March 25, 2006 11:33 AM by Joe Blackmon
In support of the victims of hurricane Katrina and the City of New Orleans, Bravo’s hit series, "Celebrity Poker Showdown," is set to film the next season in the ravaged Louisiana city. Joining the production will be poker champion and winner of nine World Series of Poker bracelets, Phil Hellmuth, who will serve as the series’ new poker commentator and co-host, along with comedian Dave Foley. The all-new eighth tournament, featuring a million dollar prize pool will premiere this spring.
"For the new season of ‘Celebrity Poker Showdown’ we have decided to take the series in a new direction and we could think of no better way than to support the people of New Orleans," said Frances Berwick, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production for Bravo. "In Phil Hellmuth we have found an engaging, proven and renowned poker champion who we are confident will complement Dave Foley’s comedic commentary and provide the insight our viewers rely on."
"New Orleans is a city with a heart and soul like no other American City and being that it is the birthplace of poker, there was no better place to take our show," said executive producer Marcia Mul. "And in the process, to be able to give away a million dollars to help bring back the big easy, that’s a winning hand."
New co-host and poker commentator Phil Hellmuth is a true poker champion. With nine World Series of Poker victories and more than fifty tournament titles under his belt, Hellmuth’s poker legacy is secure. His laundry list of achievements began in 1989 at the tender age of 24 with his first World Series of Poker Main Event title, the youngest person to ever accomplish the feat, a record that stills stands to this day. He has since amassed dozens of major tournament wins internationally, including wins at The World’s Biggest Seven-card Stud Tournament in Austria and Late Night Poker in Great Britain.
Bravo will be partnering with Harrah’s Entertainment to make Harrah’s the new official casino of "Celebrity Poker Showdown." For the all-new season, "Celebrity Poker Showdown" will be filmed at Harrah’s New Orleans. The land-based casino closed shortly before Hurricane Katrina made landfall near the city on August 29. The building sustained storm damage, and was used by first responders as a base of operations in the days following the storm. Repairs to the facility have been completed and the casino re-opened on February 17.
Filmed in front of a live audience, each episode of "Celebrity Poker Showdown" features five celebrities competing against each other for the chance to win thousands to donate to the charity of their choice. Each week, a new group of celebrities meet at the table to go head to head until only one remains. The winner from each week’s game will advance to the championship sixth game. To date, "Celebrity Poker Showdown" has given away $2,450,000 to charities around the world. All celebrities will be playing for charities benefiting victims of Hurricane Katrina.
"Celebrity Poker Showdown" is produced by Picture This Television in association with Bravo. Marcia Mul, Bryan Scott and Lisa M. Tucker are the executive producers.