Gabe Kaplan and A.J. Benza brought back to host High Stakes Poker reboot

Poker writer Geoff Fisk profile photo
Geoff Fisk
Posted on: December 09, 2020 13:00 PST

Iconic duo hosted the first five seasons of High Stakes Poker from 2006-2009

The details on the upcoming reboot of High Stakes Poker have slowly trickled out to the public. Since a Sept. 17 announcement on Twitter from PokerGO host Nick Schulman, the poker community has waited anxiously for more details to emerge.

Teasers have revealed the identities of some of the players slated to appear on the New High Stakes Poker episodes. Some of those names represent the most popular players from the original run of the show.

A Twitter post from PokerGO on Wednesday revealed the identities of two more fan favorite figures set to return in the new run of the High Stakes Poker series.

Gabe Kaplan and A.J. Benza will host the reboot of High Stakes Poker. The first of the new episodes premiers on PokerGO Dec. 16.

Kaplan and Benza hosted the first five season of the show, which ran from 2006-2009. High Stakes Poker stands as possibly the most popular televised poker show of all time, creating some of the most memorable moments from the poker-boom era of the 2000s and 2010s.

The popular hosting duo brings back two more of the most beloved figures from the original run of the show. Since Schulman's announcement, players like Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, and Jean-Robert Bellande have been announced as returning personalities from the show's first run.

Poker Twitter reacts to the return of Benza and Kaplan

Since the September announcement, many in the poker world have called for a return of Benza and Kaplan in the commentary booth for the new edition of High Stakes Poker. Those lobbying for a return of the team will get their wish, and poker Twitter is predictably elated by the news.

The above responses from Cardplayer Lifestyle founder Robbie Strazynski and poker journalist Mike Patrick capture a piece of what's been an almost unanimous positive response to the return of the two High Stakes Poker favorties.

The Twitter announcement from PokerGO introducing Kaplan and Benza as hosts previewed a familiar scene, with Kaplan's voice heard while the camera panned to a reveal of the Season 8 table lineup.

"Well it's been a minute, hasn't it," Kaplan says. "Nearly 10 years have passed. The players are a little older. There are a lot of new faces."

"But the good news is, we look and sound the same."

That intro teases Season 8 appearances by Doug Polk, Nick Petrangelo, Rick Salomon, Bryn Kenney, and Brandon Adams, among others.

Featured image source: Twitter