Well-known poker show host Joe Stapleton has been appointed as a co-commentator alongside Chris Hanson for the popular television show Poker Night in America (PNIA).

Rush Street Productions, which produces the show made the announcement stating that new episodes featuring Stapleton will be released in April on the CBS Sports Network. Stapleton better known as Stapes is a popular commentator on the European Poker Circuit and has been hosting the European Poker Tour (EPT) show for over 5 years. He earlier hosted the Fox TV show The Big Game from 2009-2010.

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Stapes, who has returned to American television after a long stint in Europe, expressed his excitement on joining the PNIA.

In a statement, Joe Stapleton said, “I’m thrilled to be back doing poker on TV in the States, and especially on a show like Poker Night in America. The team there really seems to understand how important it is to focus on the fun, social aspects of the game. Everyone always seemed to be having a blast the first three seasons, and I’m pretty excited to get in on that.”

Todd Anderson, President Rush Street Productions said that he had been a fan of Stapes for a long time and is sure that Stapes would increase the humor and entertainment quotient of the show. He stated that adding Stapes as a commentator was a part of the show’s commitment to bring a unique poker TV experience to the viewers.

The latest addition follows Rush Street Productions’ recent announcement that poker pro Matt Glantz has been signed on to work on the production part of the show and to book top players for its episodes.  Calling Stapes a poker icon, Glantz said that he would improve the appeal of the show.

Anderson said that the decision to add another person to the team was taken because it was proving to be difficult for one person to do it all and including a veteran like Stapes would have a significant impact on improving the show. He stated that Stapes had been featured in one of their live streams alongside Dave Tuchman in August 2015 which proved to be one of their best ever. Anderson also went on to confirm that Hanson was excited to have Stapes as a partner on the show.

Stapes is currently in Fargo in the U.S state of North Dakota shooting 12 episodes for PNIA which will be a part of Season 4.  Stapes has confirmed that he would also be continuing his role as a PokerStars commentator on the EPT circuit.

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