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Late Night Poker is a Britishmarker television show in which poker players, mostly professionals or strong amateurs, compete in a short series of No-Limit Texas hold 'em tournament games for a prize of approximately £50,000.


Six series of the show were created between 1999 and 2002. Produced in Cardiffmarker, Walesmarker, by TV company Presentable, they aired on Channel 4, and were later repeated on Discovery Home & Leisure in the UK.

A celebrity version of the show was produced on 12 October 2000, featuring (in finishing order from 1st to 7th place) Anthony Holden, Al Alvarez, Martin Amis, Victoria Coren, Patrick Marber, Stephen Fry and Ricky Gervais. This led into the creation of Celebrity Poker Club.

In 2005 an all-amateur tournament by the name of Late Night Poker Ace was broadcast, following a qualification round on the aforementioned website. The tournament was won by 46-year-old security van driver John Shaw from Dunfermlinemarker, who won the £50,000 first prize. Further tournaments under the same or similar names were played in 2006 and 2008.



A series of Late Night Poker consists of 9 programmes - 7 heats, one semi-final, and the final. Each heat has 7 players. The 7 winners of the heats progress straight to the final, and the runners-up go to the semi-final, where one additional player progresses, for a final table of 8 players.

(NB: The first series featured 5 heats, with the players finishing 1st and 2nd in each progressing to the final. The players who qualified by finishing first in their heat started the final with twice as many chips as the heat runner-ups.)

Although the precise sums of money involved have varied, the typical buy-in has been in the region of £1,500, with a first prize of between £40,000 and £60,000.

The shows lasted 60 minutes when broadcast, with the season finals lasting 90 minutes. When shown in America on FSN, the episodes were cut into two (or three) 30-minute parts.

Under-the-table cameras

Late Night Poker's success is largely attributable to its "under-the-table" cameras (later known as hole cams) which allow the viewers and commentators to see the players' cards through the transparent table. It is doubtful Poker could succeed as a spectator sport otherwise, and American broadcasters have subsequently used a similar technique in programmes such as World Poker Tour.

Nevertheless, in contrast to most Poker shows, Late Night Poker tends to use these cameras in a rather minimalist way. For example, in a two-way pot, often only one player's cards are shown, with the commentators trying to infer from the other player's actions what cards he or she holds, and how the first player should act. Because of this, the commentary often mirrors the actual decision-making process of a Poker player. Only late in the hand, at the time of a critical decision, would the other player's cards be shown, possibly revealing a startling bluff or an unexpectedly strong hand.

Series finalists

Season Winner Prize Runner-Up 3rd place
1 Dave Ulliott £40,000 Peter Evans Dave Welch
2 Simon Trumper £40,000 Ross Boatman Ram Vaswani
3 Phil Hellmuth, Jr. £45,000 Adam Heller Paul Alterman
4 Hemish Shah £50,000 Simon Trumper Barny Boatman
5 Padraig Parkinson £50,000 Korosh Nejad Joe Beevers
6 Peter Costa £60,000 Jin Cai Lin Lucy Rokach
Ace 1 John Shaw £50,000 Hung Luc Miles Adam
Ace 2 Raul Mestre $50,000 Simon Ehne Michiel Van Woerden
Masters David Tighe $100,000 Simon Ehne Barny Boatman
2008 Andreas Jorbeck $125,000 Roland De Wolfe Andy Black

Late Night Poker Masters

Late Night Poker will return to British television from September 2006 onwards on Channel 4 under the new title Late Night Poker Masters. The format is changed to 4 heats with 8 players in each. (6 players in each heat will be professionals; the other 2 will qualify through the second series of Late Night Poker Ace.) Two players qualify through each heat to the final. [125917].

Former winners Dave Ulliott and Padraig Parkinson have publicly stated on the Hendon Mob's forum that they will not be playing in the event due to favourable efforts being made towards foreign players by the show's producers. [125918]

Confirmed Players

The following players will be returning: Joe Beevers, Barny Boatman, Dave Colclough, Peter Costa, Liam Flood, Ken Lennaárd, Marcel Lüske, Donnacha O'Dea, Pascal Perrault, Ben Roberts, Surinder Sunar, Willie Tann, Simon Trumper and Ram Vaswani

The new players featured are Roy Brindley, Peter Davidsen, Tony G, Kenna James, Iwan Jones, Theo Jørgensen, Michael Keiner, Lothar Landauer, Sean Murphy, Mikael Thuritz, and 8 online qualifiers. [125919]


See also

External links

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