Gabriel "Gabe" Kaplan was born March 31, 1945 and is an American actor, comedian and professional poker player. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for his role as Gabe Kotter in the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter but has become more visible in recent years in relation to the popularity of poker, particularly as host/commentator on High Stakes Poker on GSN.
While he was actively involved in his acting career, Kaplan also became involved in financial markets and poker. He made his first appearance at the World Series of Poker in 1978. His biggest win came in July 2004, when 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 $5000 2005 World Series of Poker Limit Hold 'em event, winning $222,515.
In 2007, Kaplan won on NBC's Poker After Dark in the episode "Queens and Kings" after defeating Kristy Gazes heads-up and outlasting fellow professional poker players Howard Lederer, Vanessa Rousso and Annie Duke.
In the 2007 World Series of Poker Kaplan finished in 9th place in the $50,000 World Championship H.O.R.S.E event winning $131,424, the event was eventually won by Freddy Deeb after defeating Bruno Fitoussi in heads-up play.
As of 2007, his total live tournament winnings exceed $1,100,000.
Kaplan won again on NBC's "Poker After Dark" during "Cowboys" week that first aired in February 2008.