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Gabe Kaplan

gabe kaplan, gabe kaplan net worth
Gabriel Weston Kaplan born March 31, 1945 is an American comedian, actor, poker commentator, and professional poker player1

Kaplan was born in Brooklyn, New York He is best known for his role as Gabe Kotter in the 1970s sitcom, Welcome Back, Kotter He later became known as a poker player, and as co-host and joint commentator for the series High Stakes Poker on GSN


  • 1 Acting career
  • 2 Poker
  • 3 Later activities
  • 4 Filmography
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Acting careeredit

As a kid, Kaplan had aspirations of being a Major League Baseball player However, he was unable to make the roster of a minor league team and decided to pursue other interests He began working as a bellman at a hotel in Lakewood, New Jersey Touring comedians would sometimes perform at the hotel, and Kaplan began to work toward his own career as a stand-up comedian Gabe honed his standup routine in 1964 in places such as the Cafe Tel Aviv at 250 West 72nd Street, New York City

Kaplan's comedy was successful, and he toured the country with his act based on his childhood experiences in Brooklyn He appeared five times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson from May 1973 to December 1974 During that time, he also recorded the comedy album Holes and Mello-Rolls, which included long routines about his high school days, among other topics The sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, whose central characters he helped Eric Cohen and Alan Sacks create and whose core format he helped them to develop, was in part based on his comedy act In the sitcom, Kaplan played Gabe Kotter, who returns as a teacher to the dysfunctional high school where he had been a student The series ran from 1975–79, and Kaplan bought a home in Palm Springs, California with his earnings2 "Up your nose with a rubber hose!", sanitized from the original album line "Up your hole with a Mello-Roll!", became an unlikely catchphrase from the show It became so popular that a comedy record by Kaplan, "Up Your Nose," was released by Elektra Records The record, co-written and -produced by Kaplan, dented the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1977, peaking at #93

From 1976-78 and again in 1981, Kaplan participated in the ABC celebrity athletic competition Battle of the Network Stars For the first five competitions, Kaplan was the captain of the ABC network team In the very first competition, Kaplan defeated Robert Conrad, who was participating in the event representing the NBC team as its captain, in a race much to Conrad's chagrin Kaplan, who was 31 at the time, passed Conrad, then 40, with a strong sprint to the finish line, giving ABC television network the win with 175 points In 1981, Kaplan returned to the competition as the team captain for the NBC side, as he was appearing in the NBC TV show Lewis & Clark

Kaplan in a scene from Welcome Back Kotter, with Marcia Strassman and Ron Palillo

After Welcome Back, Kotter, Kaplan continued with his stand-up act and was in several movies, including a starring role in Fast Break in 1979; and portrayed comic Groucho Marx in a one-man show


Kaplan became involved in financial markets and poker during his acting career He made his first appearance at the World Series of Poker in 1978 In 1980, Kaplan was considered one of poker's elite, as he won the main event at Amarillo Slim's Super Bowl of Poker and was presented with "a loving cup that was so enormous it made the gaudy gold bracelets given to the winners at the World Series of Poker look understated"3 Over the next five years his reputation was solidified as he made the final table at the Super Bowl's main event two more times

In July 2004, he finished third in a World Poker Tour no-limit Texas hold 'em event, earning more than $250,000 He also finished second in the 2005 World Series of Poker $5,000 Limit Hold 'Em event, winning $222,515 Kaplan was joint TV commentator for the 1997 and 2002 WSOP events In 2007, Kaplan won on NBC's Poker After Dark in the episode "Queens and Kings" after defeating Kristy Gazes heads-up and outlasting Howard Lederer, Ali Nejad, Vanessa Rousso and Annie Duke in a $20,000 buy-in 6 person No-Limit Texas Hold-Em winner-take-all Sit-and-Go

In the 2007 World Series of Poker Kaplan finished in ninth place in the $50,000 World Championship HORSE event, winning $131,424 As of June 2017, Kaplan's total live tournament winnings were reported to be $1,991,2484 His eleven cashes at the WSOP were reported to be $539,159 of those winnings5

