was the perfect audition for the job, and it has now paid off.
After COVID put the live WSOP on ice in 2020, neither Chad nor McEachern made a showing. The Online WSOP was commentated on by a scattershot crew of poker players. This crew skewed a little towards GGPoker’s sponsored pros.
Earlier this year we received confirmation that the duo was getting back together for the 2021 WSOP. Now we know the band is expanding to a trio.
The modern poker commentator needs to be able to exude charisma, talk strategy, and make the audience laugh. In this regard, Kerstetter is a triple-threat.
With the exception of Daniel Negreanu, it’s hard to find someone who has a bad word to say about Kerstetter.
In an interview for VegasSlotsOnline, Chad expressed his admiration for Kerstetter.
“Jamie is [..] a middling college athlete, an unhappy lawyer, and a so-so poker player. Then bang!” Chad said. “I think we literally found her working the street as an organ grinder in a New Jersey suburb and, lo and behold, we put a mic in front of her and she was a natural.”
The rest of the poker world was largely congratulatory too.
Veronica Brill wrote, “Wow, now you understand why I send you nudes.” This triggered a second, somewhat derailing thirst-related thread.
Joe Stapleton called it a “very excellent decision on [the WSOP’s] part.”
Norman Chad issued a mock objection in the form of “Upon further consideration, we are returning to a two-MAN booth.” Chad didn’t specify who would be replacing him in this scenario.
Kerstetter has been sitting on the news for a little while. Last week she tweeted that she had received some good news, almost having forgotten what that was like. One imagines that Kerstetter has been reading the phrase “Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino” and the word “wamboozled” into a mirror for the last few weeks like they are warm-up tongue twisters.
Now she is able to confirm that the call from the WSOP was the news in question.
“Too excited to even think of a good joke here,” Kerstetter wrote about the news once it broke. “Must be how Norman always feels.”
Featured image source: Flickr by WPT