Courtney Friel has been announced the new face of the World Poker Tour after previous hostess Shana Hiatt decided to step down.
Courtney graduated from San Diego State with a BA in Political Science and minored in Broadcast Journalism. She has since taken that to working in the high pressure world of network television and reporting with Channel One in Los Angeles, working as an anchor and reporter in Jackson, TN, and currently still works in news with KPSP in Palm Springs, CA. Beyond just her news skills, she has also been highly sought after by other networks for her entertainment reporting, including E! Entertainment Television, Nickelodeon, EBTV Gaming and other shows.
Despite knowing hardly anything about poker before auditioning for the part, Courtney stresses that she would like to bring a lot to the World Poker Tour through her experience in other areas.
“During my audition, I didn't even know what going "all in" meant! I would kind of say, "OK, he's going all in...," not truly grasping the severity of how serious that move is! Once I explained my background in news, where I had to take a large amount of information in a short time and then present it convincingly to viewers in a manner that they could understand and that I would learn the game, the people at the WPT were a little more comfortable with me.
“I really want to be able to produce some of the segments that come up on the program. I like to write and I think I can bring some great things to the Tour. With it being the Travel Channel, as well, I would like to look at the many interesting things that are part of each stop that we have on the Tour and bring that to the viewers.
“I already am getting out into the audience more than what has been seen in previous seasons. I enjoy doing interviews with the audience, the family members of the players and the players themselves. It wasn't something that was done too much in years previous to this one.”
We wish Courtney Friel the best of luck hosting the upcoming Season Four of the World Poker Tour due to start in March.