It’s being reported that High Stakes Poker, the runaway hit for the Game Show Network (GSN) will return to the air in the US on March 1st, 2009. Now heading into its sixth season, the show is returning to it’s roots and hosting a fairly “sane” game with a $200K buy in. They have played with an ultra high stakes format in the past with a minimum buy in of $500K but the play withered and didn’t make for good television. Thus, they’ve returned to a buy in that’s more palatable to the pro players that make the show exciting and it appears that season six will not disappoint.
The backbone of the show is the players that sit around the table. Filming of the show will be wrapped by the time this goes to press but reports on the scene indicate that many players have returned. The usual suspects are all going to be on the show – Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Eli Elezra, and Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari. A rotating roster of “guest” players that include Tom “durrrr” Dwan, the Internet poker phenom, joins them. Also scheduled to appear are semi-celebrity names such as Sam Simon, creator of The Simpsons, and Nick Cassavetes, who directed the tearjerker “The Notebook”. While they’re not household names in the poker world the producers of High Stakes Poker are hoping it lures in other demographics to view the show (read: women and more 18-24 year old men).
GSN is betting that this new season of High Stakes Poker will be the biggest so far. With the regularity of no-name players making World Poker Tour final tables, they may be onto something. With so many programs and networks fighting for viewers, the poker options are the WPT where you likely don’t know the players or High Stakes Poker, with major names and few celebrities tossed in for good measure. While no time slot has been announced yet for the show, I know what I’ll be watching.
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