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GSN Bets on Blackjack-Tournament Series

Game Show Network will roll the dice on casino-based programming with the development of a blackjack tournament set to air next spring.

Weekly series GSN Presents The World Series of Blackjack will feature players competing for a grand-prize purse of $100,000, network executives said. Players will start with $10,000, and the one who has the most money at the end of each respective show will advance to the final episode, pitting the winners against each other.

"We have made tremendous strides over the past year expanding GSN into original game-related comedy, reality, video-game, documentary and even political programming," GSN president and CEO Rich Cronin said in a prepared statement. "Now we've broadened further to include the casino-game genre."

GSN is the first network to bet on a blackjack-tournament series, but ESPN and Travel Channel both offer similar poker-tournament-based programming.

R. Thomas Umstead
R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.