Perhaps one of the most realistic looks at the poker world is about to end its first season run come Monday, April 10th. GSN's 'High Stakes Poker' has pulled back the curtain and displayed the world of high dollar No Limit Texas Hold Em by putting some of the best in the world on display for the last thirteen weeks. Showing the popularity of the series as well with the viewers, "High Stakes Poker" has also been picked up for another season GSN announced on Wednesday.
"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." The executive producer of the show, Henry Orenstein, remarked as well about the show when he stated, "Every week on Tuesday after the show, I get calls from my poker friends from all over the country telling me how much they enjoyed "High Stakes Poker". 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 numbers tell the story about the success of "High Stakes Poker" in its Monday 9PM time slot on GSN. Poker players have been quite pleased with the overall approach of the program and "High Stakes Poker" has also increased viewership on GSN as well. The show has increased the audience by 79% over previous GSN offerings and has doubled the viewers in the Male 18-49 range and tripled the numbers in the Male 25-54, which are two prime segments that television looks at to judge the success of television programming.
Three big names will sit down again at the "High Stakes Poker" table, bringing their own money to the tables for the sixteen week Season Two competition. Daniel Negreanu, Sam Farha and Doyle Brunson are all committed to the second season of the program, where the minimum a player can buy in for is $100,000 and, once busted, can buy back in for a minimum of $50,000. Returning to host the proceedings will be A. J. Benza and poker player/commentator/actor Gabe Kaplan, who have done an admirable job of commentary during the run of the first season of the event.
During the run of the first season, many of the poker professionals assembled have brought significantly more than the minimum to the table to allow for some swings of fortune. In the Season One finale this Monday evening (April 10th), Daniel Negreanu will attempt to dig himself out of the hole that he dug himself into. He went to the tables in the first season with $1 million, dropped down to as low as $250,000, and has been able to grind himself back up to being 'stuck' only $200,000. Sam Farha, who has been running amok during the series and has done very well, also comes back, bringing his highly unorthodox approach to the big dollar game.
Perhaps most notable during the run of the series has been the travails of Phil Hellmuth at the tables. He has been unable to get on any kind of run among the professionals assembled, which has resulted in some highly expletive laden diatribes from the legendary player. He will attempt to rise from the ashes against professionals that will include the previously mentioned Negreanu and Farha and also has Jennifer Harman, Todd Brunson, Antonio Esfandiari, Johnny Chan, Barry Greenstein and Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss occupying seats at the table.
The poker played in the first season of "High Stakes Poker" has been an excellent demonstration of poker skill and it has also demonstrated some of the idiosyncrasies that are inherent in a cash game setting (such as "drawing twice" on hands, something not seen on tournament broadcasts). It is also a further statement to the television success of poker that GSN has picked it up for a second season. We should see the second season of "High Stakes Poker" very soon, perhaps as soon as the May sweeps period for television. Until then, we'll watch as the drama plays out on the finale of Season One of "High Stakes Poker".
Ed Note: Play some high stakes poker of your own at Pokerroom.com