Seventh Season of HPT Premieres in HD
Moorhead, MN (March 23, 2011) – The future is bright for poker in America’s Heartland. According to producers of the nationally-syndicated television show, Heartland Poker Tour, it’s crystal clear. After six years on TV, a new season of the popular poker show debuts next week in high definition television.
“We continue to strive to deliver the best-possible TV product,” says HPT Executive Producer Greg Lang. Viewers will notice an improvement in the sound and image quality, emphasizing the drama at each final table. “The audience at home will feel more like they are right there sweating the tough calls at the table,” Lang says.
Season VII of HPT premieres next week in over 100 million US households, in addition to widespread distribution throughout Europe and the Caribbean. HPT airs over a thousand times in a twelve-day period on a syndicated network of stations. DirecTV and DISH Network also broadcast the show nationally 52 weeks each year. Producing thirty to forty original episodes per season, HPT is the largest independent producer of poker content in the world.
In new episodes, viewers will also notice an upgrade of in-show graphics, more high-profile poker celebrities, bigger cash prizes, and new sponsors. Both PokerVT and UB.net recognize the opportunity to connect with HPT’s loyal players and viewers, signing on as sponsors in Season VII.
"What HPT has been able to do is fantastic,” said Team UB Pro Joe Sebok, “The best kept secret in poker with their homegrown events and national television exposure.”
Sebok is slated to add guest commentary to at least a couple of episodes this season. He will join HPT’s long-time commentators Chris Hanson and Fred Bevill on site in some markets as scheduling permits. Viewers will see more celebrities at the felt as well. Filming began in January in Las Vegas with a star-studded field including poker icon Annie Duke and HPT’s tour ambassador, Darvin Moon, WSOP’s 2009 main event runner up. At the final table, one of the most recognizable women in poker, JJ Liu, faced off against MMA fighter Heath “Crazy Horse” Herring.
Although high-profile A-listers play HPT tournaments, the typical player is not a famous pro. Founded in 2005 by Lang and poker buddy Todd Anderson, HPT carved a niche in the industry by catering to the casual player. "We get them out of the garage game, into the casino, and on TV," says Anderson. At every stop, hundreds of players compete for one of six coveted spots at the televised final table and "life-changing" money, typically six figures for first place.
“Over the years, our tour has grown beyond our expectations and distribution of our show has exploded around the globe,” said Anderson. “We’ve awarded over $26 million dollars to poker enthusiasts nationwide and raised much-needed funds and awareness for our charity partner, Disabled American Veterans. We are thankful for the opportunity and owe much gratitude to our players, casino partners, TV affiliates, and talented team.”
Although the look of the show went under the knife, HPT’s crew “family” is still made up of many original members and long-timers traveling the country together bonding with players. A veteran behind the scenes and in front of the camera, HPT’s On-Air Floor Director Jaymz Larson will continue his in-the-heat-of-the-moment knock-out interviews in Season 7.
HPT films at poker tournaments across the country. Tour stops in 2011 include casinos in Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, Michigan, Oklahoma, Iowa and Minnesota. Location scouting is ongoing to schedule additional tour stops in new markets in 2011. For tour and television information, visit HPTpoker.com.
This year, Sebok predicts, you can “expect more players having some fun at the HPT tables and overall richer prize pools across the tour. They simply get bigger and better every year out.”