In a twist on the popular poker show format of showing professional players or celebrities at the table, the third iteration of GSN’s “Poker Royale” will pit pros against celebrities.
“Poker Royale: Celebrities Vs. Pros,” the third installment of the GSN series (following “Poker Royale: Battle of the Sexes” and “Poker Royale: The WPPA Championship”), will debut May 6. The series will allow fans to see players such as ‘N Sync’s Lance Bass get steamrolled, presumably, by the likes of pro Paul Darden.
“We’re always looking for formats that are going to generate table talk but are also going to generate high-quality poker,” said Ian Valentine, GSN senior VP of programming.
Unlike other celebrity poker shows, actors appearing on “Poker Royale: Celebrities vs. Pros” will not play for charity, but for a $100,000 purse.
The show comes on the heels of GSN’s announcement of “GSN Casino Awards,” a showcase honoring casino players, entertainers and gaming-themed programming for television and movies. The awards will be broadcast live in December from Las Vegas.
GSN plans more programming from Las Vegas, including poker and reality shows. Friday nights on GSN are branded Casino Night and feature original episodes of gaming-themed programming. Mr. Valentine said the network will try to expand Casino Night to two nights per week, but that casino gaming will not dominate the network.
“There is a sense we would like to own casino gaming [on cable], hence the long-term commitment to at least one, if not two, nights,” he said.