Poker Central Acquires High Stakes Poker Brand

Poker Central Acquires High Stakes Poker Brand

Poker Central is known for sponsoring a plethora of high-stakes poker tournaments, from the US Poker Open to the Super High Roller Bowl. This week, it announced that it acquired the High Stakes Poker brand and all of its assets. It makes total and complete sense.

Along with the announcement, Poker Central stated that it will begin streaming episodes of the classic poker television show in the coming months, with more details to follow.

Retro Poker TV

Anyone who has been involved in poker – as a player or a fan – remembers the television show. High Stakes Poker aired on GSN (Game Show Network) in the United States from 2006 through 2011, for the most part.

It started at the height of the poker boom, and the biggest names in poker played cash games for more money than most people can fathom. They played with chips but often had wads of cash handy, too. Initially, the buy-ins were a minimum of $100,000, but those were later raised to $500,000 per player.

Longtime poker player and actor/comedian Gabe Kaplan was the host, alongside AJ Benza. Those were the first five seasons, but the last two seasons brought in Kara Scott to replace Benza and then Norm Macdonald to replace Kaplan. The show was taped at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, then the Palms, then South Point, and back to the Golden Nugget.

In total, there were seven seasons of High Stakes Poker.

The first few seasons featured everyone from Doyle Brunson to Sammy Farha, Daniel Negreanu to Jennifer Harman, Barry Greenstein to Mike Matusow, Jamie Gold to Phil Hellmuth, and Tom Dwan to Phil Ivey.

The show began to fall apart in 2011 when PokerStars sponsored the show and Full Tilt Poker pros stopped playing. But it officially ended soon after when Black Friday forced most online poker sites out of the United States market.

Poker Central to Revive HSP

The announcement from Poker Central notes that the company bought all seven previous seasons and the brand. There is no exact date for its PokerGO streaming channel to begin streaming the episodes online, but it will require a PokerGO subscription.

Further, Poker Central noted that there will be new episodes.

The acquisition made sense in that Poker Central focuses seriously on high-stakes poker. It also made sense in that Mori Eskandani, who is now a Poker Central executive producer, was the producer for all seven seasons of High Stakes Poker.

Eskandani commented on the acquisition. “High Stakes Poker was raw and natural; we just let the players play, and that’s what made it so special. It’s truly a dream come true to bring the series to a new generation of poker fans and players, and we expect even more action when the show returns with faces both new and old.”

Poker Central President Sampson Simmons also noted the popularity of the show and his enthusiasm for bringing it to new players. He said that there will be more shows produced in the future “to recapture the nostalgia and magic of the show for our PokerGO subscribers in the present-day poker climate.”


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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