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Poker fans scouring the TV schedules for high quality professional play have long found their desires satiated by both Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker.  Following the announcement last week that PAD would return with a new series in 2009, it has been revealed that High Stakes Poker will follow suit, filming a set of new episodes this month. High Stakes Poker also appears to have taken another leaf from the PAD book, choosing to film its big money cash games in the same location – the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

In an effort to ramp up the action even more than the previous series, the minimum buy-in has been doubled, from $100,000 to $200,000. Although players were known to put as much as $500,000 on the table at one time during the last series, increasing the lower threshold should encourage the pros to put even more cash on the line.

The team behind the show was delighted to see it returning to screens. ” I am very excited about the mix of players we will be bringing together for this next season. Viewers are in for a thrill,” said Executive Producer Mori Eskandani. The shows are set to tape from December 19th-21st, and will hit screens at some point in 2009. In an interesting twist, members of the poker media have been invited along to the taping. A special press area with wi-fi access will be set up in order that bloggers and reporters can provide live update coverage, akin to the World Series or WPT events. Whether this gambit serves to increase or decrease viewers of the broadcast remains to be seen.

In keeping with previous seasons, a raft of top name pros are set to take to the felt throughout the three day cash game. Luminaries such as Doyle Brunson, Peter Eastgate, Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth will display their prowess against a who’s who of the poker world. Fans of the show will also be happy to hear that A.J. Benza and Gabe Kaplan are returning to call the action. The preliminary list of pros slated to appear is as follows:

PATRIK ANTONIUS

MIKE BAXTER

DAVID BENYAMINE

DOYLE BRUNSON

NICK CASSAVETES

IVAN DEMIDOV

TOM DWAN

PETER EASTGATE

ELI ELEZRA

ANTONIO ESFANDIARI

BARRY GREENSTEIN

PHIL HELLMUTH

PHIL IVEY

PHIL LAAK

HOWARD LEDERER

GIORGIO MEDICI

DARIO MINIERI

DANIEL NEGREANU

ILARI SAHAMIES

BOB SAFAI

SAM SIMON