From the people who brought you the hit poker television series Poker Night in America comes a show that takes a new twist on televised tournament poker. Coming in Summer 2016, The Final Table highlights action from the best tournaments at the most exclusive properties from around the nation. The show broadcasts the remaining five final table players who are mostly locals living out their dreams of playing poker on national television for life-changing money.
Tableside commentary for the show will be provided by David Tuchman and Maria Ho. With picture-in-picture screens, in-depth analysis, and some light-hearted segments, these industry veterans will guide the audience through the tournament action. And like any major televised event, during breaks The Final Table will cut to an in-studio team of analysts that have watched the poker playing along with the audience.
Featuring poker greats Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Hellmuth, along with all-around-funny-man Joe "Stapes" Stapleton, the studio team will have to choose who they think the winner of each tournament will be. But, this is poker, and there's always some risk involved. If someone chooses incorrectly, they pay the price.
At stake? Their dignity.
"We expect to produce 26 one-hour shows in 2016," said Todd Anderson when the show was originally announced. "There will be plenty of chances for people to play and make their way to a final table, including a $1 million guarantee main event at Choctaw Casino at the end of April."
Not only did that Choctaw event boasts $1 million guarantee, but it smashed through it thanks to a field of 1,064 entries and a prize pool of over $1.5 million. Nguyet "Kim" Dao won that event for $286,402.
Filming for the show began in August 2015 at Turning Stone Resort in New York. Additional footage was shot at tournament places such as at Canterbury Park in Minnesota, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, and Thunder Valley Casino Resort near Sacramento.
"We're very excited to be bringing this new programming to national television," said Executive Producer Dustin Iannotti when the show was announced. "We plan to take some risks to try and appeal to a broader mainstream audience. The show will be unique and focus on entertainment, built around a poker game. It will be unlike anything that’s ever been produced before in poker."