High Stakes Poker Season 7 Taping at Bellagio This Week

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This week, the seventh season of the GSN cash game franchise “High Stakes Poker” will begin taping at the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip. Last year, the action emanated from the Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas and a source close to GSN told Poker News Daily that the change in venue was due to a “production decision.”

No members of the media are allowed inside the “High Stakes Poker” suite for Season 7. Instead, what happens in the small makeshift poker room will remain a closely guarded secret until the seventh cycle of the show airs beginning in February on GSN. “High Stakes Poker” will return to its Sunday night time slot and feature with the same faces as last year: PartyPoker pro Kara Scott conducting interviews from tableside and former “Welcome Back, Kotter” star Gabe Kaplan flying solo in the booth.

The constantly-changing list of pros scheduled to turn out over the next three days includes Barry Greenstein, Doyle Brunson, recent World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic winner Antonio Esfandiari, David “Viffer” Peat, Phil Laak, Jason Mercier, Phil Galfond, and former World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champ Scotty Nguyen, who will be making his “High Stakes Poker” debut. The same source also relayed that several amateurs will join the fray.

One player who won’t be gracing the “High Stakes Poker” felts this year is Daniel Negreanu, one of only a handful of players who have competed in every season to this point. Negreanu explained via Twitter why he wouldn’t be able to make it to Las Vegas in time: “Sad news: At airport headed home, which means the trip is over. Have a commercial shoot when I land, which means no HSP for me this year.” Negreanu had been in Sydney for the PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour Grand Final, where he made the final table and finished ninth.

Lex Veldhuis will also be a no-show for “High Stakes Poker” at the Bellagio. Veldhuis Tweeted earlier today, “Crazy busy week. Leaving for Vegas on Monday. Have to get all my shit done. Had to cancel for High Stakes Poker.”

Also potentially absent from the “High Stakes Poker” felts this season will be Full Tilt pros, although our source could not confirm or deny their attendance. Greenstein, a PokerStars pro, explained the dilemma on TwoPlusTwo: “Full Tilt has two major concerns. First is they don’t like their players playing when PokerStars is the sponsor of the show… Secondly, they were unhappy that PokerStars bought the HSP archives. In the early seasons of HSP, the players didn’t wear logos, so FTP is concerned that viewers will be able to go to PokerStars.tv and see the FTP players without logos and be confused by their affiliation.”

In previous years, the press was invited for interviews prior to the action. In fact, when the filming of Season 7 was scheduled to take place last month, Poker News Daily was invited to watch the action unfold. However, due to the change in location to the Bellagio this month, a source close to GSN told Poker News Daily, “We have all of these new players, a new venue, and new elements. It’s a small space. It’s super tight and we just want to focus on the game play.”

“High Stakes Poker” will once again boast a $200,000 buy-in for Season 7 and, unlike NBC’s “Poker After Dark,” no change to Pot Limit Omaha is expected. Instead, the GSN series will continue spreading high-stakes No Limit Hold’em. One-hour episodes will once again grace the small screen next year, as has been the case in years’ past.

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Haven’t they realised that the shows popularity depends on Dwan and Ivey? Daniel probably thought that it’s not worth playing without the Full Tilt pros. as being a favourite would be too much responsibility!
Hopefully Full Tilt will organize their own High Stakes event this year.
The inclusion of Phil Galfond is a pleasant surprise.


yeah agreed, it is a must to have dwan, ivey, or antonius.. wtf is going on? to answer your question the full tilt team already have a cash game, 2010 has already been played so now waiting for 2011 season


and where are the women of poker? to be fair, there are some great women players we enjoy watching.


This is shocking….ftp is ruining the best poker programme by a stretch….nobody pays attention to the sponsor of the show. I wont be watching without durrrrrrrr, ivy and antonius!!!


you can still learn a lot by watching the players who do play. Although I do agree that no Dwan, Ivey or Antonius makes it much more boring. All three like to give a lot of action.


and what does full tilt lose by not allowing their players to play? from an economic standup, it sounds like a good idea. They can potentially sabotage their rival’s TV show by not allowing famous players to play, thus reducing the advertising effectiveness and maybe smearing PS’s name a little.
Not saying this isn’t completely unethical, but it makes sense from a business side.

HSP is in a lot of trouble, though. Honestly, I don’t feel sorry for them after they kicked AJ out. Let’s be serious: season 6 was pretty terrible. I could not STAND to watch the interviews because the stupidity of the entire concept filled me with so much rage that I was temporarily blinded. Who CARES how many cars Dwan has, or how old he was when he started playing poker? And we know what happened in the hand because Gabe explained it to us AS IT WAS HAPPENING, we don’t need to hear Hellmuth talk about how folding on the river was his master plan all along. Also, poor old Gabe just talks to himself now, it’s a lonely and depressing show.

Here’s hoping season 7 will be better!

Dan Cypra

It’ll be interesting to see who ended up taping when GSN releases its final cast list. We’ll have it for you right here on Poker News Daily when it’s sent out.


Without Durrrr, Sammy and Daniel its not worth watching. Same old tight players with no action or creativeness. Maybe next year if the rating for in the Toilet??

Mr Valet

I will still watch season 7 because i like poker and Gabe describing the action ……..However it is really more enjoyable to follow the show when Negreanu, Harmon and most of all Sammy Farha are at the table !!!
Come on guys , shuffle up and deal )


No ft pros or daniel? no dwan, ivey, or antonious. way to go gsn im sure youre viewers will enjoy WPT episode poker. watching barry wait for queens or better and viffer chew his own face and make stupid jokes. the only upside is antonio and laak, maybe theyll battle.


No Dwan?? He’s the ballsiest player out there today!!


And no Gabe either instead we have the stiff doofus that is Norm McDonald?? WHOO??? NORM “My Career peaked on Sat Night Live” McDonald.. Uhh this guy just because he felted a few WSOP tourneys does not a poker analyst and announcer make.. and Yes I watched 1st episode last night and wanted to gouge my eyes out. OMG Please spare us.. At least Gabe knows poker (It was rumored that it was more a case of FTP pros being disinvited by PS then FTP telling them not to come at least according to a source close to a certain FTP Pro and that Gabe took offense to it and left HSP because of it). Disappointing in that I really above all wanted to see another Mikey Matusow meltdown :)

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