Poker is Coming to British TV Screens

The producer of Poker Night in America, Rush Street Production, is bringing a show to Great Britain, The Final Table, with the first episode airing in late spring.

Rush Street has been filming the show in the United States for six months. To keep the show entertaining, it will include time-bank chips, where players have a fixed bank of time to use to make decisions and what they call a shot-clock. They have only 60 seconds to make a decision before forfeiting the hand.

The basis of the show is alluded to in its title. The shows will concentrate on the final table in real, casino poker tournaments. That’s the ultimate event deciding who will win the tournament.

Phil Hellmuth Jr., also known as the Poker Brat, will be the poker commentator for The Final Table. Hellmuth won his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet in 1989 at the age of 24, making him the youngest winner at that time. He now holds the record for winning the most WSOP championships, fourteen in all so far. He’s also in the WSOP Hall of Fame. He’s written books on poker, and has been a television personality and poker commentator on other poker TV shows. His total winnings from playing poker tournaments exceeds $19 million. On top of that, he sells his own line of clothing and a poker app, and has appeared in movies.

The show also plans sections of comedy about poker.

The Final Table also includes Jason Somerville. He is a poker player and Twitch media personality. His is the most-watched poker show on Twitch.

The Final Table’s Executive Producer, Dustin Lonnotti, said the show would take risks to bring exciting new content to a broad audience. They plan to focus on entertainment, though obviously it’s centered on poker. Lonnotti promised it will be unlike other TV poker shows.

The play by play will be done by Maria Ho and Don Tuchman. Ho is herself an accomplished poker player who has made previous appearances on television. Tuchman is also a poker play and an experienced sports announcer for Sky Sports in Europe. He has commented on both WSOP and Poker Night in America.

The Final Table began production last August at the final table of a tournament at Turning Stone Casino in New York. They also recorded episodes at Canterbury Park in Minnesota, Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood Florida, Thunder Valley Casino in Sacramento California and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. They expect to complete 26 one-hour shows in 2016. They will include a $1 million guaranteed event to take place in April at Choctaw Casino.