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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

March 10, 2009

High Stakes Poker Remains On Top

by Luckbox

Is there better poker television than GSN's High Stakes Poker? If there is, I haven't seen it. While it may lack some of the flashy production value of ESPN's WSOP or the various incarnations of the WPT, it's still better than them all.

Here are 5 reasons why High Stakes Poker is the best poker show on television:

1. We don't know the outcome. When it comes to the WSOP and the WPT, we know who wins these events long before it ever reaches our television screen. Even with the November Nine experiment, I knew the winner a day before it was televised. There's something to be said for actual drama. Poker After Dark is the only other high-profile poker show where the result isn't always known beforehand, but it's no match for HSP.

2. It's real money, and it's big money. I know the WSOP Main Event offers the largest prize in poker, but it's not the same. It's just not the same as watching Barry Greenstein toss a $100,000 brick of cash into the pot. In fact, check out this hand:

It's a million dollar pot between Sam Farha and Patrik Antonius... and they run it FOUR times after getting all in. You just can't get this anywhere else.

3. It's full of big guns. Sure, the other shows and the tournaments get their taste of the top names, but High Stakes Poker features poker royalty: Doyle Brunson, Barry Greenstein, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu. These are the people who regularly throw around hundreds of thousands of dollars in the world's biggest games, and they're ready to do it for the poker-viewing public. It's fabulous theatre.

4. It's got the best personalities. It's not just about the old guard, it's about the new guard, too. This season features guys like 2008 WSOP champ Peter Eastgate and internet poker and high stakes phenom Tom "Durrrrr" Dwan. In fact, Short-Stacked Shamus has a great post about a fascinating hand involving those two players and Barry Greenstein. No other show gives us a look at both the established pros and the top up-and-coming hot shots.

5. More poker, less other stuff. Very little time is spent doing anything other than showing us hands. It's all action, all the time. Plus, we get to hear an awful lot of the conversation between the players, talking about the hands, or talking about whatever. The announcers are there, but not nearly as intrusive as Norm Chad. Plus, Gabe Kaplan is about as good as they come, in my opinion. He knows the game and he's got a great sense of humor.

| Poker on TV