It was the summer of 2008 - late July to be more precise - that news of the return of High Stakes Poker on GSN surfaced. After months of uncertainty about GSN’s commitment to poker programming, especially after its choice not to renew the World Poker Tour, it was reported that GSN did pick up the option for the fifth season of High Stakes Poker. And then…silence.
Finally, a press release was issued on November 20th to confirm that one of the most popular poker television shows would indeed film its fifth season of shows. The dates of the cash game are December 19th through 21st, and the setting will be the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas.
Players will buy in to the cash game with a minimum of $200,000, which will be the highest buy-in ever set for a television series. While no player names have been announced, the release notes “today’s most prominent poker stars” will be participating in the game. Likely, some familiar faces will appear, like Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, and Sammy Farha.
Also missing from the press release was confirmation that popular hosts Gabe Kaplan and AJ Benza would return, though it was reported in July that Benza had received notice that he was being brought back for another season. There is an expectation that this announcement will be made as the December taping date approaches when player names can also be released.
High Stakes Poker executive producer Henry Orenstein said, “High Stakes Poker, by a wide margin, has become a must-see on GSN for poker players and poker fans all over the world. We are happy to bring back the top amateurs and professionals risking hundreds of thousands of their money in the new season.”
Co-executive producer Mori Eskandani added, “Viewers are in for a thrill.”
Also chiming in was COO of the Golden Nugget Brett Kellerman. “We are thrilled to be partnering with GSN in filming their fifth season of High Stakes Poker. The Golden Nugget is known for exciting poker events, and we feel it just makes sense to bring a program like High Stakes Poker to our property. It’s a perfect fit for the players, the fans and the Golden Nugget.”
With filming set for late December, just before Christmas and New Year’s, it can be assumed that it would take several months to edit the footage and solidify the air dates on GSN. Tentatively, High Stakes Poker fans can look for the much-anticipated series to return to TV in the spring of 2009. *The buy in is only $200,000 minimum in High Stakes Poker. Simply put, how many poker players in the world have that kind of cash laying around? There's free money available at PokerStars - start small and go big, it's pain free!*