On Tuesday night’s Episode 2 of Season 10 of High Stakes Poker, Nick Schulman, teamed with AJ Benza, replaced Gabe Kaplan in the broadcast booth.
It’s never easy to replace a legend, but Schulman, who has been one of PokerGO’s most popular commentators for years, is up to the challenge. Although he is normally paired with Ali Nejad, another legendary broadcaster and longtime host of Poker After Dark, Schulman adapted to the role with ease, and the chemistry between him and Benza was perfect.
Former actor and poker professional Kaplan announced his retirement last week. Schulman stated on Twitter that Kaplan gave him permission to assume his seat.
Substituting a Poker Legend
Gabe Kaplan High Stakes Poker, which premiered in 2006 on Game Show Network, is one of the most iconic poker shows in history. Similar to Norman Chad and Lon McEachern of the World Series of Poker, Gabe and AJ go together like peanut butter and jelly. But Schulman immediately shown that Nick and AJ are also a formidable duo.
Benza eased Schulman into the booth and immediately introduced his new co-host.
“I’m doing well, AJ,” remarked Schulman. “When I received the call from the Big Guy, it was a little surreal, and I still can’t believe I’m sitting next to you on High Stakes, but I’m glad to be here.”
“Oh, listen, we’re all Brooklyn guys. Me, you, and Gabe – never wager against Brooklyn men, we’ll be alright,” Benza said.
New York City is where Benza, Schulman, and Kaplan were all born.
The Action at the Table is played for high stakes
Ema Zajmovic won a $3,400 pot with a pair of fives in the $200/$400 no-limit hold’em cash game when play commenced.
Jennifer Tilly, Eric Persson, Matt Hanks, Jean-Robert Bellande, Bobby Baldwin, and Chino Rheem were the other six players at the table. At the beginning of the show, Hanks had the highest stack with just over $350,000, while three other players had just over $100,000.
Zajmovic and Hanks engaged in one of the most hilarious chop pots in the history of High Stakes Poker at the launch of Season 10 last week. This week’s notable events include Persson’s unsuccessful attempt to contact Bellande.
On a board of j-Hearts2-Clubsq-Heartsj-Spades6-Spades and with $40,000 in the pot, Persson overbet $100,000 with q-Diamondsj-Spades for a full house. Bellande entered the tank with q-Clubs-10 Diamonds. Persson made every attempt to convince his opponent to surrender, going so far as to flip the queen. Unfortunately for the obnoxious casino owner and high-stakes regular, it convinced “JRB” to fold his monster hand, and he only gained a tiny profit.
Later on, though, Bellande would get several breaks, including a six-figure pot he won with a set against Tilly, who missed her flush draw. Then, he folded pocket 10s on a 9-Diamonds5-Spades8-Clubs5-Diamonds3-Diamonds board when Hanks bet $70,000 into a $83,000 pot with only an ace-high hand.
The third episode of Season 10 of High Stakes Poker will air next week on PokerGO at 5 p.m. PT.
*Images provided by PokerGO