HPT Season IX Debuts Globally This Week

Maria Ho makes history as first female commentator in poker 


Fargo, ND -April 25, 2013 - Heartland Poker Tour (HPT), one of the longest-running televised poker tours in the United States, debuts its ninth season today on hundreds of TV stations across North America and abroad.  The new season is available to over 100 million U.S. households, 35 million European homes, a half million in the Caribbean and several million households in Asia.


"Viewers will notice big upgrades to the show this year," said HPT's Executive Producer Fred Bevill.  "Previous seasons do not compare to the new HPT."


New for Season IX, poker pro Maria Ho joins Bevill at the broadcast desk.  With over a million dollars in live tournament earnings, Ho is one of the most respected and recognized women in the game. She is consistently ranked among the top five female poker players in the world according to the Bluff Magazine Power Rankings.   The broadcast role is the first of its kind for a woman in poker.


"I am grateful to HPT for being the first poker show to offer this strategist position to a female," said Ho, "I look forward to bringing a new and fresh perspective to HPT broadcasts."


HPT is one of the largest producers of poker television in the world.  In 2013, the Fargo, North Dakota-based crew expects to produce over 40 one-hour episodes.  Since 2005, HPT has broadcasted 215 episodes which air through syndication 365 days per year.  "HPT is airing somewhere right now," said Bevill.


The show is filmed in high definition with 16 cameras on three custom-built sets.  HPT overhauled all three sets for Season IX with new features such as a 9-handed Final Table, a custom broadcast desk, and enhanced technology.


HPT will capture more up-and-coming stars in Season IX.  For the first time, HPT's cameras are roving the field to capture the compelling stories that donĠt necessarily make it to the televised Final Table. 


"WeĠre looking to feature the fearless determination, the passion, even the agony of defeat," said Bevill, adding, "The players are the stars of our show."


Although HPT attracts many pros, the focus is on recreational players.  In one of the first episodes of Season IX, viewers will see a working mother of two play for over $225,000.  In another broadcast, Wyoming rancher Mike Harris plays for an elusive second HPT title.  The inaugural episode of Season IX is set aboard a luxury cruise in the Caribbean, giving some lucky vacationers the trip of a lifetime. 


Broadcast information is available at HPTpoker.com.


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