High Stakes Poker to Return

by , Jul 21, 2008 | 3:52 pm

HSP was gone, and then back again, and then not really at all … but now Bluff Europe is reporting that GSN has picked up the option for a fifth season of High Stakes Poker. Apparently GSN just had to get rid of the WPT before they could renew? That seems plausible enough — that the new brass at GSN may have decided they had room for only one poker show, and they wanted to dance with the ones who brung them. Considering GSN’s extended dealings with the WPT before bidding them adieu, that might make sense with why they left Gabe Kaplan and AJ Benza in the dark without letting them go.

Rumors that the new season will include Pot Limit Omaha are just that … rumors … but how cool would that be, though, if they did include that game?

UPDATE: AJ Benza confirms, “I’m back baby! Looks like we’ll start taping in early September. Cant wait.”

11 Comments to “High Stakes Poker to Return”

  1. California Jen


    It really does sound like GSN wanted to renew High Stakes Poker but wanted to make WPT think that they didn’t want any poker. Sneaky!

  2. Kevin Mathers

    Is there a link to the AJ Benza quote, or did you email him personally?

    The early reports that were floated out there mentioned that Jerry Yang and Tuan Lam were going to appear on HSP.

  3. Ed

    shew…thought i was going to have to write Poker After Dark and ask for more Cash Game Weeks.

  4. DanM

    Yep, that’s indeed where the Benza quote came from — I emailed, he responded. Obviously we all should be pissed at AJ for not reaching out to me directly and sharing the inside scoop first.

    Seriously, how does anyone get any poker info and not say to themselves, “I better let Pokerati know and then I’ll call mom!”?

  5. BJ Nemeth

    I just assume that my Mom will pass the word on to Pokerati, thereby killing two birds with one phone call. (The iPhone can do everything! Even kill birds!)

  6. Mark

    The only poker show worth watching is back! GSN needs to market the show better this time so their sponsors realize the great audience they are getting (No more bra ads) I hear so many people talking about this show, you would think it would be a cash cow.

  7. Kevin Mathers

    As Oliver’s said numerous times, GSN’s looking for the older female demo, so expect more of the same in terms of commercials (or hope for certain sites to post the shows later that night).

  8. Drizztdj

    Think Jamie Gold is aloof enough to play PLO against Sammy, Antonius, and David B.?

    Can’t imagine the action pots in that game, they would have to add a cap.

  9. olivert

    What we don’t know yet is whether GSN will continue to pay about $50K per episode of HSP, or whether the deal has been restructured so that the likes of FullTiltPoker.net is now paying the bills for HSP.

    The fundamental problem for poker TV in the U.S. market remains: only 6 out of 20 30-second ad spots per hour of poker on GSN are sold at the asking price (i.e. the ones bought by FullTiltPoker.net, PokerStars.net, or AbsolutePoker.net/UltimateBet.net), with the other 14 spots being filled with “run of station”, or ROS ads (targeting housewives and church ladies) at half the price compared to targeted ads sold at or near the asking price.

    Not all TV deals are created equal.

  10. DanM

    I don’t think they restructured this deal, Oliver. Based on the Bluff Europe piece and PokerKing Blog … it doesn’t seem like anything changed from before:


  11. Earl

    Yes, I would love for High Stakes Poker to include some Omaha