This week’s version of Poker After Dark, a popular poker broadcast on NBC, will feature Gus Hansen and five ladies. Hansen, who has four WPT wins under his belt, will face all of Beth Shak, Clonie Gowen, Erica Shoenberg, J.J. Liu, and Vanessa Rousso in this week’s series which will start tonight and end on Saturday. There are some pretty sexy ladies in that bunch, so it only makes sense that this week’s broadcast would be featuring a man who was included in People Magazine’s ’50 Most Beautiful People’ in 2004. As usual for Poker After Dark participants, each player will risk $20,000 for a chance to win a winner-take-all $120,000 prize.
Hansen has over $5 million in tournament winnings and has appeared on Poker After Dark six times already (only Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow have been on more times – makes sense). In his previous appearances, he has won once.
Clonie Gowen and Vanessa Rousso have also made Poker After Dark appearances. Gowen has played three times so far, impressively winning twice and finishing fourth in the third. She is a former Miss Teen Oklahoma. Rousso has appeared on the show twice so far, finishing in 6th the first time and 4th the second time. Nicknamed ‘Lady Maverick’, Rousso is a Duke graduate with close to $800,000 in tournament winnings (mostly WSOP and WPT cashes). Some random facts about her include her knowledge of three languages and that she once played an entire tournament in nothing but a bathrobe.
Shak, Shoenberg, and Liu are all new to Poker After Dark. Shak hasn’t been playing Texas Holdem for that long, but she has the slight advantage of being married to Dan Shak, another professional poker player. She’s appeared at two WSOP final tables and has won almost $400,000 in tournament prizes.
Shoenberg is known as the ‘Poker Babe’ or the ‘Blackjack Babe’. She switched from blackjack to poker in 2005 (smart move on her part) and has since won over $600,000 playing tournaments. She is a former model who is engaged to poker professional David Benyamine.
Liu has the most impressive resume out of the ladies appearing on the show tonight, with cashes in over 40 major tournaments, including several WSOP and WPT events. In 2007, she was the highest-placing woman in a WPT event (her runner-up finish at the Bay 101 Shooting Star event). She boasts over $1.6 million in career tournament winnings.
So many women, so little time. As asked on the Poker After Dark website: Will Gus be able to concentrate on his cards with so many beautiful women gathered in one place? In the end it most certainly doesn’t matter; even if Hansen doesn’t win the $120,000, I’d hazard a guess that he will still feel like a winner for being selected to sit down and enjoy some female domination.
The show airs tonight (or tomorrow morning) at 2:00 AM EST on NBC and will show all week long at the same time. You can see a recap of the events of the week on Saturday night if you can’t stay up that late during the week. Makes me wish I had cable …