Kaplan won again on Poker After Dark during "Cowboys" week that first aired in February 2008 against Chris Ferguson, Andy Bloch, Chau Giang, Hoyt Corkins and Doyle Brunson Gabe Kaplan's Poker After Dark win in the first week of the 2010 season the "Commentators III" episode was the greatest comeback in the show's history6

Later activitiesedit

Kaplan resumed performing stand-up comedy and worked on adaptations of Welcome Back, Kotter He still plays poker frequently and became a commentator for poker events and televised poker shows, including the National Heads-Up Poker Championship on NBC,7 High Stakes Poker on GSN,8 and the Intercontinental Poker Championship on CBS

In 1995, His name was mentioned in the episode 21 "The PTA Disbands" sixth season of the Simpsons as a substitute teacher in Bart class

In 2007, he appeared in Zak Penn's improvisational comedy, The Grand, as Seth Schwartzman, father of brother-and-sister poker players Also in 2007, Kaplan published a book titled Kotter's Back: E-mails from a Faded Celebrity to a Bewildered World9 In the book, people react to absurd e-mailed claims by Kaplan, such as that he:9

  • has slept with more women than Wilt Chamberlain
  • is an expert at Cossack dancing
  • thinks he's smart enough to become a member of Mensa
  • would like NASA to send him into orbit with Jimmy Carter and Dr J

The book also describes his e-mails:10

  • to the Athens Olympic Committee offering to light the Olympic torch
  • to AAA the auto club about signing up for Alcoholics Anonymous
  • to the makers of Metamucil suggesting it feature constipated celebrities in its TV ads
  • to the Postmaster General offering to have his picture on a stamp

In January 2011, GSN announced that Norm Macdonald would replace Kaplan as host of High Stakes Poker11


Year Title Role Notes
1975–79 Welcome Back, Kotter Gabe Kotter Main role 95 episodes
1976 The Love Boat Stan Nichols TV film
1977 Police Story Paul Cazenovia Episode: "One of Our Cops Is Crazy"
1979 Fast Break David Greene Feature film
1981 Nobody's Perfekt Dibley Feature film
1981 Tulips Leland Irving Feature film
1981–82 Lewis & Clark Stewart Lewis Main role 13 episodes
1982 Groucho Groucho Marx TV film
1984 Murder, She Wrote Freddy York Episode: "Birds of a Feather"
1984 The Hoboken Chicken Emergency Anthony DePalma TV film
2001 Jack the Dog Richie Feature film
2007 The Grand Seth Schwartzman Feature film


  1. ^ US Search "Gabe Kaplan"permanent dead link
  2. ^ Meeks, Eric G 2012 The Best Guide Ever to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe p 99 ISBN 978-1479328598 
  3. ^ Reback, Storm 2009-03-05 "From the Poker Vaults: Amarillo Slim's Super Bowl of Poker, Part I" PokerNews Retrieved March 10, 2010 
  4. ^ "Gabe Kaplan" The HENDON MOB Mediarex Enterprises Ltd Retrieved 9 June 2017 
  5. ^ "WSOP Player Profile – Gabe Kaplan" WSOPcom Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc Retrieved 9 June 2017 
  6. ^ "Poker After Dark: Commentators III recap – Poker on NBC- NBC Sports" webarchiveorg Archived from the original on December 7, 2010 Retrieved December 5, 2014 
  7. ^ "NBC's 'Heads-Up' aces ratings" Varietycom, retrieved April 15, 2007
  8. ^ "High Stakes Poker Season 3 Premieres on Monday, January 15 at 9 PM" Archived 2007-05-07 at the Wayback Machine GSNcom retrieved April 15, 2007
  9. ^ a b Kaplan, Gabe Kotter's Back: E-mails from a Faded Celebrity to a Bewildered World Simon and Schuster, 2007
  10. ^ Zerschling, Lynn "A prank that will pay off", Sioux City Journal July 3, 2007
  11. ^ Slagter, Josh "Not funny, GSN: Gabe Kaplan out as 'High Stakes Poker' host, replaced by Norm MacDonald", Grand Rapids Press February 8, 2011

External linksedit

  • Gabe Kaplan on IMDb
  • World Poker Tour profile
  • Hendon Mob tournament results

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