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Poker After Dark ready for sixth season

4 January 2010

(PRESS RELEASE) -- NBC's hit late night show Poker After Dark concluded filming its sixth season in October 2009 at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and there are reasons aplenty for fans to begin getting excited. Those who will take part in the upcoming season include a mixture of well-known regulars from previous seasons, along with thirteen more players who will be making their PAD debut.

In all, there will be thirteen new shows on PAD6, seven in the traditional six-handed winner-take-all freezeout format and six in cash games. A couple of the freezeouts have themes that haven't been seen on the show before, creating some very interesting and unusual matchups. Three different cash games with different minimum buy-ins were also filmed, and each will air over a two-week period.

Viewers can expect a few surprises this year, complete with a couple of first-time winners, matches that end in dramatic fashion, huge swings, plenty of laughs and many other memorable moments. Here's a preview of the matches and games and the players participating in the order that they will be aired (exact air dates to be determined):

Commentators III: Howard Lederer, Gabe Kaplan, Joe Sebok, Ali Nejad, Mark Gregorich, and Kara Scott. This is a great opportunity for Nejad to extract a measure of revenge against both Kaplan and Gregorich, who eliminated him in earlier matches, and is the first appearance for Sebok and High Stakes Poker's popular new co-host with the English accent.

Nicknames: Annette "The Huntress" Obrestad, Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari, Erick "E-Dog" Lindgren, Phil "The Unabomber" Laak, and Phil "The Poker Brat" Hellmuth. Norway's Obrestad is finally old enough to play in the USA now, and eyes the world over will be anxious to see how she does against this lineup, which will have plenty of entertaining table banter.

Cash game ($50,000 minimum buy-in): Brandon Adams, Todd Brunson, Chris Ferguson, Mike Matusow, Antonio Esfandiari, and Phil Hellmuth. Anytime Matusow and Hellmuth play against each other in a cash game, the insults alone make for must-see-television. And Todd's companion is a real doll!

My Favorite Pro: Online amateur qualifiers Craig Ivey from Australia and James Ashby from Alabama, special Full Tilt qualifier professional Jens Voertmann from Germany, along with the 2009 Howard Lederer Charity Event winner professional Steve Bartlett from Michigan, plus Phil Hellmuth and Chris Ferguson. The odds favor someone other than one of the two PAD regulars to win this match; will an amateur finally capture a PAD title?

He Said, She Said: Erica Schoenberg, Jean-Robert Bellande, David Grey, Karina Jett, Mike Matusow, and Annie Duke. This match is similar to the Battle of the Sexes theme of Season 2, with Jett making her PAD debut, and a great opportunity for five of the six to win on PAD for the first time.

Cash game ($100,000 minimum buy-in): Phil Hellmuth, Eli Elezra, Doyle Brunson, Tom Dwan, Gus Hansen, and Phil Laak. There's a good mixture of players and styles in this game filled with fan favorites, and the potential for a Hellmuth blow up is always possible. There is lots of action in this game and David "Viffer" Peat will also make an appearance.

Lonesome Shark: Erick Lindgren, James Akenhead, Antonio Esfandiari, Mike Matusow, David Williams, and Brad Booth. Six very successful and eligible bachelors tangle in what promises to be an interesting confrontation of styles and reading abilities. The heads-up battle for the title is a lengthy one, and it is intense.

Mixed Martial Arts: Bruce Buffer, Patrik Antonius, Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, Howard Lederer, and Erick Lindgren. Fans of the octagon will especially love this match, and based on the physiques of these players alone, the soft spot in this lineup definitely has to be Lederer!

Cash game ($150,000 minimum buy-in): Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, David Peat, Eli Elezra, Gabe Kaplan, and Alan Meltzer. Some of the game's heavy hitters square off in a game that is sure to see big pots while capturing the attention of viewers all around the world. Look for an unbelievable comeback by one of the players.

Charity in Mind: Phil Gordon, Chris Ferguson, Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Andy Bloch, and Annie Duke. These high-profile pros all know each other well and are very active in charitable causes. This is an exciting match with a couple of twists not seen on PAD before, and features some very interesting topics of conversation.

Season 6 will kick off with Commentators III late night on Monday, January 4, in its regular 2:05 a.m. timeslot on NBC. A partial list of the dates on which the other matches will air can be found at, and a complete list will be posted there when all dates have been determined. Updated bios on all of the players, old and new, are now available on the website as well.

The voice of Poker After Dark, Ali Nejad, returns to provide limited commentary which at times is infused with his subtle humor, and the popular and beautiful Leeann Tweeden also returns for her third season as the show's host. So get ready for the unique and star-studded lineups that Poker After Dark is famous for; it's going to be a great season!

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