LIVE from Durant, Oklahoma – Poker Night in America Returns This Weekend
Choctaw Casino live poker cash game and tournament action for the world to enjoy!
A MONTH AGO, poker fans across the globe were treated to one of the most entertaining weekends of high stakes poker action in recent history, headlined by GPI Female Player of The Year Cate Hall claiming victory over rival Mike Dentale in a heads-up grudge match for $30,000. The longform Twitch stream was televised live courtesy of Poker Night in America from the Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, and was watched by 10,000 real time viewers as big name poker personalities Doug Polk, Phil Hellmuth, Shaun Deeb, Olivier Busquet and other stars teamed up with Chicago businessman Jeremy Kaufman to bring the poker world engaging, live cash game poker content.
THIS WEEKEND, PNiA takes its show on the road to Durant, Oklahoma and the Choctaw Casino Resort for three days of cash games followed by the conclusion of the $1.3 million guaranteed Choctaw Poker Spring Series Monday, April 24th. Cards fly starting Friday, April 21st at 3:00pm Central Time, with the Twitch live stream available 30 minutes later at Twitch.tv/PokerNightTV.
Polk, Dentale, and Deeb will pull up a seat and compete against local talent along with Dan Shak, Kane Kalas, David Baker and amateur basketball phenom/pro poker player Kyle Julius for 30+ hours of free poker entertainment for fans in the United States as well as overseas.
Cooperative, Open-Source Live Broadcasting Rights
In a move that acknowledges modern-day live streaming platforms along with poker personalities’ rise to mainstream fame, PokerNightTV is officially releasing Live Broadcasting Rights to the public by providing a “commentary free” secondary cast on Twitch.tv/PokerNightTV2.
The source stream could serve as a great opportunity for up-and-coming event hosts to hone their skills and innovate live poker entertainment in ways that connect with a worldwide audience (all languages welcome). Separately, announcers who prefer to cut their teeth in “practice mode” either alone or with friends can do so at their leisure offline, while troubleshooting any potential issues with Internet connection, setup, etc.
In that spirit, I’ve listed a few story lines below that may be engaging to viewers who will be tuning in live starting Friday afternoon at 3:30pm Central Time (30-minute source feed delay).
How will live viewership numbers compare to last month’s heads-up showdown?
The Friday portion (March 17th) of Sugarhouse Casino’s telecast peaked near 2,500 concurrent Twitch viewers. The numbers were so impressive that even 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth couldn’t find it in him to complain — despite not appearing all too pleased earlier in the day when Doug Polk won a big pot.
How will the table banter play out?
With Polk expected to be featured in the headline #4 Seat of the 7-handed TV table at some point, will banter be dominated by the Upswing Poker pro throughout or will more personalities emerge once the action gets underway? Doug was by far the biggest winner over the weekend a month ago, so it will be interesting to see if he can continue the streak ahead of his trip to Vancouver to compete in the 2017 PokerStars SCOOP series.
More love for Kimo Sabe mezcal?
Poker players, personalities and media sites could be looking at increased all-around value in 2017 if a marketing push towards sponsors who openly support poker is effectively implemented. Poker Night in America formed an exclusive partnership with Kimo Sabe mezcal on March 1st, and new opportunities may arise if PNiA casts are able to increase buzz around a group of alchemists who know all about creating a product from seedling to liquid.
Even a modest bump in brand awareness by year’s end could pave the way for similar partnerships across the poker landscape; whether that be live streams, YouTube videos, podcasts, or written content.
Huge live studio audience?
Conservatively speaking, dozens of fans are expected to be on-hand at any given time this weekend, with a possibility of there being quite a few more than that if the high stakes action catches on among the CPSS tournament viewing crowd.
If local fan turnout reaches into the hundreds, viewers may wish to be informed on who is stepping up and taking a leadership role among the Choctaw Casino and Poker Night staff, as well as how personalities are able to coordinate time away from the table to cater to that live studio audience, maintain a comfortable flow of foot traffic, and give those who made the trip an experience to remember.
Who will make Monday’s final table?
Six-figure paydays will be on the line Monday when the Final 5 players remaining in the Choctaw Poker Spring Series No Limit Championship take to the felts. Fans will be watching out for big names as the tournament approaches the April 24th final table.
Weekend Talent Roster & Schedule
Friday, April 21st: Brian Jennings (local), Shaun Deeb, Mike Dentale, Salomon Ponte, Brandon Cantu, Doug Polk, Dan Shak
Saturday, April 22nd: Kelly Winterhalter, Steven Fuhrman (local), Ashley Hine (local), David Baker, Esther Taylor, Kyle Julius, Courtney Hamilton
Sunday, April 23rd: Robert Shrumptrine (local), Kane Kalas, Justin Gardenhire, Doug Polk, Jim Carroll, Kyle Bowker, Dan Shak
Monday, April 24th: CPSS No Limit Championship Final Table