GSN Axes High Stakes Poker

High Stakes Poker, one of the most celebrated TV shows in poker history, has officially been removed from the GSN schedule.

According to a story with, High Stakes Poker will no longer be shown on the network effective Jan. 2, 2012.

The show reportedly lost a good portion of its audience when Norm Macdonald recently took over from Gabe Kaplan.

High Stakes Poker started airing way back in 2006 and quickly built a reputation as a favorite amongst hardcore poker fans.

Following a simple No-Limit Hold’em high stakes cash game format the show showcased famous pros such as Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson and Jennifer Harman as well as rich amateurs such as Cirque de Soleil CEO Guy Laliberte putting their own money on the table.

The show was originally hosted by Gabe Kaplan, who was later joined by AJ Benza and then Kara Scott in an interviewer role.

Some of the highlights over the years included Brad Booth’s memorable bluff with 4-2 versus Phil Ivey with pocket kings, Tom Dwan “posterizing” Barry Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu’s awful luck and several pots that nearly topped the $1 million mark.

Norm Replace Gabe, Full Tilt Pros Opt Out

In 2011 comedian and poker player Norm Macdonald replaced Kaplan on the show to mixed reviews.

It didn’t help that prior to Black Friday, Full Tilt also pulled out of the show meaning Ivey, Patrik Antonius, Mike Matusow, David Benyamine and the rest of Team Full Tilt were absent from the program.

GSN mentioned this summer it was going to be scaling back its poker offerings after online poker’s Black Friday forced major players such as PokerStars out of the U.S. market.

It remains to be seen if another network expresses interest in the show but if it is indeed canceled it will be yet another shelved TV show that involved Norm Macdonald.

Since leaving Saturday Night Live, Macdonald has starred in The Norm Show, A Minute with Stan Hooper and most recently Sports Show with Norm Macdonald, which have all been canceled.

High Stakes Poker ran for a total of seven seasons.

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Big Slick 2012-04-16 21:57:34

The show lost something when AJ left, it was beyond salvage when Norm took over for Gabe. The barring of FT players was like firing a bullet into a dead carcass.

Such a shame how badly GSN handled this gem.

lesterpetersen 2011-12-08 09:53:53

Laak never would shut up. Who wants to watch AE doing pushups.
Junk like that helped kill the show even more than having Hellmuth on

No durrrr 2011-12-08 09:50:13

that is all

acesacesaces 2011-12-08 09:49:09

I like Norm Macdonald and I even liked him on HSP. But for most people I just don't think he was the right person for the spot, especially by himself. Norm would be better at just making dry observations if someone else was doing more of the actual poker commentary. don't think Norm's really at a level to talk too insightfully about how these guys are playing.

Cam 2011-12-08 07:25:33

Norm Mcdonald killed the show along with all of the super rich business dudes who cant play cards. Show just sucks now. WAY TO GO GSN

RIP high stakes poker

Phil Helmuth 2011-12-07 16:52:52

Those rich casino owners really were boring. Especially the old guy who donated win or lose, yawn.
You need Daniel N, Ivey, Durr ect and I would watch if your grandma announced

Brian G. 2011-12-07 16:19:36

The formula that worked was better players. And at least one big whale. I don't think anyone really cared who the announcers were.

aceduece 2011-12-07 15:06:49

I'll never understand why they messed with a formula that really worked (Gabe Kaplan and AJ Benza).

Hank 2011-12-07 11:11:24

I don't think Norm was the problem. The players were just boring. Would have been a lame duck season anyway really. Hope there is a new show or more streaming live games from tournaments instead.