Poker Central has acquired the brand and assets for High Stakes Poker, the company announced on Tuesday, and will begin streaming episodes of the show on the PokerGO platform in the coming months. Additionally, Poker Central is said to have future plans for the series, including new episodes.
“High Stakes Poker was a remarkable poker program,” said Sampson Simmons, president of Poker Central. “With star players, massive pots, and memorable moments, the show beautifully conveys the drama of cash game poker. Bringing the existing episodes of High Stakes Poker to our platform and producing more in the future will enable us to recapture the nostalgia and magic of the show for our PokerGO subscribers in the present-day poker climate.”
High Stakes Poker took place from 2006-2011 and included seven seasons of high-stakes, cash game action during the height of the poker boom. Over its many seasons, the show was hosted by Gabe Kaplan, AJ Benza, Kara Scott, and Norm Macdonald, with Kaplan and Benza hosting together through the show’s first five seasons.
The show’s success was propelled by the astronomical stakes of poker that were being played by superstar poker players and celebrities, oftentimes sitting behind huge bricks of cash and mounds of large denomination chips that became staples of the show. Notable players to appear on High Stakes Poker were Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, Antonio Esfandiari, Sammy Farha, Phil Galfond, and Barry Greenstein. Brunson, Negreanu, Esfandiari, and Greenstein appeared in all seven seasons of the show.
If you don’t already have a subscription to PokerGO and are interested in watching High Stakes Poker, sign up today using the promo code “POCKET5S” for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan.
Minimum buy-ins for High Stakes Poker ranged from $100,000 to $500,000, depending on the season, and plenty of episodes featured millions of dollars at stake. During Season 4 of High Stakes Poker, poker pro David Benyamine went at it with celebrity businessman Guy Laliberte to create the largest pot in the show’s history, only it came with a plot twist.
Largest Pot in High Stakes Poker History
In a game with $300-$600 blinds and a $1,200 straddle, Farha started the action with a raise to $4,200 from under the gun with the . Benyamine made the call with the and Laliberte called from the big blind with the . The flop was . Farha picked up bottom pair, but it was the top two pair for Laliberte and nut flush draw for Benyamine that really made this hand explode.
On the flop, Laliberte checked, Farha bet $13,000, and Benyamine raised to $43,000. Laliberte reraised and made it $168,000 to go. Farha folded and Benyamine, behind bricks of cash, stood up, contemplated the decision, and then moved all in for $600,000. Laliberte turned his hand over and thought about the decision before making the call. Laliberte first said to run it once but then the two players went back and forth on what to do. Laliberte had said that the money doesn’t matter to him and would do what Benyamine wanted. Laliberte eventually offered to just take the pot before Benyamine’s all-in raise, which Benyamine agreed to.
High Stakes Poker also helped young guns such as Tom Dwan get immense exposure. Of course, it also helps when you play $919,600 pots against one of the game’s greats on television. Although the hand between Laliberte and Benyamine created the largest pot in High Stakes Poker history, the hand ultimately finished with a much cheaper result. The hand Dwan played against Greenstein in Season 5 was played to the fullest for more than $900,000 and it had a single winner.
Playing $500-$1,000 blinds, Peter Eastgate raised to $3,500 with the and Greenstein reraised to $15,000 with the on the button. Dwan was next and made the call from the small blind with the . Eastgate also called and the flop came down . Dwan fired $28,700, Eastgate folded, and Greenstein raised to $100,000. Dwan made it $244,600 to go and Greenstein moved all in for what was effectively $436,100 total. Dwan called and the pot ballooned to $919,600.
Like the Laliberte and Benyamine hand, the question of how many times to run the board out came up. Greenstein said he wanted to run it once but asked if they wanted to take a couple hundred thousand back. Dwan declined and they were off to the races.
The turn was the to vault Dwan into the lead with trip queens. The river completed the board with the and Dwan was the winner of the biggest hand in High Stakes Poker history.