POKER LIFESTYLE

David Tuchman Dishes on the Success of 888Ride

By Paul Seaton
June 14, 2024

Take a ride in Las Vegas and you could travel to any number of iconic poker destinations. Head past the Rio, where poker exploded and thousands of players at each World Series of Poker turned into tens of thousands during the poker boom. Go for a cruise down the Strip in Sin City and you’ll not only visit current WSOP locations the Horseshoe /Paris Las Vegas, but also enjoy a journey down memory lane.

If you’re a poker player, then you might have made this trip in the most fun way possible, as David Tuchman’s latest special guest on 888Ride, an 888poker production that sees professional poker commentator and legendary presenter interview some of poker’s biggest characters.

We hooked up with the man himself to find out exactly how these addictive episodes are put together and who he can’t wait to get in the passenger seat for the next 888Ride.

David Tuchman 888Ride

Putting 888Ride Together

“It was so popular – that was my pitch!”

Many poker interviews are similar in style and composition. There are a number of tropes you’ll be familiar with; the bust-out interview standing near the scene of the crime as said poker player hopes to ‘get ‘em next time’ and move ‘on to the next event’. The chip update, where players will describe their progress in an event. Or there are deeper features, where players will sit down with a reporter and spill their guts, or at the very least dig deeper than recent events to look back at past influences and their journey in the game. Then there’s 888Ride. If you think you’ve seen poker players’ being honest, as the phrase goes, ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’.

David Tuchman told us about the origins of the idea, where poker players hop in Tuchman’s ride and open up about a range of subjects as he negotiates Las Vegas and beyond. The videos have become enormously popular, especially since live poker returned in what many have called a second poker boom in 2021.

“The ride itself takes around three hours to do,” he tells us. “We’ve got five cameras on us and a GoPro, so sometimes when I’m driving, I’m like, ‘I wanna move that outta my way!’ but you soon forget the cameras are there.”

The idea of 888Ride came from Tuchman watching the popular Crackle and Netflix show Comedians in Cars Drinking Coffee, starring Jerry Seinfeld. The legendary comedian would pick up fellow comedians, drive around in vintage cars and then head for coffee, all the while tackling some tricky subjects. It was a cultural phenomenon and has been streamed over 100 million times.

“It was so popular – that was my pitch!” Tuchman laughs. “It’s in cars… but it’s not as funny, because I’m driving. I love to have a chat, though, with players like Shaun Deeb, Daniel Negreanu or Jesse Lonis.”

David Tuchman Daniel Negreanu 888Ride

Tuch and DNegs – the buddy-cop movie the people need to see.

As we speak, Tuchman tells us that this week alone, he’s flown out to Vegas, and recorded two more episodes with the aforementioned Lonis and YouTube sensation Joey Ingram. In the past, Tuchman has picked up poker legends such as Maria Ho, Phil Hellmuth and Phil Galfond in his ride.

“Some get more serious, others are more frivolous. You never know what’s going to come up!” says Tuchman. “I like to incorporate players I don’t know. Some I know very well of course but whoever it is, we drive around for an hour – it’s fun!”

888poker Green-Lights Year-Round Rides

“It provides us with an opportunity to get guests we wouldn’t otherwise.”

Tuchman says the hardest part – ‘the least fun part’ – is organizing the rides around players schedules. This would previously present a problem when the 888Ride episodes were filmed exclusively during the World Series of Poker.

“The actual shoot is funny, so I enjoy it! Working around everybody’s schedule and trying to make it work… that’s hard. Shaun Deeb, for example. During the summer, he’s just out here grinding the World Series. We rent a car for it and the planning for it takes time. Trying to do it during the World Series and the summer can be impossible.”

That all changed when such was the popularity of the show that 888poker commissioned the show to run all year round.

“I was really excited when 888poker gave us the green light to do it all year round, because that opened up a whole new way to deal with it,” Tuchman says. “It provides us with an opportunity to get guests we wouldn’t otherwise.”

David Tuchman 888Ride

David Tuchman is the ever-present smiling host of 888Ride – who wouldn’t want to be driven around by this guy?!

