Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

High Stakes Poker on GSN

So I got this what I would normally consider spam email this afternoon from the Executive directory of publicity for the Game Show Network.  I’m not really sure why I received it.  Looking at the list of recipients are some of highest profile bloggers out there and how I managed to get grouped in with them I’ll never know.  I almost deleted the email without reading because they are almost always garbage, but then I realized it was actually legitimate and the content something you, the reader of this blog may also want to see.  So, even though its not normally the type of thing I do, here is Press Release from GSN.    For those of you not interested in a commercial about a new poker show, I’ll try to have something better up tomorrow.



Millions Of Dollars Of The Player’s Own Money Are At Stake As The First ‘CASH GAME’ on Television Debuts

Legends Doyle Brunson And Johnny Chan Are Joined By Rising Stars,
Cash Game Specialists And Elite Businessmen
Such as Lakers Owner Dr. Jerry Buss

AJ Benza and Gabe Kaplan Call the Action in Biggest Cash Game in Town
Beginning January 16 at 9 PM

(Santa Monica, CA) – GSN is bringing viewers the first true cash game of poker on television with a $100,000 minimum buy-in. Unlike other poker shows where the most players can lose is their initial buy-in of up to $10,000, the stars on GSN’s newest series, HIGH STAKES POKER, have millions of their own cash at stake and will win and lose several hundred thousand dollars. HIGH STAKES POKER premieres Monday, January 16 at 9 PM ET/PT.  

“High Stakes Poker is groundbreaking in that it is the first-ever look into the biggest private no limit Hold ’em cash games in town,” said Rich Cronin, President and CEO of GSN.  “This show is intense because players are winning and losing hundreds of thousands of their own dollars on single hands.”

The new hour long series features players from diverse backgrounds from all over the world.  From the legends, to cash game players, to the young superstars that have been featured on “The World Series of Poker,” HIGH STAKES POKER is going to be the first ever cash game that viewers will see the ‘true’ game of poker.

Legends of the poker world are joined by elite poker playing businessmen in the 13-episode series recently taped at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

The all-star line up features:
  • Doyle Brunson --considered by many the greatest poker player of all-time.

  • Johnny Chan --tied with Doyle for the most all-time World Series of Poker bracelets, 10.

  • Barry Greenstein --legendary cash game player.

  • Phil Hellmuth --one of the most recognized and successful players in the world.

  • Daniel Negreanu --2004 Player of the Year.

  • Dr. Jerry Buss --Los Angeles Lakers owner.

  • Jennifer Harman – the only woman professional who competes in the highest cash games in the world on a daily basis.

  • Ted Forrest --five World Series of Poker bracelets.

  • Bob Stupak --one of the most legendary entrepreneurs in Las Vegas.

  • Antonio Esfandiari – A magician and the youngest ever to win over $1 million in a tournament.

  • Eli Elezra --cashed in 12 World Series of Poker events since 1999, owns several Las Vegas retail stores and partner in a construction company.

  • Todd Brunson --one of the top cash game players, son of Doyle.

  • Sean Sheikhan – “Sheiky” a high stakes cash game player and businessman.

  • Dr. Amir Nasiri --successful Las Vegas physician.

  • Freddy Deeb –a career poker playing professional, recently won $1 million at a WPT tournament in Aruba.

  • Daniel Alaei --up and coming star, who’s cashed in several tournaments and won the Heavenly Hold’em tournament at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles.

  • Mimi Tran --ranks in the top 10 among women on the WSOP all-time leading money list.

  • Fred Chamanara --Chicago restaurant owner.

  • Sam Farha --professional who specializes in high stakes cash games and was the runner up to Chris Moneymaker in 2003 World Series of Poker.

The cash game has been called the true version of poker due to the fact that players are allowed to buy-in and continue playing with more money if they lose their initial buy-in of $100,000.  The chips on the table represent actual dollars compared to chips in a tournament that don’t equal the actual value of what is bet. The intensity is taken to a higher level when someone raises $50,000 or $100,000 which is more than the average American’s yearly salary in one hand.

Henry Orenstein of HSOR, L.L.C. serves as the Executive Producer of HIGH STAKES POKER.  Mr. Orenstein invented the in-table cameras that give the viewers at home the ability to see the player’s hole cards.  This innovation is credited for paving the way for the explosion of poker’s popularity on television.

“For the first time ever in the history of poker on television, viewers will see players playing with very large amounts of their own money,” said Orenstein.  “This is what makes it exciting, the players can win huge pots that are worth nearly a half million dollars on a single card.”

Calling the high stakes action at the tables are two newcomers to GSN, AJ Benza and Gabe Kaplan.  Benza will host the series and Kaplan, the former star of “Welcome Back Kotter” and a world class poker player, provides the analysis.  Benza has hosted a variety of television shows and has appeared in movies including “Ransom,” “Conspiracy Theory,” and “The Deli”.  He is best known as one of the most controversial New York columnists in the 1990’s as well as an author who published his memoirs, “Fame, Ain’t It a Bitch”.

Kaplan has previously provided analysis for the “World Series of Poker” and the “National Heads-Up Poker Challenge.”  In addition to his hit television series, Kaplan is a successful stand up comedian and has starred in feature films, “Fast Break,” “Tulips,” and “Nobody’s Perfect.”

In addition to the play at the tables, HIGH STAKES POKER will also include a look at the players behind the scenes.  It will include a look at Doyle Brunson’s lifestyle, going with Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss to a game and traveling with Barry Greenstein to be a speaker at Michigan State about being a professional poker player.  Each episode will also feature a behind the scenes look at one of the players away from the poker room.

GSN, the Network for Games, is the only U.S. television network dedicated to game-related programming.  For further media information, visit GSN’s press website at

--GSN --

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