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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Where Are They Now – Kara Scott

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Where are They Now is a series of an in depth look at all poker players - not just the pros - as they travel through one long game. Some of the players profiled are deceased but not forgotten.

To many poker players and fans, Kara Scott is most known for her role as co-host on Game Show Network’s “High Stakes Poker” alongside Gabe Kaplan.  However, that is just one of the many roles she has had on television, with some of those roles being as far from poker as you can get.  When she’s not commentating on the poker action she can be seen competing, and competing well, against the biggest names in the game.  Despite not having as much experience as these top players, she has made deep runs in a number of poker tournaments, including the biggest of them all, the World Series of Poker Main Event.  

Kara Scott was born in Alberta, Canada in 1977, but relocated to the United Kingdom in 1999.  Growing up in Canada she played very little poker, and other than a few games with family here or there, the game was…just a game.  Instead, Scott focused on fighting, particularly learning the art of Muay Thai, a martial art originated in Thailand that incorporates many of the same skill sets as kickboxing.  It’s doubtful that Scott knew her training in Muay Thai would help her in the television world years down the road, but it did just that when a couple years after arriving in the UK she earned the job as “Sports Presenter” for the martial arts show “Now is the Time: Night of Combat.”  Scott caught the attention of organizers of the show who asked her if she wanted to become a producer, a job she accepted.

Her work on the combat show drew the attention of other network executives, and more jobs came her way.  She took one step closer to being involved in the poker world when she accepted the job as host of the 2005 World Backgammon Championships, which aired in her native Canada and her new home in the UK.  In 2006 she also hosted the World Series of Backgammon.

The link between poker players and backgammon is shorter than many people think.  Many of the top poker players either enjoyed, or continue to enjoy a profitable career from backgammon, including the likes of Dan Harrington and Gus Hansen.  Through the connections she made in the backgammon world, she arrived at her first job in the poker world.

Scott joined the popular show “Poker Night Live” and her popularity on the television show opened up more doors in the poker world, including becoming a regular contributor to poker magazines such as “Poker Player Magazine” and “Flush.”  In 2007 she accepted a job with the popular UK sports channel Sky Television, to be one of the hosts on Sky Poker.  The position with Sky Poker was one of the most sought after positions in all of poker, but still Scott was not completely satisfied.  It was time for her to get the full experience of poker so for the first time she became a competitor in the game.  

Much like the way dealers feel they get better by observing poker players while dealing, Scott felt the same way about her position in the media.  Scott tried her best to adapt the strategies of winning players she had covered, while trying to avoid leaks she had witnessed in other players.  Scott began to see positive results almost immediately, winning her first two heats in the PartyPoker Women’s World’s Open, before finishing 6th in the final heat for $5,000.  In February 2008 she won her first ever tournament, winning the PartyPoker Sports Star Challenge, collecting a paycheck of $50,977.  

In July of 2008 she played in her very first World Series of Poker Main Event.  Her finish of 104th gained her recognition for not only being one of the last women eliminated from the event, but also because she had performed so well on such a big stage, she earned $41,816.  Instead of being a one hit wonder like so many before her, she has been able to take this momentum and parlay it into a number of successful cashes in big tournaments since then.  

In October of 2008 she cashed in her first European Poker Tour Event, finishing 52nd in the Budapest event.  Her hard work paid off just six months later when she earned a career high $413,612 for finishing second in the 2009 Irish Open.  In that year’s World Series of Poker she finished in 238th, cashing for $32,963.  That may have seemed like a disappointing finish for Scott, coming off the biggest cash of her career, but still it was historic because with that cash she became the only woman in WSOP Main Event history to cash in back-to-back events.  She’ll look to add to that record in the 2010 event.

Scott, like a lot of poker players, is no strangers to prop bets.  While on the radio show “Hardcore Poker Radio” in 2008, she made a bet with the host Chris Tessaro that she would cash in the EPT Warsaw Event and if she didn’t’ she would have to wear a bunny suit to her next live event.  Unfortunately for Scott she did not cash in the event, so she had to wear the bunny suit to Day 1 of EPT San Remo, including having to prance around media row in the pink outfit.

Her poker exploits weren’t unnoticed by the big boys in poker.  In 2009 she joined the likes of Tony G. and Mike Sexton as a member of team Party Poker.  On top of all of her other writing and television gigs Scott also writes a blog for Party Poker, which can be viewed here

Despite making a name for herself on the felt, Scott hasn’t ventured too far away from television.  In February 2010 Kara Scott replaced AJ Benza as co-host alongside Gabe Kaplan on Game Show Network’s “High Stakes Poker.”  Instead of joining Kaplan in the commentating booth like Benza did, Scott instead interviews the players after certain hands, which can be particularly interesting when she’s face-to-face with a player after they’ve lost upwards of half a million dollars to a four outer on the river.  

Away from work, be it television or on the felt, Scott is dating high stakes poker professional Brian Townsend.  

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