Solve for Why/PokerGO collaboration follows cash game player Oscar Jurado as he takes a shot at higher stakes
A tantalizing preview is making the rounds on the PokerGO Twitter account, giving a short glimpse into what could be one of the most intriguing poker documentaries of 2021.
The To Be Determined documentary goes live on PokerGO and Solve for Why at 8 pm EDT Friday night. The movie follows the journey of cash game player Oscar Jurado, who makes the jump to higher limits after years of grinding at the low stakes.
The long-awaited documentary, more than two years in the making, includes some fascinating insights from some of the biggest names in poker, based on what we’ve seen so far.
The teaser dropped by PokerGO earlier this week opens with a Jurado voiceover that explains his outlook on poker as a career in the modern era.
“I didn’t want to work a 9-to-5,” Jurado says. “I didn’t want to work for anybody, and I really didn’t see what skill I could use to get me a good job.”
“I knew that I was good at math, I was good at card games, and then poker came along. And I just got hooked.”
A look at modern poker through the lens of the Poker Boom era
The teaser then goes into a montage of clips that harken back to the “poker boom” era of the game, which should conjure plenty of memories for longtime poker fans. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson might be a pariah in poker’s modern era, but the images of the former WSOP Main Event champ cutting through fruit with playing cards from several feet away are as iconic as anything in the history of the game.
Some of the most successful players from poker’s golden age appear in To Be Determined, offering their reflections on how they perceived poker in the 2000s and 2010s versus how they look back at the game now. Vanessa Selbst, Erik Seidel, Nick Schulman, Phil Galfond, and several other players give their insights on what it takes to achieve long-term success in poker.
PokerGO’s Director of Programming, Brent Hanks, plays a role on both sides of the camera in To Be Determined. One of the most intriguing soundbites from the teaser comes from Hanks, who himself can claim more than $1.8 million in career live tournament earnings.
“I never thought it was going to end,” says Hanks of the poker boom era. “And that’s changed dramatically.”
Matt Berkey explains the idea behind To Be Determined
Solve for Why founder Matt Berkey appeared on the No Gamble No Future show to explain how the idea for To Be Determined came about. Jurado’s close friend Christian Soto is also a coach for the Solve for Why poker training academy, and Berkey got to observe Jurado’s playing online cash games.
“I could just see his emotional response to every single pot, won and lost,” Berkey said. “The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. He was living and dying by winning and losing these pots.”
“And it really kind of dawned on me that that’s much more representative of the majority of the poker community than someone like me playing a $300k buy-in. Which are stakes that 99.9 percent of people who play poker, recreationally or for a living, will just never, ever touch.”
Berkey hopes that To Be Determined will resonate with poker players at all levels, many of which have tried to make similar jumps in stakes at some point in their poker journeys.
“I thought it was really important to kind of tell his story,” Berkey said. “And demonstrate what it looks like to be somebody who is trying to grind it out, day in and day out, at the $1/$2 and $2/$5 level. Making enough to have enough freedom to not work a 9-to-5.”
To Be Determined goes live on PokerGO’s subscription-based platform, as well as for free at Solve for Why’s website, at 8 pm EDT on Friday, May 28.
Featured image source: Twitter