Shorts Stacks: Gabe Retires, Alec Baldwin Hits Poker Room after Being Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter

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It’s been a nice run, but Gabe Kaplan is hanging up his microphone as the color commentator of “High Stakes Poker.” He will be replaced by Nick Schulman.

Also, Alec Baldwin hits a New York card room hours after being charged for involuntary manslaughter, and Perry Green wins his first event in ages are some of the short stacks CardsChat picked up in last week’s orbit of poker news.

Gabe Kaplan
Gabe Kaplan retired from hosting “High Stakes Poker.” This is what he looked like when he competed at the WSOP in the 1970s. (Image: Walt Disney Television)

Actor, comedian, and poker player Gabe Kaplan has retired from announcing “High Stakes Poker.”

The comedian became famous starring in the sit-com “Welcome Back, Kotter,” which ran from 1975-79. The show was partially based on his stand-up act, which brought him to “The Tonight Show” five times. “Kotter”  made him rich enough to compete with some of the world’s best poker players at the time.

Kaplan, who turns 78 in March, has been part of the poker world since he started playing in World Series of Poker events in 1978. He finished third at the WSOP thrice ($10K 2-7 draw lowball in 1983, $5K stud in 1988, and $5K 2-7 draw lowball in 1996), and came a whisker’s width away from a bracelet in 2005 when he finished second to Dan Schmiech in a $5K limit hold’em event in 2005.

He co-hosted all but one season of “High Stakes Poker” since the show first aired in 2006. The show returned for its 10th season on Jan. 24, on PokerGO, which will be Kaplan’s last episodes.

PokerGO announced yesterday that Nick Schulman will replace Kaplan as the color commentator on “High Stakes Poker.

Man armed with knife closes Commerce Casino 

A man wielding a knife shut down Commerce Casino for more than two hours yesterday morning.

According to ABC’s Los Angeles affiliate, the situation began at 5:30 a.m. when a man who was asked to leave pulled out a knife and refused. This led to a stand-off with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which closed the casino and card room until around 8 a.m.

After trying to use a mental-health evaluation team to negotiate with the unnamed man, officers took him into custody using “less-lethal” force. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation and will face charges.

Perry Green wins in LA

Perry Green, who played and won a handful of events at the WSOP in the 1970s, won the $400 Mixed Omaha event at the Los Angeles Poker Classic. The 86-year-old former fur trader outlasted 90 for the trophy and $7K at Commerce Casino.

Green won all three of his bracelets before the 80s began, and according to the Hendon Mob, it’s his first win since 1987.

Green was the runner-up of the WSOP Main Event in 1981 ($150K). His heads-up opponent? Stu Ungar, who won his first of five bracelets.

Baldwin plays poker hours after charges filed

Alec Baldwin visited a private club’s poker room in his home town of New York the same day he was was formerly charged with involuntary manslaughter for his role in the death of a cinematographer on the set of a movie in New Mexico.

A source told People magazine that Baldwin hit the exclusive private member’s-only club Zero Bond last night, spending about 40 minutes in its poker room with his wife.

Baldwin held the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during a rehearsal while shooting “Rust,” which Baldwin produced and starred in. Also facing charges is the movie’s armorer, who is responsible for making sure the prop guns were filled with blanks, and not real bullets.

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