PokerStars Teams With Fox Network Television For New Poker Show
PokerStars, who has been on the hunt for an outlet for some poker related television programming of its own in the United States to keep up with other online poker sites, has announced that they will team up with Fox Sports for a national network broadcast of a heads up poker program that is called the “PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge.”
The program is set to premiere on October 11th either before or following – the tentative schedule states that the start time is 4PM, but could be adjusted depending upon the region of the country and any football conflicts – the regional broadcast of the National Football League. The “PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge” will feature a challenge somewhat along the same lines as NBC’s “Face The Ace.”
Players will have to battle their way through several Heads Up No Limit Hold’em matches against some of the top poker professionals in the world (as with Full Tilt Poker’s sponsorship of “Face The Ace” and the resulting Full Tilt pros on the show, it is expected that the “PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge” will prominently feature the PokerStars stable of poker players.) If they are able to make their way to the top of the mountain, they will take on PokerStars professional Daniel Negreanu – who will have also coached the players in their previous matches – for a $1 million prize.
Qualifying for the “PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge” is quite unique in that players don’t have to pay a dime for the chance to be on television. There are daily freeroll qualifying tournaments at 8PM and 11PM (Eastern Time) that players start with and which will run until November 25th. In those tournaments, the player has to finish in the Top Ten to be eligible to continue on to attempt to qualify for the program. Rather than determining the players on the “PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge” through poker ability, however, a different method will be employed to determine who will head for California.
If a player finishes in the Top Ten, the player then has to submit a two minute video to PokerStars as to why they should be considered as a player for the “PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge.” These two minute videos will also have to feature two friends that will also come with the player to participate in the show. The friends will be an integral part of the show, as they will be able to offer advice to the player as they are competing on the program. Players who are chosen by the PokerStars Team will then be on their way with their buddies to the Fox Network television studios and could compete on the show.
The remaining episodes of the “PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge” will extend through the remainder of 2009. Episodes will be broadcast on October 18th, November 22nd, December 13th, and four of the top winners will return for what is being called a “grand final” which will be shown on December 27th. Because of the Fox Network’s commitments to the NFL, the show is scheduled to be aired at 4PM but could be moved to a different time on Sunday afternoon, according to how the NFL schedule is laid out.
With the unveiling of the “PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge,” poker is seeing a renaissance on television overall and exposure on the major networks in particular. With “Face The Ace” on NBC and the ongoing showings of “Poker After Dark,” the World Poker Tour and “High Stakes Poker” on GSN (among others), poker is almost as prevalent on television as it was five years ago. For more information on the rules of the competition or to take part in the freeroll tournaments, visit PokerStars to learn more.
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