Well, it's been a pleasure to see High Stakes Poker coming back for a 6th season and so far, about a third of the episodes have been released (if season is going to be 24 episodes long). I've just finished watching episode 08 which ended the 2nd group of featured players (Dwan, Ivey, Negreanu, Greenstein, Antonius, Robl, Phillips, Veldhuis) and well, I'm confirming my opinion about the show when I saw the first episode : I'm not thrilled at all.
Before I get into assaulted by HSP fans, please hear my plead. First, the pluses :
On this new season,
1) No more AJ Benza just laughing at Gabe Kaplan's attempts to humour and said maybe 10 words every episode. Gabe Kaplan comments and rimes can now shine without the other bugger.
2) Tom Dwan played in every episode so far which is a great addition because he's involved in a lot of action and I'm pleased to get to know more about such a crushing online player.
Then the minuses :
1) 30 seconds with Kara Scott looks an awfully lot like the side interviews with the host in Poker After Dark. The only difference is we don't hear the chips and the table talking while doing the interview which in my opinion cuts the interviewer and the interviewed from the rest of the world. Of course this is a better interview environment but I liked the continuity feeling from the interviews on PAD.
2) Negreanu doing the "Did you know ?" is probably an attempt to look more appealing to beginners/newcomers to the show. I'm not a fan of this part of the show because high stakes aren't for the beginner player and the choice of topics discussed so far doesn't quite match the action on the table.
3) The cast of "non-uber-well-known-pros" (such as Veldhuis) didn't make the action more interesting. They just let the other pros feast on their stacks... I mean, what good does it provide to the show to see pros doing what they regularly do for a living (aka hunting fishes) ? We're here to see big actions at high stakes (we've seen a few but not as much as I expected), not fishes doing mistakes pros exploit easily.
4) Phil Laak crashing the last episode of a group of players (first group as well as second group) and plays like a nit and for only a couple of televised hands ? No thank you ! I mean I like the guy and usually like how he plays but like Barry Greenstein said in episode 08 ***spoiler alert***
"Phil Laak didn't come here to play poker, he came here to get TV time"
***end of spoiler***
Well, it's only the first third of the season and I'll expect the rest of it to be more entertaining than this third was. I'm missing a little bit Sam Farha and other gamblers like him. Let's hope for the best.
PS : Now, you fans can assault this thread