Big changes are in store for the next season of the popular GSN program “High Stakes Poker.” In addition to the firing of longtime host AJ Benza, the hiring of former European Poker Tour Hostess Kara Scott and a new sponsorship deal with online poker room PokerStars, the show will also be featuring a host of new faces making their first appearance on the show. Longtime fans of the show need not fear though, as many of the regulars from the past five seasons will be returning to the felt for another go round.
GSN issued a press release Thursday revealing the names of seventeen players taking part in the upcoming season, which will be filming at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada next week. While some new players, like British Full Tilt Pro Andrew Feldman and 2008 November Niner Dennis Phillips had already been revealed to the poker public, there were some other previously unmentioned first-timers on the list as well. Reigning World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) winner and World Poker Tour Championship event winner Yevegeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko, will be on hand this season, as will Lex “RaSZi” Veldhuis, Sammy George and record label owner Allan Metzler.
Some of the regulars making a return for another season are Patrik Antonius, Eli Elezra, David Benyamine, Barry Greenstein, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Mike Matusow and Tom “durrrr” Dwan, who was the talk of last season with his relentless aggression at the table. Dwan and Greenstein were part of the biggest pot in “High Stakes Poker” history when Dwan got it all-in with top pair and a flush draw on a queen-high board against Greenstein’s pocket aces. They declined to run it twice and Dwan raked the nearly $1 million pot when he spiked another queen on the turn to make trips.
The press release from GSN also confirmed what many other poker media outlets have already been reporting for a couple of weeks: that Scott signed on to be the new co-host alongside Gabe Kaplan for the latest season. Unlike former co-host Benza, Scott will not be in the booth with Kaplan. Rather, she will be tableside in the High Stakes Poker suite interviewing players in a vein similar to another Poker PROductions show, “Poker After Dark.” GSN reported that they are aiming to take the show in a new direction by giving the audience an even closer look at the poker action as it unfolds.
Filming of the show is set to begin upon completion of this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event festivities where one of the show’s participants, Ivey, will be vying for his 8th bracelet and his first WSOP Main Event title. The sixth season of the popular poker show will premiere on GSN on February 14th.

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