High-stakes II

Apr 10, 2006 11:18 PM

The legends of poker are back on GSN, the network for games, for a second season of High Stakes Poker.

Based on the series solid ratings performance, the network has ordered a new 16-episode season that will feature the same minimum buy-in requirement for all invited players — $100,000 of their own money.

The current season is airing on GSN each Monday evening, with repeat broadcasts later in the week.

What has made the poker show compelling has been the nature of the competition — pros are competing in a high-stakes "cash game," rather than a structured tournament setting.

These games provide plenty of insight to new players who mostly play in cash games.

In addition, the commentary by poker analyst Gabe Kaplan (yes, the guy from Welcome Back, Kotter) is really superb. Kaplan has a keen knowledge of the game (he’s a skilled player in his own right) and provides key insights into what the players are doing, and in many cases what they should be doing.

Joining High Stakes Poker again are some of the best players in the world including, Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreau and Sam Farha who each will risk hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars, to participate in television’s only cash game series.

The first High Stakes Poker series was filmed at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. Produced by Henry Orenstein’s production company, HSOR, L.L.C., season two will be shot on location at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, on April 10 and 11th.

"As the only poker cash game on television, this series lets fans learn how the poker legends play when risking huge amounts of their own money," said Rich Cronin, president and CEO of GSN. "High Stakes Poker has exceeded our expectations and we are looking forward to the second season for this exciting, one of a kind poker show."

Not only has High Stakes Poker received critical acclaim from the poker world, it has also delivered additional viewers to the network. High Stakes Poker has increased household ratings by 79% on Monday nights at 9 p.m. (EST) on GSN while doubling the Male 18-49 ratings and tripling the Male 25-54 ratings for the network.

The popular duo of co-host A.J. Benza and actor turned poker player, Gabe Kaplan, will both return to call the second season of High Stakes Poker. The players, in addition to Brunson, Negreanu and Farha will be announced at a later date.

"Every week after the show, I get calls from my poker friends from all over the country telling me how much they enjoyed High Stakes Poker," said Henry Orenstein, executive producer and the inventor of the in-table camera for poker shows. "They tell me that they love the show because this is real poker with real money and you can learn a lot from it."

The finale of the original season of High Stakes Poker occurred on April 10. In that episode, Daniel Negreanu attempts to recover his previous losses and Phil Hellmuth, who has also taken some bad beats in previous episodes, tries to walk away as a winner.

Also playing in this episode are Los Angeles Lakers owner, Jerry Buss, Jennifer Harman, Antonio Esfandiari, Johnny Chan, Barry Greenstein and Todd Brunson.