High Stakes Poker Overview:
Each 1-hour episode of the show features poker pros who buy-in for a minimum of $100,000 of their own money. Together, they play a no-limit Texas Hold'em cash game. It's the only show of its kind, a non-tournament show that shows how the pros really play with each other. When players bust out, they can re-buy back in if they want, and they can sit down with any amount they want.
Where Does it Take Place?:
The 1st season of High Stakes Poker was filmed at the Golden Nugget Casino; the 2nd season is filmed at the Palms, and the 3rd and fourth seasons were filmed at the South Point Hotel and Casino. The fifth and sixth seasons returned to the Golden Nugget, while the seventh moved on again to the Bellagio. All seasons were shot in Las Vegas, Nevada.
High Stakes Poker Hosts:
The show was hosted by former “Welcome Back Kotter” star and now poker player, Gabe Kaplan for the first six seasons, who was joined by AJ Benza for the first five seasons. Benza was replaced by Kara Scott, who stayed on through season Seven, when comedian Norm McDonald took over hosting duties.
The Players Featured on High Stakes Poker:
Daniel Alaei, Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Dr. Jerry Buss (LA Lakers owner), Fred Chamanara, Johnny Chan, Freddy Deeb, Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Farha, Ted Forrest, Barry Greenstein, Jennifer Harman, Phil Hellmuth, Dr. Amir Nasseri, Daniel Negreanu, Mimi Tran, Sean Sheikhan, Bob Stupak, and Jamie Gold.
High Stakes Poker Variations:
One of the unique things you'll see on High Stakes Poker is that the players will 'Deal it twice' in a heads-up hand, which means that instead of dealing one flop, they deal two flops, so each player in the hand has 2 chances to win... or lose.
High Stakes Poker: When to Watch:
You can catch airings of new episodes of High Stakes Poker at 8 PM on Saturdays on GSN, but check your local listings for showtimes.
High Stakes Poker: Review:
There's something really enjoyable about watching the best of the best together and seeing how they get along -- or don't. In one episode Todd Brunson basically says that Sean Sheikhan can't play and will lose all his money soon -- and Brunson is going to enjoy that -- for instance.
I also enjoy how players come and go throughout the episodes, so while there's a continuity in the players that stay from show to show, there's a fresh element each episode too, and you can see how the dynamic of the game changes as the lineup does. There's also just something very unique and exciting about watching people play with hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money that can't be beat.