New HSP Host Shocked By Gabe Kaplan High Stakes ExitFebruary 16, 2011 10:01 am
In a frank interview with Poker News Daily, new host of GSN’s High Stakes Poker confessed to being more than a little surprised by Gabe Kaplan‘s sudden departure from the popular poker show.
Recalling the moment he was told the news and offered the hosting role for the upcoming HSP Season 7, Norm Macdonald said:
“It only happened a couple of weeks ago. I was stunned by it. “High Stakes Poker” is my favorite poker show, so I was shocked that Gabe Kaplan wasn’t coming back. I thought he was the best announcer by far. I was a little reluctant to do it because I didn’t know if I’d be as good as him, so that was a little daunting.”
Many people can empathise with Norm Macdonald’s initial trepidation as, unlike Gabe Kaplan, his poker credentials pale in comparison to Kaplan’s who was able to use his own vast experience to accurately analyse the play of some of the best poker pros in the world.
Actor comedian Gabe Kaplan first took up poker in 1978 and has since gone on to amass around $1.3 million in live tournament winnings. Among Kaplan’s impressive list of achievements are 9 cashes at the WSOP for $497,659, as well coming 3rd in the 2004 Mirage Poker Showdown for his biggest score to date of $256,519.
Such is Kaplan’s level of expertise that on one famous HSP episode he even took time off from the commentators box to go down and join the pros in some high stakes poker action.
Norm Macdonald’s tournament credentials are a little spartan in comparison, having only won $26,153 from two tournament cashes, both in 2006. Talking about when he first started playing poker, Macdonald said:
“I discovered poker at the Mayfair Club and played Limit because it would slow down the bleeding. When I went to Las Vegas, I’d try to stay away from the tables and just play Limit Hold’em. I started by playing 100% of the hands and bringing as much money as I could. Sometimes it’d be a good night, but I’d still lose less than at the pits. Then, by osmosis, I got better and started realizing that it wasn’t really gambling. I started reading books and then I understood.”
As High Stakes Poker S7 gets underway on Saturday, February 26th at 8 p.m. EST, an army of poker fans will eagerly be awaiting the new show and hoping Norm Macdonald’s commentary and style will make the action every bit as entertaining as previous seasons.