“Poker Night in America” on a Rush
Excuse me while I shift into brag mode.
“Poker Night in America” is on a rush right now (that’s a play on words, since we’re owned by Rush Street Productions).
The popular television show loaded with original content began airing on Sunday nights nearly 14 months ago. New broadcasts currently appear on Monday nights in prime time (1o pm EST), with re-runs sporadically scattered the rest of the week, as well. The PNIA crew has not only successfully conceptualized, filmed, and produced a brand new 30-minute show every single week (for nearly 60 consecutive weeks — and counting!), they’re now getting ready to ramp up production even further and expand into new territory. More details about the latest venture, a new weekly television series called “Poker Night: The Tour” will be announced shortly.
In the meantime, August will cap a phenomenal summer for the cast, crew, players, and viewers of PNIA. Two enormously successful events wrapped up filming within the past two weeks, and two more innovative new shows are scheduled to switch into production later this month. Not content to remain still and air the same concepts over and over, PNIA is determined to take some risks, push our boundaries, and hopefully boost mainstream interest in televised poker, and create greater enthusiasm for the game overall.
LAS VEGAS PRIVATE HOME GAME (JULY 20-21)
A few weeks ago, PNIA filmed a high-stakes cash game at a secret, unannounced location for the first time. A private Las Vegas residence became an electrifying scene for two days in one of the most jam-packed poker tables in history. The player lineup included the most famous poker players in the world. gathered together in a living room converted into a poker mecca. Participants included — Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Jason Somerville, Phil Laak, Maria Ho, Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew, Bertrand ‘Elky’ Grospellier, Jamie Staples, Dan O’Brien, Scott Ball, Jamie Staples, Jamie Kerstetter, and others. Hats off to Dustin Iannotti for his efforts in setting up the production. Also a shout out to Bart Hanson, who handled most of the live stream commentary.
Here’s a link to the first of eight shows of the private Las Vegas home game:
TURNING STONE RESORT-CASINO (AUGUST 7-10)
From Las Vegas, the PNIA crew drove 2,410 miles cross country, which took three days (35 hours of driving). From the heat of the Nevada desert, the production team landed in Upstate New York, at the considerably cooler and greener pastures surrounding the Turning Stone Resort-Casino, near Syracuse. This was the third consecutive year filming has taken place at Turning Stone, including the debut filming back in August 2013.
Filming took place over three days where the footage was gathered for both “Poker Night in America” and the upcoming show, “Poker Night: The Tour.” One of the wildest games of the history of the series took place in New York, which (no surprise) became a trash-talkers delight. The game included numerous big hands, busts outs, and re-buys, with plenty of riveting drama between the players. The cash game action is not to be missed, not only for serious poker fans but for anyone who enjoys razor-sharp comedy and put-downs. Among those present in the game and raking in lots of chips was Samantha Abernathy, one of the game’s biggest winners. She ran a serious candidate for bluff of the year at one point, making this an episode not to be missed.
The high-stakes cash game also featured two members of this year’s WSOP “November Nine,” including chip leader Joe McKeehen and Thomas Cannoli. Special thanks to Frank Foti (Poker Room Manager), Guy Renzi (VP of Gaming Operations), and the staff at Turning Stone who hosted another great event. Also, deserving thanks were David Tuchman and Alec Torelli, who did an outstanding job with commentary on the live stream, via Twitch. The feedback was awesome.
COMING UP NEXT: SEMINOLE HARD ROCK CASINO — HOLLYWOOD, FL (AUGUST 18-23)
Not content with completing two successful production stops within 21 days, 1,400 miles later, the PNIA crew will next be rolling into South Florida for the 2015 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, one of the biggest tournament stops of the year. Not only is the $5 million guaranteed main event championship going to be held and filmed, as well as a Charity Series of Poker tournament benefiting Habitat for Humanity International, the production will also include a new twist that’s never been attempted before.
The crazy brainchild of tournament director Matt Savage, the plan is to play and film four poker tables at once. If that all sounds like way too much to take in, be sure to tune into the live stream or catch the shows later when they are expected to air, sometime in early 2016 on “Poker Night in America.” More from the official press release:
The four final tables include the $5,250 buy-in $5 Million Guaranteed Championship and three additional No-Limit Hold’em events – a $25,000 buy-in High Roller, $2,500 buy-in, and $1,100 buy-in. Professional poker player and industry celebrity Phil Hellmuth will host and provide commentary for all four final tables simultaneously. The broadcast of the SHRPO final tables will be aired in early 2016.
AFTER THAT: CANTERBURY PARK (AUGUST 27-31)
If those three events weren’t enough to make up a full televised production schedule, right after action wraps up in Florida, the crew will whisk up back north for the 1,450-mile drive to Minneapolis, where we will film at a new location for the first time. Canterbury Park will host the Twin Cities Poker Open. This main event championship final table will be live-streamed and recorded for a later broadcast on “Poker Night: The Tour,” which continues to evolve and expand. Personally, I’m looking forward to visiting Minneapolis and Canterbury Park for the first time. The closest I’ve previously been to there is the airport on a layover. I can’t wait.
As I said, PNIA is on an absolute roll right now. What a rush. This is the most ambitious televised poker series on the planet, with even more exciting events planned ahead in the fall, and beyond.