High Stakes Poker is a cash game poker television program broadcast by the cable television network GSN in the United States. The poker variant played on the show is no limit Texas hold 'em. The show has completed its 5th season, which began on the 1st of March 2009.
When it first aired, High Stakes Poker was unique among televised poker series because it did not take place in a tournament setting. Instead, the program showed a high stakes ring game. The minimum buy-in to the game is US$100,000, but players have bought in for as much as $1,000,000, such as Daniel Negreanu in Season 1 and Brad Booth in Season 3. For part of the fourth season, the minimum buy-in was $500,000. The first episode with the minimum $500,000 buy-in was broadcast on November 5, 2007. The minimum cash buy-in for the fifth season increased to $200,000 – the largest buy-in for an entire run of a television series. Unlike tournament poker, the chips involved represent real money. If a player loses his initial buy-in, that player may rebuy a minimum of $50,000. In addition, players may use cash instead of casino chips. Cash plays and stays as cash in the pot; it does not have to be converted into casino chips. Unlike tournament poker, blinds and antes are constant, instead of increasing as time goes on. High Stakes Poker has $300/$600 blinds with a $100 ante. The fourth season features three forced blinds of $300, $600 and $1,200, with a "straddle" or optional fourth blind of $2,400.
The players include poker professionals along with amateurs such as Jerry Buss and Fred Chamanara. The show was created by executive producer Henry Orenstein. In season one, Daniel Negreanu confirmed in a post on his website's forums that all players were paid $1,250 per hour for taking part and that 13 episodes were edited down from 24 hours of actual play. 2006 WSOP Main Event Champion Jamie Gold commented that players were paid for participating, though they had to put much more money at risk to get to play the game. Gold also spoke about his interactions with other players, particularly Mike Matusow.The theme song for the show is titled "I'm All In", written and performed by John Pratt, Los Angeles.