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PokerStars' 'The Big Game' a Big Hit

By Scott Carlson, Rakeback.com Staff Writer

PokerStars the Big GamePokerStars has entered the made for television poker market with their offering of The Big Game. The game is $200/$400 hold-em played pot limit pre-flop and no limit after the flop with a minimum buy-in of $100,000 and a maximum of $500,000. The show features five professionals and one "loose cannon". The loose cannon is an amateur that qualifies online through a series of freerolls at PokerStars. The loose cannon is given $100,000 and must play a total of at least 150 hands. Whatever money they end with over the initial $100,000 they get to keep. If you have less than $100,000 at the end of 150 hands or go broke before then you take away nothing but a nice story to tell your friends and family about playing with the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson and the Poker Brat himself, Phil Hellmuth. If you win money you have the option to come back for a second week and another 150 hands. Through the first six weeks of episodes the loose cannon has yet to return for a second week.

The biggest winner on the episodes to date has been Scott Seiver who pocketed a $251,300 profit in week 5. So far the loose cannons have posted a profit two times with the biggest winner being Nadya Magnus who earned $63,000 in profits during week three. Four of the loose cannons have gone broke losing all of their $100,000 buy-in. The loose cannon that wins the most money during the first season earns additional perks such as a free entry into the PokerStars Caribbean adventure and the Main Event of the World Series of Poker.

PokerStars has also created a revolutionary web site which includes a multitude of statistics on the players, similar to what one would see when using tracking software online. Along with archived episodes the web site has exclusive content including a "Hands of the Week" video which shows the top five hands played, a "Too Hot for TV" video and "Exclusive Web Hands" which shows hands that didn't make the television show.

Check out the video of Phil Hellmuth playing against the loose cannon in week one and the shocking results:

The show airs on national television in the United States on Fox and in Canada on Sportsnet. Check your local listings for times and dates.

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