The Top 10 Poker Players I’d Like to See Come Back to TV

By Geoff Fisk
December 24, 2019

We have plenty of televised poker to consume going into 2020, and some of the games on platforms like PokerGO and the Triton Poker YouTube channel are as entertaining as ever.

I can’t help but think about some of the names that haven’t appeared much, or at all, in televised  poker games in recent years. The following list includes 10 players, in no particular order, that I’d love to see get back in the mix in 2020:

Doug Polk

This one’s probably not going to happen any time soon, as the Upswing Poker founder has stated on numerous occasions that he’s done playing poker.

He certainly doesn’t have anything else to prove in the game. The last time we saw Polk grinding it out was on live stream, during his $100 to $10,000 bankroll challenge.

Doug Polk Twitter

Image source: Doug Polk Twitter

Polk completed that challenge in August 2018, and at the conclusion announced his intentions to not play poker anymore. He did play a couple of events at the 2019 WSOP, but other than that Polk’s been true to his word.

Always an entertaining presence, and a genius poker mind, a return to poker from Polk in any televised/streamed form would be welcome.

Fedor Holz

Much like Polk, I’d love to watch Fedor Holz play poker in any televised form. The last time we saw the German phenom on a major broadcast was the 2018 WSOP $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop, where he finished second for a career-high $6,000,000 payday.

Holz’ brings an unmatched presence to any poker game his in, from a spectator standpoint. Maybe it’s staredowns of his opponents, the glimpse into his poker mind, and the mystique of a guy who’s won more than $32,000,000 in his poker career but is “retired” at age 26 and looking to improve the world.

Holz has made a couple of appearances in Triton Poker high roller events in 2019, including the  €1,200,000 Triton Million in London. Televised/streaming coverage of Holz playing poker since 2017, however, is sparse.

With the recent release of Pokercode training course, Holz is still involved in the game, and I’d love to see him back in action at the table.

Sammy Farha

High Stakes Poker is still considered by most to be perhaps the greatest poker television program of all time, and Sammy Farha was the heart and soul of that show.

His unpredictable playing style and personality at the table made any poker show a must-watch when Farha was in the mix. He may have first appeared on our televisions as the runner-up to Chris Moneymaker in the 2003 WSOP Main Event, but Farha’s lasting legacy is the personality that we got to know during the run of High Stakes Poker.

It’s fun to imagine how Farha’s playing style and table talk would interact with some of poker’s modern-day TV regulars.

Jamie Gold

The preceding legendary hand doesn’t happen without Jamie Gold, who first appeared on High Stakes Poker in the Season 3 run, which began in January 2007.

Fresh off his win in the 2006 WSOP Main Event, Gold was the perfect person to add to the mix on High Stakes Poker, as his mix of speech play, fearless bluffing, and brash personality made for fascinating interaction with the game’s regulars like Farha and Doyle Brunson.

Gold has made a few appearances on PokerGO programming over the last couple of years. If we could get guys like Gold and Farha to appear regularly on televised poker shows in 2020, I’d watch every minute.

Gus Hansen

Much like Farha, Gus Hansen is one of the legends of poker whose presence would make any show must-see TV.

Hansen, like Gold, does make the occasional appearance on PokerGO programming, but most of his time at the poker tables in 2019 was spent in Bobby’s Room, playing high stakes cash games at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

We can only imagine what goes down in those games, but perhaps none of the high stakes regulars that frequent Bobby’s Room are as intriguing as Hansen. The “Great Dane” gave us a glimpse into his life with his epic Instagram posts over the course of the past year.


Joey Ingram

There really isn’t a ton of footage to be found of Joey Ingram playing poker on television/livestream. Poker’s lead investigator has made a few appearances on Live at the Bike, as well as Poker After Dark’s ‘Run It Once’ week, which aired on PokerGO in April 2019.

Ingram has admittedly taken a step back from playing the game to focus on his YouTube channel and Poker Life podcast. In that respect, nobody is creating more essential and important poker content than Ingram, who’s at the pinnacle of investigative journalism within poker.

Seeing the 2020 version of Ingram mix it up at the poker able would be fascinating, and let’s hope we get to see more of that in the coming year.

Tony G

We’re already seeing Tony G get back into the mix after taking time off from poker to focus on his political career. Like Farha and some of the other classic personalities from the Poker Boom era, Tony G was always an unmistakable presence on any televised poker show.

Working for PokerNews, I had the opportunity to cover Tony’s win at the €25,000 Triton Short Deck High Roller at partypoker MILLIONS Europe in August. Watching him play poker and interact with some of poker’s other top personalities was a real treat, and that trip to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic was one I’ll never forget.

Over the course of that event, I saw Tony matched up against Phil Ivey, Leon Tzoukernik, Paul Phua, Cary Katz, and Rob Yong, just to name a few. Can we get more of that on my television screen?

Here’s a look at Tony G mixing up with the modern-era high rollers in a Triton Poker cash game, and let’s just say Tony’s personality hasn’t wilted at all since his break from poker.

Annette Obrestad

Taking the poker world by storm during the peak of the poker boom, Annette Obrestad began racking up online accolades as a teenager. By the time she appeared on the live tournament scene as an 18-year-old, Obrestad was a force to be reckoned with.

She became the youngest player to ever win a WSOP bracelet with her win in the WSOP Europe Main Event in 2007. At that time Obrestad was one day short of her 19th birthday, and over the course of the next few years the Norwegian poker prodigy was a regular invitee to a number of poker television programs.

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to watch Obrestad play the game. Let’s take a look back at a big cash game hand between Obrestad and Justin Smith, with Doug Polk providing analysis:

Vanessa Rousso

Another one of the TV regulars from the poker boom, Vanessa Rousso was always a dynamic personality whenever she was in the mix.

We haven’t seen much of Rousso on TV/stream over the latter part of the 2010s, but it would be great to see her come back to the big screen. Rousso currently sit at more than $3.5 million in career tournament earnings, but her appearances at the poker table, televised or otherwise, have been somewhat sparse in recent years.

Here’s an infamous hand involving Rousso and another member of this list, Tony G:

Huck Seed

The 1996 WSOP Main Event champion may not be as boisterous or talkative as some of the other entries on this list, but I still miss the days of Huck Seed as a regular on poker television.

Perhaps the all-time king of prop bets, Seed always carried a certain mystique at the poker table.

We haven’t seen Seed in a televised game in quite a while, and I’d be fascinated to see him match up against some of today’s TV regulars.



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Geoff Fisk

Geoff Fisk’s infatuation with poker began as he watched Chris Moneymaker go on his legendary run to win the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event. Geoff took his first shot at online poker in 2006 and continued to grind it out on the virtual tables for the better part of a decade, before taking […]


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