The Game Show Network (GSN) has teamed with the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for the second season of World Series of Blackjack, the network’s highly-rated casino TV show.
World Series of Blackjack will feature 40 of the world’s best amateur and professional blackjack players and will award $500,000 in total prize money.
The grand prize for the invitational tournament is $250,000 to the winner — up from last year’s $100,000. Notable players at the Golden Nugget tournament include MIT Mike, last year’s winner, Stanford Wong and Charles Gorson, among others.
The 13-episode series will premiere January 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
"We have a stellar lineup this year of the best blackjack players in the world at a premier location, the legendary Golden Nugget," said Ian Valentine, senior vice president of programming at GSN. "We anticipate exciting episodes each week as the players demonstrate their expertise and skill against the house and competitors. We are confident that, just like last season, each episode will be thrilling for viewers until the last card is dealt."
World Series of Blackjack will continue with the same strategy and drama of high-stakes tournament play, while observing the basic casino rules. The players will compete against each other based on their strategy and amount they wager on each hand.
In every round each player will be staked with $100,000 in tournament chips. Episodes will culminate with one finalist — the player with the most money at the end of each show advancing to semi-final rounds. There will be five players in the preliminary and semi-final rounds and four players in the wildcard playoff and final rounds.
The first place winner will win $250,000 in addition to their winnings earned in preliminary and semi-final rounds.
As with the first season, TV sports personality Matt Vasgersian ("Celebrity Blackjack") returns as host along with Max Rubin, professional blackjack player and gambling consultant, who will provide humor, blackjack tips and insight into the players’ strategy as the color commentator for the series.
Also returning from last season are finalists, including season one champion MIT Mike, "Hollywood" Dave Stann (who also serves as the dealer on GSN’s Celebrity Blackjack), Regina Guzior, who is legally blind, and Anthony Curtis, publisher of Las Vegas Advisor.
The first season of World Series of Blackjack doubled GSN’s time period ratings while improving the audience composition of the key 18-49 demographic by 43 percent.
The Golden Nugget is one of the premier hotel-casinos in Nevada and the largest in downtown Las Vegas, offering 1,805 deluxe guest rooms and 102 plush suites and penthouses. Winner of the AAA Four-Diamond Award for 27 consecutive years, the Golden Nugget is the most luxurious resort in downtown Las Vegas and consistently receives critical acclaim for exceeding customer expectations.