Bobby Spade revs up the internet broadcast (worldpokerradio.com) of California Poker Radio every Saturday from Noon until 1 PM from a San Diego studio with a series of openers: "California Poker Radio: where the Nuts Tune In." And, "California Poker Radio: from San Diego to Eureka, from the flop to the river." Bobby is introduced as, "What you get when you mix Rush Limbaugh with Howard Stern." The show can also be picked up as a podcast through iTunes.
Bobby is a former law enforcement officer with the El Cajon Police Department who was injured in the line of duty. While recuperating he played poker in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas. He had been a high school d. j. and had played private parties, weddings, and bar mitzvahs. He figured he would put a couple interests together as a new career and came up with the idea of a poker radio show in early 2005. The show came to life in April of 2005 when World Talk Radio, which hosts 70 to 80 independent shows, wanted a portal into the gaming area. Bobby now has an ownership position with the show.
He is a graduate of a professional broadcaster's school and has worked in radio in the San Diego area for a CBS affiliate as an interviewer and technician. He is the voice of the Orange County Fair and does voice-overs in radio and TV.
He has been a poker player for about a dozen years and hits Vegas four or five times a year. One memorable play was having his pocket Aces busted at the Wynn by Daniel Negreanu who was holding the classic worst hole cards of 7, 2 offsuit.
Shows have been done on the LIPS Women's Poker Tour, charity poker, online play, and even one on scotch and cigars. For the latter show, Rick Edwards, the youngest Scotch Master in the U. S. and Edgar Uria of the La Habana Cigar Company joined Bobby as the lads chatted up top shelf whiskeys and premium cigars. "Getting paid to drink on the air is a good deal," he says.
There are also, of course, celebrity interviews with such pros as Tom McEvoy, Scott Fischman, and Phil Gordon. Poker Ambassador Mike Sexton and Bobby got into a discussion about Bob Costas' crack about comparing poker players to "degenerates."
"You don't see poker players taking steroids," retorts Bobby. "If Bob Costas comes on your show, please invite me," said Sexton. "I totally disagree with him."
Speaking of his interview style, Bobby says he tries not to "over prepare." "I want to sound more like the guy on the street who asks questions rather than a journalist." When asked who he would like to interview next, he lists Gus Hansen and Joe Hachem, and then throws in a zinger: Alison Sweeney, of the soap, "Days of Our Lives."
Why Alison? "When I was recovering from my injury, I was watching the show with my wife. I got hooked. I even Tivo it now. And, Alison has played on 'Celebrity Poker Showdown.'"
For Valentine's Day, Executive Producer Sergio Kopelev (first place in the media event of the LA Poker Classic at the Commerce in Los Angeles) and Bobby came up with the "Poker Dating Game." The tagline: "If he's got the nuts, he gets a date."
They recruited Jessica, an actress and model (with a part in the upcoming movie, "Lucky You") and according to Bobby, "a rounder and good player who is well known in the Los Angeles poker rooms" who was willing to go out on a date. Sergio and Bobby screened the male contenders down to three and Jessica made the final choice: she picked Jose, an IT specialist from a San Diego TV station. The date is to take place in early April.
The poker date package includes dinner for two at a fine restaurant at the Pechanga Casino in nearby Temecula, two VIP passes to the casino's plush Silk Night Club, two complimentary seats to the $200,000 Pechanga Open, and two $50 gift cards. This is slated to become an annual event.
Bobby considers Tom McEvoy as one of his top interviews so far. "He came on when we were just getting started and he was a true gentleman," says Spade. McEvoy may have summed up the poker landscape best when he concluded an interview on California Poker Radio with, "If everybody in the world played poker, we'd have no more wars."