High Stakes Poker, GSN Officials Preview Season 6
Making waves in the poker world this week has been the announcement of the “High Stakes Poker” Season 6 cast. Set to debut in February on the cable station, “High Stakes Poker” will feature Gabe Kaplan alongside new co-host Kara Scott.
During the first five seasons of the high-dollar cash game show, A.J. Benza provided color commentary with Kaplan. Now, Scott, a television veteran, will furnish insight and interviews from the poker room floor. On the change from Benza to Scott, GSN Vice President of Programming and Development David Schiff told Poker News Daily, “We’re into the sixth season and we felt like it was time to freshen it up. Our feeling was that we wanted viewers to be in the room with the players. Gabe and A.J. did a good job, but they were disconnected from the action.”
Scott is one of only two women to cash in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in back-to-back years and, as such, provides a unique level of insight. She’s fresh off bringing the PokerStars.net Ante Up for Africa charity tournament to life on CBS in the United States and serves as eye candy for ESPN announcer Norman Chad. Schiff explained the allure of hiring Scott, as opposed to other rumored co-hosts like Shana Hiatt and Vanessa Rousso: “Kara is really the full package. She’s a great player and has had deep runs in the Main Event the last two years. We think she can add a lot of insight to the broadcast.”
Seventeen players have been announced as part of the “High Stakes Poker” Season 6 cast, including newcomers Dennis Phillips, Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko, Lex Veldhuis, Andreas Hoivold, and Sammy “Any Two” George. On the stable of pros lined up for Season 6, “High Stakes Poker” Executive Producer Mori Eskandani told Poker News Daily, We are going to have possibly the most colorful and strongest cast we’ve had to date.” The newcomers will take to the felts alongside regulars like Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Doyle Brunson, and Antonio Esfandiari.
Also in the mix for Season 6 is WSOP November Nine member Phil Ivey, who has only appeared once in the show’s five previous seasons. Schiff examined the addition of Ivey to the impressive lineup of poker pros and recreational players: “Arguably, this is the best cast of players we have ever had. To have Phil Ivey off the November Nine and all of the other great players, I think it’ll be great poker action.” The series premieres on Sunday, February 14th at 8:00pm ET and replays twice each night.
“High Stakes Poker” features a $200,000 buy-in and, as such, includes a bevy of well-known tournament players battling it out in a cash game. Eskandani explained, “We’ve never seen Dennis Phillips in cash games, yet he’s done super in tournaments. Now, he’s coming out to the cash game world to throw punches with the best of them.” Last season’s broadcast featured recent WSOP Main Event winners Peter Eastgate and Joe Hachem; neither will take to the felts this time around.
Music mogul Allan Meltzer, who is among the regulars at Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio, will likely be one of the only so-called “recreational” players on the sixth season of “High Stakes Poker.” During Season 5, “The Notebook” Director Nick Cassavettes and “The Simpsons” Co-Creator Sam Simon were among those who challenged poker superstars like Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius. Eskandani explained the dearth of recreational players this season: “This year, Meltzer will be playing, but we didn’t want to go to the same recreational players we always went to. Several that we went to ended up having cold feet.”
“High Stakes Poker” will film from November 11th to 13th at the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas.
Want the latest poker news in your twitter feed? Follow PokerNewsDaily on Twitter.