Opening up to interviewers – or even people in general – isn’t something poker players always find easy. They work in a game where being guarded is rewarded, so to flip that mentality away from the felt is tricky. It takes a skilled interviewer.

“I’ve commentated with so many people that I’ve met, people who are really comfortable and others who aren’t so comfortable. I feel like one of my strengths is chatting with someone and helping them [open up]. My job as commentator is to bring the best out of a co-host and make them look and sound as good as possible. I just want them to have a good time on 888Ride.”

David Tuchman Interviews: The Joy of Meeting New People

“Poker players have problems that we all have and if we can get to know them better, I find it interesting.”

Tuchman is keen to make time for people who are going to be getting in his car. He recently went to introduce himself to a special guest’s family and says it meant a lot to both his subject and him.

“If I don’t know someone, I’ll go and meet them. Take Jesse Lonis – I went to his house and met his wife and daughter. It was kind of cool, and I felt like that 15 minutes chatting with his family made him feel really comfortable.”

Tuchman had never met Lonis before, but was affected by his openness on X/Twitter.

“I read a tweet about him having a tough childhood and I was touched by that. I reached out and told him I’d love to talk to him about it. He came on and talked about subjects like alcoholism and his father. Poker players have problems that we all have and if we can get to know them better, I find it interesting.”

The 888Ride episodes became hugely popular in a post-pandemic poker world where content is king. Tuchman is proud of the impact that each new episode makes and continues to make, as each subject is viewed steadily after broadcast on the 888poker YouTube channel.

“The fact we’re doing them the year round now has made them catch an audience and they get a reaction,” Tuchman says. “I had a podcast before this called Under the Gun. We did over 200 episodes and we were sponsored by Crush Live Poker. I had all sorts of different guests on it and covered some controversial topics. I put it out there before there were many poker podcasts. This was something I wanted to [expand on] and having the partnership with 888poker made it possible. I’m really lucky to be able to do this. Each episode we forget that we’re asking and answering questions, players just open up and it’s a conversation.”

David Tuchman’s 888Ride Dream Guest

“I just love him – he has so many interesting stories and life experiences he’s accumulated.”

We asked Tuchman who he’d love to have a special guest on a future show – a dream subject if you like. For most, we suggest, this might be Phil Ivey.

“Ivey would be cool – he should be one of them. I’d love to speak with Jennifer Tilly again. It would be awesome to speak with Ninja [a.k.a., Tyler Blevins, Fortnite legend]. But one player I would love to get is Barny Boatman. I’ve done commentary with him. I just love him – he has so many interesting stories and life experiences he’s accumulated.”

Meeting an ‘old school’ player is something Tuchman loves dearly, and that connection from poker’s present to past is something he is always keen to maintain, like a time-travelling poker historian… who cracks jokes!

“I remember having Steve Zolotow in the commentary booth and it wasn’t so much about the action we were watching than hearing Steve’s stories. Someone like Barny would be a dream.”

Another of Tuchman’s aspirations for the 888Ride show is to take it on the road for a longer trip in special episodes.

“I’d love to build it out, get someone super-interesting and take the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and we record it all,” he says, the trademark winsome grin reminding us of a kid in a candy store. “It would be great to see all the different conversations we would have. There are some people I could chat with for hours and hours. Most podcasts are 45 minutes to an hour long, but sometimes I listen to them, and I want more!”

For now, poker fans can celebrate knowing that there will be a lot more episodes of 888Ride. Where will the format go? Who knows. One thing is for certain though. With David Tuchman at the wheel, the show is always in safe hands, whatever adventures may come his – and his guests – way.

***

Check out all of the 888Ride episodes get in the back seat with stars such as Daniel Negreanu, Shaun Deeb, Maria Ho, Phil Hellmuth, Alexandra Botez, Samantha Abernathy, Brian Rast, and WSOP Commentators Norman Chad and Lon McEachernsee the full playlist here.

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Paul Seaton poker author
Written By.

Paul Seaton

Paul Seaton has written about poker from all over the world, and has interviewed the most well known poker players in the world in the pursuit of the perfect poker stories. Having worked events such as the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour, Paul has worked as Editor of BLUFF […]

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