Poker After Dark returns for second season

Posted: Apr.27, 2007, 10:23 am EDT
NBC’s hit late night programming features 10 new episodes

By Dennis Oehring

Great news for poker fans! The filming of the second season of Poker After Dark is scheduled to take place this May at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, with the first episode scheduled to air on NBC during the week of June 11. Shana Hiatt returns as the program’s host, as does Oliver "Ali" Nejad to provide limited commentary.

The show allows viewers to watch the best players in the game square off against one another in a 6-handed freezeout, with each player buying in for $20,000 in a winner-take-all match. What makes the program unique is that nearly all of the hands in the match are shown, so that fans can watch the match develop over time instead of seeing only the key "all in" hands that may result in a player being eliminated. This creates a program that is more instructional in nature, allowing viewers to play along and see if their decisions coincide with those of the pros, and improve their own games as a result.
Phil Hellmuth explodesPaul DrinkwaterPhil Hellmuth explodes during Season 1 of Poker After Dark.

Ten more matches will be filmed, and some of them will have themes. One match will feature all former World Series of Poker Champions, as in the first season, but with a slightly different cast of characters as Joe Hachem (2005), Greg Raymer (2004), and Huck Seed (1996) join returnees Doyle Brunson (1976-77), Johnny Chan (1987-88), and Jamie Gold (2006). Another will have an international flavor as Daniel Negreanu (Canada), Gus Hansen (Denmark), David Benyamine (France), Patrik Antonius (Finland), Marco Traniello (Italy), and Brad Booth (Canada) will compete for the $120,000 first prize.

Also scheduled is “Bracelets Week,” featuring six players who have won multiple bracelets at the World Series of Poker. Appearing will be Doyle Brunson (10), Phil Hellmuth (10), Eric Seidel (7), T.J. Cloutier (6), Chris Ferguson (5), and Layne Flack (5). That’s 43 bracelets between them. Another includes players who have won at least 2 WPT open events, and will showcase the skills of Erick Lindgren, Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, Michael Mizrachi, Gus Hansen, and Tuan Le.

Another key match-up pits Phil Ivey, David Benyamine, Jennifer Harman, Allen Cunningham, Barry Greenstein, and Eli Elezra against one another in what promises to be a match of “Mega” proportions. And for those who may have wondered who would prevail in a match between the superstars seen walking through the casino during the show’s introduction, they will find out as Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman, Gus Hansen, and Phil Hellmuth will do battle in one of the featured matches.

Each match will be shown over the course of five one-hour programs on Monday through Friday beginning late night on June 11, 2007 at 2:05 AM EDT. A special one-hour "Director’s Cut" show hosted by Shana will air each Saturday evening right after Saturday Night Live at 1:00 AM, featuring highlights of each week’s match, insightful player interviews dealing with strategy and analysis, and more of Shana’s popular bloopers.

Look for further details and the scheduled dates of all matches to be posted on this website soon, along with brief bios of the players that are updated weekly. In the meantime, get set to see the best in the game assembled together once again to compete in a format viewers have come to understand only Poker After Dark can provide.

Dennis Oehring is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas and is associated with POKER-PROductions. His work has been featured in several different poker publications.


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