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  • Poker Night in America Announces Starting Cast

    Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 by Ryan

We’ve talked a bit about “Poker Night in America”, which is something that has drawn a good bit of interest from both poker players and poker fans from all around. The staff is now getting ready to tape the first ever episode of the new series, and the team, Rush Street Promotions, has gone ahead and announced two people who were chosen to be a huge part of the first episode. Interestingly, these two people were chosen by an open casting call that was held, and it should make things interesting. The taping began this week and starts in Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona, NY. The event that is held there and that will be covered is the Empire State Poker Classic Main Event, which features a $1,500 buy-in.

This tournament by itself usually draws in a huge number of players from the East Coast regardless, but the fact that the tournament will be featured on Poker Night in America has made it even more intriguing for players. The debut of anything is big, but with how popular poker has continued to grow in the United States, it’s no question that this one will be big. There are going to be many big names to go along with the two people who were chosen through the casting call as well, so we should get a good show from the word go.

These aren’t just random people who were chosen though, and you may know them as well. The two were Kristy Arnett, who has done quite a bit in the poker industry, and Lauren Billings. The other people who are going to be out there are players who are likely coming into town from Las Vegas, including a double bracelet winner from this past year at the World Series of Poker in Tom Schneider, Eli Elezra, who won a bracelet as well, Mike Matusow, Gavin Smith, David Williams, Greg Mueller, a six time bracelet winner in Layne Flack, David “ODB” Baker, Phil Laak, David Levi, and Shawn Buchanan. All of these players will be taking part in the Main Event, and also playing in a cash game as well to top it off.

On top of those big names we’ve listed above, we could also see some East Coast players including the likes of Shaun Deeb, Will “The Thrill” Failla, Matt Glantz, Amanda Musumeci, Dennis Phillips, Darvin Moon, Nick “Nicky Numbers” Brancat, and Dwyte Pilgrim, who are all going to be playing in the Main Event as well.

The new TV show was created by Todd Anderson, who was actually the creator of the Heartland Poker Tour. They want to change the way that poker fans and players se the game with this new show, and they want to also do it differently than it’s been done before. They want to make you feel like “you are there”, as it is going to follow the big named players throughout the action, but also before and after the event as well, as they want to capture the drama that comes along with playing in major poker tournaments.

The game plan for Poker Night in America is that they are going to tape three other events this year, but it is unknown exactly where or when these events will take place. It seems as though the show is going to feature seeing players at home games, at the actual players’ homes, and many different places where you wouldn’t expect the cameras to go. It’s definitely an interesting concept, and the tapings are going to be a whole lot of fun to watch.

I’m interested personally to see the direction that they decide to go with this, especially if they are going to be showing the big name players after the bust out of big tournaments, or win the big pots and you can chat with them on breaks. There is definitely a lot of things in poker that are completely overlooked, but would make for some great television and also for some very interesting ways for fans of poker to see the game. We’ll wait and see how they go, but the first few episodes of the series are going to draw a ton of attention I would assume.

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