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Poker News | World Poker News

Sunday is the New Poker Night, Prepare Recording Devices

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For weeks at a time, it seems like reruns of poker programming is all that is available to fans of the game. Then, suddenly, a barrage of shows hit the airwaves in one night. The premiere of Season 5 of High Stakes Poker, the season finale of the 2008 World Series of Poker Europe, a new episode of the World Poker tour, and the season premiere of the Celebrity Apprentice featuring poker pro Annie Duke all appear on the same night, within the same primetime window. It will be a challenge for any viewer.

One of the most watched shows on television is making its return to GSN for a fifth season. High Stakes Poker was filmed in December at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas, and though the names of most players were not released at the time, it was hinted that the new season will include familiar faces like Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak, and Daniel Negreanu. With a minimum buy-in of $200,000 for the cash game, Season 5 will boast of the highest buy-in ever on a television series, so the action is sure to be intense, not to mention expensive.

Fan-favorite hosts Gabe Kaplan and A.J. Benza will return as the hosts to provide hand analysis and off-hand commentary. Executive producers Mori Eskandani and Henry Orenstein were at the helm of the production again and noted that this will be a must-see season. “Viewers are in for a thrill,” Eskandani said.

Premiere: Sunday, March 1 at 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central time on GSN

Also on the list of premieres is something a little different for poker fans. Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice will be watched by poker enthusiasts, as well as a plethora of reality television fanatics, because of Annie Duke’s participation as one of the 16 celebrities on the show. And according to unofficial reports, Duke is one of the last players standing.

The line-up for the show includes Joan and Melissa Rivers, former athletes Dennis Rodman and Herschel Walker, golfer Natalie Gulbis, singers Brian McKnight and Clint Black, personalities Jesse James and Khloe Kardashian, comedians Tom Green and Andrew Dice Clay, ice skater Scott Hamilton, singer Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, and models Claudia Jordan and Brande Roderick. Each contestant played for a charity of their choosing, and Duke’s charity was Refugees International, an organization that offers support and aid for displaced people around the world, also working toward solutions for crises that caused the refugees to flee.

Premiere: Sunday, March 1 at 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central time on NBC (2-hour broadcast)

To wrap up a whirlwind of television broadcasts in this series, the World Series of Poker Europe episodes on ESPN2 will provide the final two hours of shows consecutively. The four-week look into the WSOPE main event that took place in September and October of 2008 in London brought a different look to the usual WSOP coverage, though usual commentators Lon McEachern and Norman Chad remained in hosting positions. The last two episodes will show the results of the pro-player dominated final table and looks to provide some quality poker action.

Finale: Sunday, March 1 at 10pm Eastern, 9pm Central time on ESPN2 (2 consecutive episodes)

And last but not least is the ongoing Season 7 of the World Poker Tour, airing for its first season on Fox Sports Net. In the middle of the year of tournaments, this week’s episode will be the first of the two-part Festa al Lago series, which was played and filmed at Bellagio in October of 2008. The incredible final table included Nam Le, Nenad Medic, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Adam “Roothlus” Levy, Osmin Dardon, and Will Mietz.

Episode: Sunday, March 1 at various times on FSN, times vary by state and region so local listings must be consulted.

Many of the above-listed shows overlap, which will require using the TiVo, DVR, or VCR at capacity. And if those recording devices won’t suffice, it might be a time to ask your neighbor for a favor, or at worst, try to catch reruns of FSN or ESPN2 shows later in the week. Whatever the case, Sunday night seems to be poker night on television, and it’s certainly must-see TV!

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