World Series of Blackjack

Monday 11:00 PM on GSN - Game Show Network Premiered Mar 01, 2004 In Season


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World Series of Blackjack
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Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/27/2007

Season 4 : Episode 13

Show Summary

Season Four

The fourth season of World Series of Blackjack premiered on Monday, June 4, 2007 at 11 P.M. eastern on GSN. The "Burger King Power Chip" and "Knockout Card" introduced in the previous season are once more be in play. Filmed once again at the Las Vegas Hilton, this edition includes celebrity guests such as Penn Jillette, Orel Hershisher and Celebrity Blackjack champion Caroline Rhea. New episodes are now airing weekly on GSN. Matt Vasgersian has returned this season for commentary. Watch each week, or play along using your mobile phone.

Season Three

World Series of Blackjack returned to GSN on June 5. The third season ended on August 28. Viewers watched once again as the best minds in blackjack competed for the top prize. This time, there was a million dollars at stake, with a grand prize of $500,000. The new filming location was the Las Vegas Hilton.

Congratulations to this year's champion, Dr. Jeff Bernstein. Congratulations also to runners-up Tony Duong and John Payne as well as all who qualified. Keep watching for more details on the next season of the program.

This Monday, September 4, catch a special on GSN --- the World Blackjack Tour. Filmed with the same locations and hosts as the World Series of Blackjack, this one-time event pitted international players in a competition for $10,000. And if you missed any of this season of the World Series of Blackjack, catch repeats beginning on September 11.

The format for this season was a bit different. Although some players returned from the previous season, others qualified at various tournaments in casinos throughout the United States. Additionally, two of the best players from a tournament on America Online were invited as well.

There were two new hosts for this season - John Fugelsang and Ben Mezrich. John Fugelsang once hosted America's Funniest Home Videos while Ben Mezrich is known for his book, Bringing Down the House.

The following special rules were in play this season:

"Knockout Card" - This knocks the player with the least amount of money out of the game. This card appears twice in the game. If it does, then the next round becomes a knockout round. The player with the least money will be knocked out at the end of that round, unless somebody busts out in the round before the knockout round. The knockout card can appear in either a dealer or player hand. In either case, it is replaced with another card.

"Second Chance" - A drawing to invite an eliminated player back to the game in one of the two wild-card rounds. Every player who did not place first or second in one of the qualifiers has a chance at the second-chance drawing. Those that finished in third received three tickets, fourth received two, and each fifth-place finisher received one.

"Burger King Power Chip" - This valuable chip lets a player change a card. Each player gets one but only one of these per game, so it's important not to waste it. The power chip can be also be used as method of "checking" a double-down card. If they player likes the card, they are allowed to keep it and that will count as a use of the power chip. If they don't like it, they may opt to replace it.

The players are staked $100,000. The minimum bet begins at $1,000. After the first knockout round, the minimum bet rises to $2,500. After the second knockout round, it rises to $5,000. The maximum bet is always $50,000.

World Series of Blackjack is part of GSN's interactive block! To play along online, visit GSN's website during any airing of the show.

Missed the finale? You can catch a repeat August 30 at 2 A.M., or on September 3 at 10 P.M. And watch repeats of the entire season beginning on September 11.

Season Two

World Series of Blackjack returns with bigger stakes and new players. Forty amateur and pro players will be competing for a total of $500,000 in prize money. Watch all of the blackjack action being held at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. An invitation-only event, this season features the return of top players "MIT" Mike, "Hollywood" Dave Stann and many more.

World Series of Blackjack's second season began on Friday, January 21, 2005 at 10 P.M. The new season featured a new co-host, Megan Riordan and a new dealer to go along with the new casino --- dealer Diana.


25 Hands Players Staked $100,000 Minimum $1000 bet, Maximum $50000 bet Dealer Stands at 17 (including soft) Six Deck Shoe Double After Split Allowed Late Surrender Allowed Double for Less Allowed Insurance Offered

Season One

Part of GSN's new programming block, World Series of Blacjack consists of a series of blackjack tournaments held the Mohegan Sun casino of southeastern Connecticut. Each episode features thirty hands of blackjack, with the winner receiving $10,000 and a spot in the $100,000 championship tournament. There is also one wild-card winner who receives $5,000 and a spot in the Wild Card Tournament. Commentary is provided throughout by Matt Vasgersian, known for his work in sports commentary and Max Rubin, a gambling expert. The attractive Tiki Arsenault deals the cards and Melana Scantlin (Average Joe) is on-hand to provide background information on the various Native American traditions of the Mohegan Sun casino, as well as practical blackjack tips. Rules:

Players Staked $10,000 Minimum $100 bet, Maximum $5000 bet Dealer Stands at 17 (including soft) Double After Split Allowed Late Surrender Allowed Double for Less Allowed Insurance Offered

Special thanks to KenSmith, manager of for the schedule for both the second and third seasons!moreless
Melana Scantlin

