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GSN has put out a statement updating Monday’s story about the possible cancellation of its popular poker franchises “World Poker Tour” and “High Stakes Poker” — two of the few remaining shows to survive the poker boom ratings bust, and oft-considered favorites among players.
The statement (full text below) gives some faint hope for “WPT” followers that the show will survive in some form, but doesn’t mention the top-rated “High Stakes.” Producers plan to try out a “High Stakes”-style cash game on NBC’s “Poker After Dark,” but if you don’t have commentary by Gabe Kaplan, it just ain’t the same.
Here’s a highlight clip from “High Stakes,” the biggest pot in the show’s history, a face-off between luminaries Gus Hanson and Daniel Negreanu.
The press release:
WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: WPTE) announced today that GSN’s option for exclusive broadcast of the entire World Poker Tour® (WPT) seventh season expired on Saturday.
GSN CEO David Goldhill said, “The World Poker Tour has been a great partner and the show continues to perform strongly on our network. We are continuing discussions with WPTE regarding how we may be able to work together – including perhaps broadcasting parts of Season VII.”
WPTE is currently in discussions with several major networks to broadcast programming from its landmark seventh season, which kicks off July 11 at the prestigious Bellagio in Las Vegas and runs through April 2009.
“We have enjoyed watching the show and our numbers grow on GSN. Our hope is that we can find ways to collaborate with the network long into the future,” said Steve Lipscomb, WPT Founder, President and CEO. “This may allow us the first opportunity to explore diversifying content on multiple networks like most sports leagues. We have already begun those discussions and look forward to making another season of the best and most widely distributed poker programming in the world to our dedicated viewers and fans.”
New Season VI episodes will continue to broadcast Monday nights at 9pm ET/PT on GSN through late August. Encore episodes will continue to broadcast on the network for up to four years. Episodes of seasons II through V currently air on the Travel Channel.
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