Poker After Dark Returns

Since Black Friday and the series of unfortunate events that followed Black Friday throughout the past 11 months, many televised poker shows have gone off the air. A lot has happened in poker, but now that the dust has settled, it looks like some of our favorite poker TV shows will be back on the air over the next year or so. In fact, Poker After Dark has already returned. NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) is airing re-runs of PAD nightly at midnight Monday through Friday with a Director’s Cut on Saturday. And they aren’t just airing re-runs. Apparently there are 24 episodes that never aired that will be aired sometime this year, as producers are still discussing the best way to re-introduce the show and bring back the great following that PAD once had.

Mori Eskandani of POKER PROductions was interviewed by PokerNews, who confirmed the PAD confirmed. He said in that interview, “The show is coming back without the sponsors, that’s one requirement they had. All we want to do is put our shows back on TV, and I think it’s good for the industry, for sure.”

He’s also referring to the NBC National Heads-Up Championship, which he says he is 90% sure will return in 2013.

The five weeks of unaired PAD shows were recorded in 2010 and were supposed to air last year, but with all the turmoil that mucked up the poker community in 2011, a lot of poker shows were pulled from the lineup. The 24 unaired episodes will air over five weeks (one week’s worth of sit and go – 6 episodes and four weeks of cash games – 18 episodes).

The unseen episodes will feature all of your favorite PAD regulars including Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, Phil Hellmuth, Eli Elezra, Andy Bloch, David Oppenheim, and Justin Smith. And Annette Obrestad will appear on the show as well.

It was even indicated that there will likely be more Poker After Dark shows taped in the future, so the show is nowhere near dead. With the pending success of the re-runs and the 24 unaired episodes, the show will be making a comeback.

On a positive note, Eskandani ended his interview with this uplifting statement: “Mainly, I just want everyone to stay positive. I think poker’s not going anywhere, the game itself is so great that if we in the industry stay positive and give it the right light, it’ll come back. It generates a lot of money, generates a lot of excitement, and I just don’t see what has happened over the last year as a hurdle that can’t be overcome.”

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