Norman Chad falls in love with alarming regularity, so it shouldn't have been a shock when he was suddenly infatuated with Kara Scott during the 2008 World Series of Poker main event. Scott, the beautiful Canadian television personality, combined looks, table-side grace and enough expertise to last to 104th place in that tournament. What's not to love?
After that success, Scott intensified her focus on the table, a decision that netted her a $400,000-plua score in April's Irish Open and another money finish in the 2009 WSOP main event. Off the table, it was announced a few months ago that she was joining GSN's High Stakes Poker as a hostess/presenter and she'll also be part of the on-air team for ESPN's WSOP Europe broadcasts that debut on January 31. In all, we're talking a lot of attention for a young woman who is obviously going places. It all makes the January 14th Party Poker announcement that she'd signed a sponsorship agreement make a whole lot of sense.
In the wake of all this, there are few lingering questions about Scott that I'm sure we'll see answered in coming months. HSP is the recipient right now of PokerStars' advertising dollars and Scott, at one time a presenter for the heavily 'Stars-branded European Poker Tour, is now a former employee of theirs. Scott's signing seems to symbolically represent the recent wave of attempts by Party to reclaim some of their territory lost to 'Stars in the wake of the UIGEA. It will be interesting to see if both 'Stars and Kara stay affiliated with HSP, since 'Stars isn't exactly in the business of promoting competing brands. What business is? Along those lines, this will also be the first year on HSP that players will be allowed to wear a logo at the table. That said, Scott will not be sporting any logo during the broadcasts.
If the end result is that we don't end up seeing as much of Scott on GSN as previously thought, that sure seems to suggest that she got one heck of a deal to sign with Party. To make a deal of that significance worthwhile, Party would need to get her maximum exposure themselves. Fortunately, they just happen to be the proud owners of a property that can offer that kind of exposure: the World Poker Tour. I think we're going to be seeing more guaranteed air time for Kara Scott on those broadcasts than the hope of final-table finishes can provide. I wonder if Norman would still hold those feelings for a fellow presenter if she were on the opposite side of the TV ratings war. Who knows, maybe it could intensify them.