HSP S7: Gabe Kaplan Out As Fans Vent Their ViewsFebruary 8, 2011 9:38 am
First there was the shock of AJ Benza being dropped from High Stakes Poker (HSP) Season 6 only to be replaced by Kara Scott. Next, came the news that Season 7 would be absent of Full Tilt pros due to a dispute between the shows new sponsor PokerStars and their rival site.
Now, however, the once popular show known as High Stakes Poker has just dropped another bombshell after announcing that the HSP host of six seasons Gabe Kaplan has now been replaced by Saturday Night Live veteran Norm MacDonald.
Season 7 of the show is scheduled for its premiere on February 26th and in the meantime fans have been trying to get to grips with the upcoming show which now bears little resemblance to the one which hooked in an army of avid viewers back in 2006.
Understandably, many a fan on the 2+2 forum have been fondly reminiscing on the format of the original show, with poster DonkDonk writing:
“I was going to play a session but now I just want to watch an old AJ/Gabe HSP and reminisce about when it marketed itself as a sneak peek into the high stakes games in Vegas, as if the game would still play if the cameras weren’t there. Now it is some big corporate show and it’s losing it’s appeal fast.”
Forum poster Bawookles then focuses on the unique contribution Kaplan has made to the show over the years and explains how last season’s reorganisation had affected his enjoyment of the show. As he explains:
“Gabe was hilarious, at least when he had someone to bounce his jokes off of like AJ. Having him in the booth by himself last year was a disaster, and now not having him and FT players is a disaster. The glory days of the show are long gone.”
The point about the producers questionable decision to have Kaplan as a lone commentator on the show was further picked up by a number of posters, who would seem to agree that it was a terrible idea.
ItsRainingMen wrote; “..to be fair Gabe was pretty insufferable without Benza,” while Hotch wrote; “Don’t get me wrong, I like hearing Gabe talk… to other people.”
Even as the poker fans of the show continue to vent their views on what the upcoming HSP Season 7 may or may not bring, a lot will depend on how quickly new host Norm MacDonald will be able to endear himself to viewers. It has also been suggested that he will bring an extra edge and humor to the show which will help broaden its appeal to viewers outside of its current audience.
With the show slated to air Saturday, February 26th at 8 p.m. EST on GSN, it at least will not be too long before we find out if the producers radical move to replace the popular host is a step in the right direction or not.