Wednesday, January 25, 2006

GSN Finally gets something right!

After sitting through fast structured "Made for TV" tournaments like Comedians vs Pros, Battle of the Sexes, Battle of the Ages et al, GSN finally put on a decent show! High Stakes Poker shown on Monday nights features a No-Limit Hold'em game where the buyin is a minimum $100k and the max is $1 million. The players are getting paid an hourly rate (similar to scale if you're an actor) but they are risking their own cash. Some of the top pros featured so far include:

Doyle Brunson
Jennifer Harman
Daniel Negreanu
Barry Greenstein
Ted Forrest
Daniel Alaei

Also, some rich amateurs are playing as well, Jerry Buss (Owner of the Laker's) and some Beverly Hills Gyno. Future episodes will have Sam Farha, Phil Hellmuth, Todd Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Antonio Esfandiari among others. It's much more compelling TV when someone's own money is on the line. It's pretty cool to see these guys throwing around bricks of cash worth $50,000. So far the show hasn't featured too much bluffing (other than Daniel of course) and it's interesting to see how the players react to losing a big pot.

The show includes announcers, Gabe Kaplan and AJ Benza. Gabe is pretty funny and is a good player in his own right and AJ is an announcer.

The only real problem I have with the show is the huge amount of commercials and that it's difficult to hear what the pros are saying at the table. Definitely check it out if you've ever dreamed of playing high stakes.