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Poker In The MIddle

When it comes to mainstream poker news, September 2007 stands out for various reasons. That’s the month the WSOP held its first event outside the US with the inaugural WSOP-Europe. Annette Obrestad became the youngest player to win a World Series of Poker bracelet at age 19, and Greg Raymer won the PokerStars WCOOP pot-limit Omaha event. But there was something else that occurred in “The Middle” during that time that did not hit the mainstream news, and that was the very first episode of CPL Poker Podcast out of Blaine, Minnesota.


I recently had the opportunity to interview the crew of CPL, Mark “Verbal” Cardenas and “Karaoke” Phil Fuehrer to discuss the podcast in detail. “We really created CPL Poker Podcast to entertain our home league members. We listened to other poker podcasts and thought it would be fun. By episode forty, we branched out.” These entertainment gurus were quick to explain their nicknames as well. Mark earned his nickname “Verbal” after an error he made in the home league by pushing all-in with saying “call.” Verbal declarations are binding and so are some nicknames. Phil received his nickname because he can often be heard singing eighties songs.


Now with more than 300 listeners, the weekly show discusses a variety of topics that are targeted at low-limit players. It is the only poker podcast in the upper Midwest and the longest running. It airs on Mondays and discusses a wide range of topics from free poker leagues, online poker play, and casino tournaments and cash games. They provide their listeners “a poker viewpoint that is witty and humorous, but still based upon solid poker know-how.” The segment variety includes hand of the week, the CPL science segment, poker news and various interviews such as the Heartland Poker Tour’s first Minnesota event winner, Tom Stambaugh and most recently, Andy Bloch.


“Newer players can especially benefit from hearing the thoughts and tales of a couple of experienced low-limit hosts. Our banter and topics will certainly encourage players to keep on plugging away as they work to improve their game.” CPL currently boasts having listeners across the US although is focused on the Midwest poker scene. “We have plenty of entertainment and information for anyone who plays poker, regardless of where they reside.”


Both Mark and Phil play a variety of games in various places such as Full Tilt, the Free Poker Network, Running Aces Casino, Canterbury Park and in monthly home leagues. Their main tournament buy-ins range from $1 to $250 and cash game spreads from $2-$4 to $6-$12, limit to no-limit.


The CPL Poker Podcast hopes to become the most listened to podcast in the USA. They have seen progressive growth and look forward to expanding their market. From the basement in a Minneapolis suburb, equipped with a good mic and software, an informative and entertaining show is aired. “We’re a couple of low-limit players but think we put out an entertaining show so come check us out at”


Have news from “The Middle?” Email me at andtell me all about it.


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