The sixth season of the GSN franchise “High Stakes Poker” filmed this week at the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas. Friday marked the third of three days of filming for the $200,000 buy-in show.
A bevy of poker pros have wandered the halls of the Golden Nugget since Wednesday, each looking to strike it rich in the sixth cycle of the poker television staple. Last year, Tom “durrrr” Dwan made his “High Stakes Poker” debut in style, scooping the largest single pot in the show’s history at the expense of Team PokerStars Pro member Barry Greenstein. Dwan took down $919,000 when his K-Q drew out on Greenstein’s aces and, given the dramatic pots up for grabs, Dwan told Poker News Daily that he’s looking forward to Season 6: “I’m excited to be back. We’re playing for a whole lot of money this time around.”
One player making his “High Stakes Poker” debut is 2008 World Series of Poker (WSOP) November Nine member Dennis Phillips, who took third in the $10,000 buy-in feature tournament last year for $4.5 million. The St. Louis native told Poker News Daily about his mindset headed into the high-stakes cash game: “I’m ready to do this and rock and roll. I sat down at ‘Poker After Dark’ last week and had some fun.” On making a run in the world of cash games, Phillips explained, “I played cash before I played tournaments. I played cash in London and in Monte Carlo as well.” Phillips admitted that he normally plays $25/$50 or $50/$100 cash games.
Common in previous seasons of “High Stakes Poker” were a variety of prop bets, many orchestrated by poker regulars Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak. While waiting to head into the “High Stakes Poker” suite, Laak explained the stance of Executive Producer Mori Eskandani towards prop betting in Season 6: “The prop bets where people would guess on cards, for example, they’ve been trying to get rid of that. Mori is trying to steer towards less betting at all. The bottom line is that he doesn’t want viewers at home to be bogged down with players prop betting in addition to poker.” Prop bets during Season 5 revolved around push-ups, movie ratings, and hole cards.
Daniel Negreanu commented on his Twitter feed that he’s looking forward to running into more quads during the show’s sixth season. He’s appeared on every cycle of the program so far and told Poker News Daily how this year’s installment has varied from previous airings: “The show has progressed really far from Seasons 1 to 5. Season 1 was the smaller names because most of the guys who played were at higher stakes anyway. Now, the antes are up, the buy-ins are up, and the percentage of good players to bad players has gone up. It’s definitely more serious poker now. It’s more cutthroat.”
Also found at the Golden Nugget this week is Barry Greenstein, who, like Negreanu, has been a staple of “High Stakes Poker” ever since Season 1. Greenstein explained how the sixth season differs from years past: “The poker economy is down, so the money seems tougher to come by. There are few guys who you know play big online that have money, but the majority of people are thinking they’re taking a $200,00 shot and they’ll see what happens. The first year we did this, players felt better funded. I think what will happen is that there will be two guys like Phil Ivey and Durrrr who will try to muscle everyone around. Others will try to pick their spots.”
Released in the original cast list for Season 6 of “High Stakes Poker,” but not participating, was cash game player Sammy George. Those slated to take part in the festivities include Patrik Antonius, David Benyamine, Doyle Brunson, Dwan, Eli Elezra, Esfandiari, Greenstein, Phil Hellmuth, Andreas Hoivold, Ivey, Mike Matusow, Allan Meltzer, Negreanu, Phillips, Lex Veldhuis, and Yevgeniy Timoshenko. The series premieres on Sunday, February 14th at 8:00pm ET and features Kara Scott reporting on action from the “High Stakes Poker” suite.