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September 2, 2015

Is GSN done with poker?

by Brett Love, posted Jun 9th 2008 3:04PM

Daniel NegreanuI'll be the first to agree that at some point after Chris Moneymaker's World Series win, poker on TV got a little bit out of hand. For a while it seemed that you couldn't turn on the TV without stumbling over some new poker-based show. Things have settled down somewhat lately, with a few survivors remaining. For my poker watching vote, there remains a big three. The World Series, despite ESPN's screwed up scheduling, World Poker Tour, and the newcomer, High Stakes Poker.

Now it looks like two of the three could be in trouble. It seems that the expected dates for the renewals of WPT and High Stakes over at GSN have come and gone. The speculation is that the new CEO at GSN, David Goldhill, wants to move away from the interest in poker that the former CEO, Rich Cronin, brought to the network. Goldhill would instead like to get back to more traditional game shows.

The move is somewhat surprising because the shows both do very well in the Adults 18-49 demo. For the network, High Stakes is number one, while the recently relocated WPT comes in at number six. They do both take a hit when you look at total viewers though, with WPT moving to seventh and High Stakes falling to twenty-eighth. That twenty-eighth place number is troubling, but with so much attention paid to the A18-49 number these days, it's still odd to see a network actively trying to get older.

Should both shows fail to be picked up, all is not lost for fans of High Stakes. The show is produced by Poker Prods., who also do Poker After Dark for NBC. They've said that they have plans to do a High Stakes-style cash game in July. No word yet on what other options there might be for the WPT. I hope that both of them can find a spot somewhere in the vastness of cable television.

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My favorite was Celebrity Poker on Bravo with Phil Gordon. Other than that, I do enjoy the WSP on ESPN. Thanks for the update on the final table this year because I always hated that I heard who won it all months before it aired. I never got into the other shows as much.

June 09 2008 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Tammy's comment

Dave Foley and Phil Gordon were awesome on Celebrity Poker Showdown. I loved that show.

June 10 2008 at 9:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

The show went down hill fast when Phil Gordon got tired (as he himself tells anyone who will listen) of analyzing the play of people who play worse than most Internet freerollers. He was replaced by Phil Hellmuth, and the chemistry that Foley and Gordon had was totally non-existent between Foley and "the ego that walks like a man."

June 11 2008 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As an actual poker fan, not one who jumped on the craze, I have stopped watching the WPT altogether. All-in after all-in, with Sexton and Van Patton shouting left and right, is just not interesting. High Stakes and Poker After Dark are definitely the 2 strongest poker shows on television, and likely have much smaller production budgets than WPT as well.

If GSN does drop both shows, I'd imagine High Stakes (or something similar) will show up elsewhere.

June 09 2008 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh that'd suck if HSP got dropped. That was by far my favourite poker show. The WPT is a good second place. I never bother with the WSOP because it's so out of date by the time it's aired, and we know who won. If there was one to be dropped, I'd prefer to see NBC's Poker After Dark get dropped.

I don't see why they'd want to drop any of them though, this must be television at it's cheapest, surely. They're all playing with their own money.

June 09 2008 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RR's comment

The final table of the WSOP Main Event is taking place in November this year, only a couple of days before it airs on ESPN.

June 09 2008 at 4:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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