Fresh off his live appearance on Twitch during the inaugural Global Poker League draft, poker industry personality Joe Stapleton has landed a gig as co-commentator of CBS Sports Networks’s TV program Poker Night in America.
Stapleton, known for his quick wit and self-deprecating humor, joins poker TV veteran Chris Hanson, who announced the first 100 episodes solo, to form an engaging two-man team.
“I’m thrilled to be back doing poker on TV in the States, and especially on a show like Poker Night in America,” said Stapleton. “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.”
Stapleton has years of experience providing color commentary in poker events and has worked with the European Poker Tour and PokerStars Big Game.
“We can’t wait to get Joe up and running,” said Rush Street Productions President Todd Anderson. “I’ve been a fan of his for many years and think he will be a very entertaining addition to the program.”
Poker Night in America, which broadcast its first episode in June 2014, travels the country and puts together invite-only games with some of poker’s most entertaining characters. The show has featured poker legends like Phil Laak, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth and has drawn mainstream celebrities like actors James Woods and Jennifer Tilly.
The producers’ goal has been to revive interest in the game by making it more appealing to casual players. Weaving narratives and storylines behind players is one way the program has tried to achieve that goal.
“We are constantly looking at ways to evolve as a television show and ratchet up the production,” continued Anderson. “Since day one, we’ve been trying to produce a unique poker TV experience and adding Joe is another step in that direction.”
Stapleton isn’t the only well-known poker personality plucked for the Poker Night team. Rush Street Productions also recently signed respected poker pro Matt Glantz, who will work as a producer, rounding up top talent to appear on the program.
“I have been watching Joe Stapleton for years in all forms of poker media. Joe is a poker media icon,” said Glantz. “I’m positive he will take Poker Night in America to that next level.”
Rush Street is highly involved with poker and operates several standout poker rooms and casinos in the Northeast, including Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, and an upcoming Rivers Casino in New York slated to open in 2017.
Stapleton begins his new commentating gig starting the first week of April, appearing on episodes filmed at Rivers and Sugarhouse, then traveling to an event at Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma.