Angel Guillen Discusses Role as WPT TV Azteca Commentator and Chasing a Tour Title

By Sean Chaffin When it comes to poker bullet points, WPT commentators bring some nice scores to the table. Tony Dunst and Mike Sexton have not only offered analysis for events but also have their names etched on the WPT Champions Cup. New WPT TV Azteca commentator Angel Guillen hopes to become the third in that exclusive…

Matt Clark
7 de Agosto, 2019

By Sean Chaffin

Ángel Guillén

When it comes to poker bullet points, WPT commentators bring some nice scores to the table. Tony Dunst and Mike Sexton have not only offered analysis for events but also have their names etched on the WPT Champions Cup.

New WPT TV Azteca commentator Angel Guillen hopes to become the third in that exclusive club. Guillen played the WPT Gardens Poker Festival to open the season and is determined to play more events in Season XVIII.

The WPT announced a major agreement with TV Azteca in March that will see the tour’s events broadcast on over-the-air television in Mexico and throughout Latin America. As part of the agreement, TV Azteca and WPT will partner to bring up to two WPT-branded events to Mexico.

WPT Family TV Azteca

The Spanish-language broadcasts debuted July 12 and Guillen co-hosts each episode with Mexican television personality and Azteca Deportes journalist for Inés Sainz and Santiago González Álvarez. Guillen says it isn’t an easy process to present the game on television in Spanish, specifically in Mexico, because the world of poker is new to so many people in Latin America. Mexico has only a short history of legalized casinos.

“The show is going great,” Guillen says. “It’s been a fun ride. It’s a challenge because a lot of the terminology of poker is really new to viewers in Latin America. As commentators, we have the responsibility of educating people, but the main thing is entertaining viewers. We want to attract them to poker and show them what poker is all about.”

“It’s been a fun process because I remember all the things I liked when I started playing poker – the bluffs, the faces, the stone-cold reads, and those things. We’re trying to attract people showing those special things that people like me were attracted to. But you can’t be too technical because people get lost in the translation and too much information. We keep it very basic. I think it’s been going well.”

More than 2.5 million viewers tuned in for the first broadcast. So far the show can only be seen in Mexico, but will be expanding to other countries in the coming months.

“They were expecting less,” Guillen says of producers’ outlook for the show. “We want to gradually increase that number now.”

The tour also partnered with TV Azteca to launch the social poker gaming app WPTGO in Latin American to coincide with the show’s premiere in Mexico. The WPT is expected to announce its first tour stop in Mexico in the coming months.

In recent years, poker has been gaining some traction south of the border and Guillen sees the WPT as a way to see that grow even more.

“It’s becoming really popular,” he says. “There are a lot of small live tournaments and online poker is growing gradually, but the excitement comes from live tournaments. Now we have casinos, table games, and poker. That’s why poker has been growing the last three or four years. A lot of Mexicans are playing more.”

Guillen has more than $1.9 million in live tournament winnings including a World Series of Poker bracelet in 2009 in a $2,000 event for $530,548. Back home in Mexico City, he owns several businesses, including a restaurant, and is no longer a full-time player. However, he plans on playing more WPT events.

He says becoming the first WPT Champions Club member born and raised in Mexico would be a nice bullet point for his poker career. And then maybe the first WPT commentator with two titles could be his new goal.

Guillen adds. “I want to see my name on that trophy for sure.”

Sean Chaffin es un escritor independiente en Crandall, Texas, y su trabajo aparece en numerosos sitios web y publicaciones. Sígalo en Twitter @PokerTraditions.