Poker Central to Resurrect “Poker After Dark”



Poker Central has announced that it will be bringing back one of the most popular poker television shows, “Poker After Dark.” It will be broadcast live only on Poker Central’s PokerGO subscription service beginning Monday, August 7th.

“PokerGO’s vast content library will now include the return of one of the most beloved poker shows in the world as we continue our commitment to delivering premium live content our subscribers want to see,” said Poker Central president Joe Kakaty in a press release. “We plan to announce additional high stakes tournaments and original programming in the near future as we continue to build on the PokerGO offering.”

“Poker After Dark” debuted on New Year’s Day 2007, a time when online poker site-sponsored poker television was all the rage. Sponsored by the then-high flying Full Tilt Poker, the show featured six players – mostly Full Tilt pros or pros with close ties to Full Tilt pros – buying-in for $20,000 each in a winner-take-all Sit-and-Go. It aired Tuesday through Saturday at 2:05am ET on NBC (hence the “After Dark” part of the title) and at 1:00am ET on Sunday. The first five shows were regular episodes, airing the Sit-and-Go competition as it wound down to a winner. The Sunday program was a “director’s cut” summary of sorts with additional commentary and highlights.

In the show’s fourth season, some episodes featured cash games.

Ali Nejad served as the show’s commentator, though his kept his input to a minimum, as much of the point of “Poker After Dark” was to allow fans to hear the table banter.

“Poker After Dark” filmed seven seasons, but the show halted airing in September 2011 after the Black Friday scandal shut down Full Tilt Poker and its sponsorship of the show. The last few weeks did not air on NBC.

Ali Nejad will return to provide commentary for version 2.0 of “Poker After Dark,” along with Nick Schulman. While the original show’s game of choice was No-Limit Hold’em, the new one will feature different disciplines, including Pot-Limit Omaha and Mixed Games, designed to cater toward present-day player preferences.

Poker Central has said that Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari are already committed to participate in the first episode.

The new show will be produced by the top name in poker television, Poker PROductions, and will be filmed at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The final season of the show’s original run was also filmed at the ARIA Resort after four seasons at the South Point Casino and two at the Golden Nugget.

Poker Central is making a hard charge at becoming the center of poker programming. It surprised a lot of people by cutting a deal with the World Series of Poker to be the primary broadcaster of this year’s WSOP Main Event, which got underway Saturday. ESPN’s family of networks will air a few hours of the Main Event each day until the final table, while PokerGO will show the rest. ESPN will broadcast the entire WSOP Main Event final table, which will take place this month rather than in November.

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