Melana Scantlin

Co-Host (Season 1)

Ben Mezrich

Ben Mezrich

Co-Host (Season 3)

Deanna Bacon

Deanna Bacon

Dealer (Season 3)

Jessica Knight

Jessica Knight


Joann Henderson

Joann Henderson

Blackjack Correspondent

John Fugelsang

John Fugelsang

Host (Season 3)

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  • One of GSN's best original shows --- stylish, engaging and most importantly, smart. Exciting series that shows pros at the top of their game --- is enhanced by great production values, strong hosting, and willingness to take risks and make improvements.moreless

    GSN's "World Series of Blackjack" premiered in 2004 and as of the posting of this review, has enjoyed four seasons on GSN --- The Network for Games (formerly "Game Show Network.") Though easy for a casual viewer to dismiss as "just another of those card game shows," the "World Series of Blackjack" is so much more. It's a marvelously crafted series of tournament battles, pitting some of the best of its field. Additionally, the game is refined every season, whether it be upping the stakes with higher prize money, changing hosts, or adding in innovations such as the "Burger King Power Chip."

    The basic format is this --- at the start, a series of tournaments are held, with the players competing for spots in either the semi-finals or the wild-card round. They play tournament blackjack using pretty standard rules, but because of the nature of the play, you may sometimes see players doing things such as splitting a pair of 10s or playing blackjack as an 11 to double down. Things really get intense when it comes down to the later matches, with five players eventually facing off for a top prize that started off as $100,000 in the first season and thanks to the show's popularity, has now been raised to $500,000.

    What really sets this series apart is the high-pressure format and the intelligent gameplay. Many of these people actually play blackjack for a living and not only know basic strategy, but are also familiar in psychological tactics, card-counting (of highly limited use with a "six-deck shoe"), and special tournament maneuvers that you wouldn't see in a basic game of blackjack. Additionally, the show has a great host --- Matt Vasgersian, who is able to keep up well with the action and provides smart commentary with just an occasional touch of humor. The show experimented with changing hosts and adding in "experts" for commentary, but they weren't afraid to more-or-less admit that they had made a mistake, and have now returned to the single-host format for the fourth season.

    The third season featured two additions to the game --- the "Knockout Card" and the "Burger King Power Chip." The "Burger King Power Chip" may seem like a pretty shameless bit of product placement, but has actually proven to be a most interesting gameplay innovation. Each player gets one Burger King Power Chip per game, which they can use at any time to replace any card that they've received. Of course, there's no guarantee it'll be a better card, but if used smartly, it can turn to the player's advantage more often than not. Additionally, it can be used in one other way --- a player can use it to "peek" at a double down card. If they decide that they like the double down card, they can keep it. If not, they can replace it with the next card in the shoe.

    As for the knockout cards, there are now two in each match. Assuming that a player hasn't already busted out, the player with the lowest chip stack at the end of a knockout hand goes home. This adds additional strategy to the game early on. Reaction to this addition has been somewhat mixed, but I think generally it's a good idea and adds more drama.

    The first season of the show took place at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Since then, it's moved to the high-class Las Vegas Hilton hotel in Nevada --- home of "Star Trek: The Experience" and other exciting attractions. Additionally, the commercial breaks seem to be better placed and the on-screen graphics and general format have been steadily improved. Sometimes it's the little things that count.

    On the whole, GSN's "World Series of Blackjack" is a high-class production that can be appreciated by fans of a good, intelligent TV game. I hope it continues for many seasons to come and look forward to seeing what GSN has to offer for its next season.moreless
  • wtf?

    What is this.Watching poker is bad but watching people play blackjack?Thats the most boringest thing I have ever watched in my life!I rather watch dragon tales then this.I hate it so much It should be lowerthan 5.7 medicore.I would rather watch dora then this load of crap.seriosly who ever thought watching people play blackjack is the most dumbest person ever!this can't be on forever.espn stop showing this bad show!this is why I can't stand your ratings and this is why your losing fans!I can't even watch a whole episode of this show.can't it go away?please if your a viewer of this show then stop watching!overall rating 1.0!I would give it a 0.1 but this site dosen't let me.moreless
  • Your kiding right? Watching the Wold Series of Poker is bad enough, but if you are watching the World series of Blackjack, then you really need to get your head examined.moreless

    Watching the Wold Series of Poker is bad enough, but if you are watching the World series of Blackjack, then you really need to get your head examined. If you have nothing better to do than watch people play blackjack, then please turn off the television, and get your self a hobby, or better yet, get yourself a girlfriend/boyfriend. What this world needs is for people to stop watching bad programming so that maybe the networks will stop airing them. It actually disturbs me that enough people watch this show that it has it's own section on this site.moreless
  • © 2006 Game Show Network
  • © 2006 Game Show Network
  • © 2006 Game Show Network
  • © 2006 Game Show Network