High Stakes Poker is an out of the ordinary game show, being aired on the GSN network. It includes the “no limit Texas holdem” variation of poker, and offers a twist to the customary poker tournament. Having premiered on January 1, 2006, the show has 7 seasons under its belt and is proclaimed as one of the most unconventional game shows in television history.
The show’s format differs from ordinary televised poker games. Here, the game does not take place in a tournament setting, but instead, is played as a high stakes cash game. The players have to buy into the game, with the minimum buy-in varying in each season. For the first season, it was $100000, even though one of the players, Daniel Negreanu paid a whooping $1000000 to get into the show. The minimum buy-in for the show’s fifth season was increased to a whooping $200000, making it the most expensive buy-in for a television series.
What makes this show stand out from tournament poker is that the chips involved are not mere chips, but instead, are real money, which proves that the stakes involved are indeed high! In the event that a player, on gaining entry into the show, loses his initial buy-in, the show offers him a chance to redeem his position by buying a minimum of $50000. The players are offered the liberty of choosing cash instead of casino chips, and do not have to convert the cash into casino chips, since it remains in the cash pot.
Another significant intricacy of the game is that blinds and antes remain constant throughout the game, unlike in tournament poker, where they go on increasing. The show features $300/$600 blinds and a $100 ante. According to a public announcement made by one of the show’s participants, Daniel Negreanu, the players are paid $1250 per hour for playing on the show.