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Oct 17, 2014

GSN prompts Speculation on Return of TV's "High Stakes Poker"

By RTR Dennis

While there have been many poker shows on TV over the years, none captured the attention of mainstream audiences quite like High Stakes Poker (HSP). Running for seven seasons from 2006 to 2011 and featuring a wide array of famous players, HSP was one of the most popular programs on the Game Show Network (GSN). However, Black Friday struck and Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars stopped sponsoring the show, prompting GSN to pull it off the air.

So for over three years, HSP has been dormant while a number of other mediocre poker shows have come and gone. But after GSN recently put a survey about the show on their YouTube channel, speculation is running rampant that it might soon return to television. That said, let's discuss the survey and who might decide to sponsor it in the future.

GSN asks questions on High Stakes Poker former hosts and everybody's favorite player

While GSN's survey posed a number of bland questions (i.e. age, location, sex), there were also some interesting inquiries too. For example, they wanted to know how important viewers thought previous hosts Gabe Kaplan (seasons 1-6) and Kara Scott (seasons 6-7) were to the show. This question furthers speculation that if HSP is brought back, Kaplan and/or Scott could be hosting it once again.

Another noteworthy part of the survey asked viewers to list their favorite poker player. Some of the famed grinders who consistently appeared on HSP include Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Mike Matusow and Phil Ivey. All of these guys are still relevant today and could probably land a seat on the show if they wanted it.

Other questions included what viewers' "main reason" for watching HSP was, and how important they thought the show's venue was. Previous locations for HSP included Golden Nugget Las Vegas, The Palms and South Point Casino.

Are their New Sponsors lined up?

As mentioned before, the loss of major sponsorships was a primary reason why High Stakes Poker went off the air. So given GSN's sudden interest in bringing the show back, are there some new sponsors waiting in the wings?

GSN is an American channel and considering the recent developments in US online poker regulation, sites likely see more relevancy in sponsoring HSP again. PokerStars is definitely one candidate because they are nearing entry in New Jersey. Other potential sponsors could include 888, the Borgata Party network and WSOP.com. Of course, this is all speculation until we actually find out that HSP is coming back. But it definitely looks promising when considering the survey that GSN recently offered.