IT'S NO BLUFF: CASINO OSCARS - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

TV poker is upping the ante ??? with an awards show of its own.

The first-ever "Casino Awards" are being prepared for a December debut on cable-channel GSN, according to officials.

The popularity of gambling shows ??? especially those featuring Texas Hold 'Em, a high-stakes form of poker, and the colorful personalities who play the game professionally ??? seemed to have made the idea of an award show to honor them inevitable.

The "Casino Awards" will have categories for "casino players, entertainers and gaming-themed programming for television and movies," the announcement says. It is set to air live from Las Vegas.

GSN ??? formerly the Game Show Network ??? has been moving away from its initial emphasis on TV game shows like "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "The Price Is Right" and concentrating instead on casino-type gambling.

No word yet on how the award winner will be selected.

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