Poker Central Developing Two New Poker Television Series
Poker Central, which hypes itself as the first poker-only television network, has announced that it has started production on two original series. Reported by TVMediaInsights.com, Poker Central is working on “Pokerography” and “Inside Poker,” neither of which is your standard poker tournament fare.
“Pokerography” is a biographical show, going inside the lives of famous poker players and celebrities. It sounds like A&E’s famous “Biography” series, where the subject’s life will be discussed by friends, family, poker opponents, and industry experts. The subject of the episode will also be interviewed as viewers get a more in-depth look at who that person is and how they got to where they are today.
A number of well-known players (but not TOO well-known or we wouldn’t need a biographical television show about them, would we?) are already lined up for “Pokerography.” Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Laak, Michael Mizrachi, Chris Moneymaker, Erik Seidel, Vanessa Selbst, Jennifer Harman, Mike Sexton, and Jason Somerville are the players listed as on the roster for series, according to TV Media Insights. We have certainly seen a lot of most of these players on television over the past decade – hell, Laak and Esfandiari had their own show together – but it will hopefully be interesting to dive deeper into their lives than we have been able to in the past.
The other series that is beginning production is “Inside Poker,” a sort of poker current events and interview magazine. Famed tournament director Matt Savage will serve as host and will talk to poker industry experts about current topics. Professional poker players will also be featured, providing viewers with poker tips and advice from venues around the United States such as Seminole Hard Rock, the Bicycle Club, Commerce Casino, Foxwoods Casino, and, of course, several Las Vegas properties.
Poker Central made its presence known in the spring, billing itself as the first 24/7 poker television channel, though it had yet to actually establish itself as a real poker channel yet. It described itself as, “Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, Poker Central® offers unique all‑day, everyday access to exclusive poker tournaments, celebrity players, tips and tricks from the pros, player profiles and stunning destinations from around the globe.”
Poker Central was ambitious from the get-go, announcing the Super High Roller Bowl as its first project. Held at the ARIA Resort & Casino July 2nd through July 4th, the tournament featured a half million dollar buy-in and Poker Central anticipated a total prize pool of $25 million with at least an $8 million first prize. It fell a bit short of those marks, as 43 players registered, generating a $21.5 million prize pool and a $7.525 million prize for the champ. Brian Rast came out on top, earning his fourth career seven-figure cash. Though the tournament didn’t meet the size estimates, by all accounts it was a quality event.
Also part of the festivities was the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout which took place June 27th and June 28th. In a mini-shootout format, one table consisted of five celebrities and one was composed of five poker pros. The winner of each table faced off in a best-of-three heads-up competition to determine the champion. Actor and comedian Kevin Pollak emerged victorious from the celebrity table, defeating Hank Azaria, Norm MacDonald, Don Cheadle, and Brad Garrett, which Vanessa Selbst beat Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and Antonio Esfandiari at the poker pro table. Selbst then went on to defeat Pollak in the finals to win $1 million.
The television broadcast of the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout just concluded on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), but those who want to watch the Super High Roller Bowl haven’t missed out on anything yet. The first three episodes of the Super High Roller Bowl will premiere on NBCSN at 8:00pm ET on Friday, August 28th. Each episode will run for an hour and will continue to be replayed until 3:00am.
Episodes 4 and 5 will premiere on Tuesday, September 8th at 7:00pm ET and Episodes 6 and 7 will first air on Friday, October 2nd starting at 10:30pm ET (you would think what appears to be the final episodes would be broadcast at a better time, but hey, what can you do). Re-runs of episodes will be shown after the premieres as well as at various other times in September and October. We recommend the tried and true, “check your local listings” for exact broadcast times.
Poker Central will reportedly find a permanent place on cable lineups on October 1st. Three advertisers have also been inked, according to Multichannel.com: Dollar Shave Club, the Amazon App Store, and daily fantasy sports leader DraftKings.