“Poker Night in America’s” much-anticipated “Ladies Night 2” debuted this week. ?The high-stakes cash game was filmed in April 2015 at the Sugar House Casino, in Philadelphia, PA. ?These latest episodes came about six months after the first “Ladies Night” was broadcast from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL. ?When those previous shows aired earlier this year, the ladies-only segments were among the highest-rated programs in PNiA’s two seasons on television. ?

This also marked PNiA’s first-ever visit to Philadelphia. ?It was also the first televised poker event ever held in that city. ?The Sugar House Casino is on the west side of the Delaware River, just north of Center City Philadelphia. ?At the time our cameras were present, the casino-resort was undergoing a major expansion, which should be completed sometime in 2016.

Once again, there was far greater interest in the Sugar House cash game than seats were available. ?Regretfully, PNiA cannot accommodate all the players who want to play in our cash games. ?However, we do try and rotate as many players into the game as possible. ?The “Ladies Night 2” cast included the following participants:

Samantha Abernathy

Christina Lindley

Cate Hall

Jamie Kerstetter

Beth Shak

Jessica Dawley

Jennifer Shahade

Karina Jett

Natasha Barbour

Of the group, Abernathy, Kerstetter, Dawley, Jett, and Barbour had played previously. ?Dawley was the savvy television veteran among the ladies, having now appeared on PNiA at five locations, the most of any female. ?This marked the first time to appear on the show for Lindley, Hall, Shak, and Shahade.

Jennifer Shahade, in particular, deserves some special recognition. ?She’s one of the top chess players in the United States, having won the American women’s championship two times. ?The grandmaster and Philadelphia native has also authored a popular book on chess, and is a major figure now only in that world but poker as well, now having expanded her reach into other games of skill.

Several poker hands were shown. ?Two, in particular, stood out:

  • First, Samantha Abernathy faced Natasha Barbour in a key hand. ?Abernathy was dealt A-9 suited (spades) to Barbour’s K-J suited (clubs). ?The flop came 9-9-8 with two clubs. ?Abernathy loved the flop, with trip nines and top kicker. ?However, Abernathy was on a big draw, with two clubs to match those on board. ?A king on the turn only served to keep Barbour around for another card, and when a third club hit on the river, the Florida-based poker pro has completed her flush. ?She won a large pot, one of the few key hands Abernathy lost during the session.
  • The second notable hand didn’t go quite so well for Barbour. ?She was dealt 6-3 suited (hearts). ?She ran into Las Vegas poker pro Karina Jett, holding pocket Aces. ?With a board showing Jh – 6s – 5h – Qc on the turn, Barbour decided to make a bold move. ?She moved all in with her last $3,000 in the flush draw (with a pair of sixes). ?Jett snap called and won the pot when the blank fell on the river.

The session’s biggest winner was Samantha Abernathy, followed by Jessica Dawley. ?Natasha Barbour took the worst of it, losing $4,150.

Next week’s show, which debuts on Monday, Nov. 16th, includes more of “Ladies Night 2.” ?We’ll have many highlights, including an appearance by Phil Hellmuth, who sits down in the game for a brief time. ?Moreover, Jennifer Shahade will demonstrate her chess skills by taking on four opponents simultaneously. ?The grandmaster agreed to four separate challenges and, well, you’ll just have to tune in Monday night to see what happened.

Following “Ladies Night 2,” in coming weeks we’ll show more of the open cash game, which included several well-known players and even a few amateurs. ?Given that Philadelphia is the home of the cheese steak, we invited three of the top culinary authorities on the subject, known as the “Philly Cheesesteak Kings.” ?PNiA cameras went to three top-ranked locations in Philadelphia to see what makes these such a delicious delicacy. ?Again, those episodes which will round out Season 2 (airing through end of this year) are not to be missed.

As for the PNIA crew, next we’re heading off to the Rivers Casino, in Pittsburgh, PA, where will be filming the Pittsburgh Poker Open, which runs Nov. 5th through Nov. 23rd. ?This will be the third occasion that we’ve broadcast from the Rivers Casino. ?The main event will be live streamed. ?We will also be shooting three days of cash game action. ?Last year’s Pittsburgh Poker Open Main Event was won by Phil Hellmuth, who earned his first poker title in more than two years with that victory.

‘Til next week..