In the latest promotion from PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site announced a televised cash game series dubbed the “Big Game.” The high-stakes ring game will air on Fox and PokerStars players can qualify for free.
Text found on the PokerStars Blog notes that despite the site’s constant hands-on approach to poker, “There was one thing that PokerStars hadn't done. It had yet to introduce its own high-stakes cash game that would be broadcast on TV.” The blinds in the newly announced poker television program will be $200/$400 with an ante of $100 and the series will boast a minimum buy-in of $100,000.
Qualifying for the “PokerStars Big Game” is open to PokerStars players from the United States and Canada through June 25th. Round 1 qualifiers run daily on the virtual felts of PokerStars. Any players who land in the top 200 in any of the Final Round qualifiers will be able to send PokerStars a casting video explaining why they’d make the perfect contestant for the high-stakes cash game show. Any qualifiers who make it on the program will be dubbed “Loose Cannons” and get to square off against some of the industry’s top pros armed with a $100,000 buy-in.
PokerStars will buy qualifiers into the game and players can keep whatever profits they may amass during their stay at the table. Then, they’ll have the opportunity to watch the fruits of their labor pan out on Fox. Players who finish their session showing a profit will be invited back for another round of high-stakes poker. PokerStars bluntly explains, “This is your chance to step up to the big leagues and walk away a winner and best of all, it’s free to enter.”
The only announced participant in the “PokerStars Big Game” is Daniel Negreanu, who served as the main face of the “PokerStars.net Million Dollar Challenge,” which also aired on Fox. Negreanu has appeared on all six seasons of the GSN cash game franchise “High Stakes Poker,” which recently saw ratings for its latest cycle balloon by as much as 29%. “High Stakes Poker” serves as one of the only cash game shows on television, with occasional installments of NBC’s “Poker After Dark” serving as its rival. Other PokerStars pros who have appeared on “High Stakes Poker” during the course of its six-season run include Barry Greenstein, Dennis Phillips, Peter Eastgate, Joe Hachem, Dario Minieri, and Victor Ramdin.
Round 1 qualifiers for the “PokerStars Big Game” can be found in the “Tourney” and “Regional” lobbies on PokerStars. The top 300 players in the Round 1 qualifiers will move on to Round 2, which takes place every Saturday. The top 1,000 finishers in the Saturday event will move on to the Final Round on Sunday. All tournaments feature Big Antes from the start in order to replicate the “PokerStars Big Game” format. PokerStars explains, “You will need to prove you can cope with this skillful format if you want to make it to the small screen.”
PokerStars already has a strong presence on “High Stakes Poker,” as Negreanu hosts a weekly segment dubbed “Did You Know,” which has covered everything from the origins of the Dead Man’s Hand to the logic behind straddling. It was rumored that PokerStars was sponsoring the sixth season of “High Stakes Poker,” but that did not come to fruition. New episodes of “High Stakes Poker” air every Sunday on GSN at 8:00pm ET, with tonight’s action featuring a $300,000 pot and Finnish superstar Patrik Antonius moving all-in with pocket aces.