The poker industry has witnessed an exceptional year marked by record-breaking tournaments, enormous cash game pots, and headline-making wins. As we approach the final stretch of this year’s poker calendar, PokerStars, owned by Flutter Entertainment, is going above and beyond to guarantee an exhilarating comeback of the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) to the U.S.
The renowned online poker powerhouse, amidst its jam-packed lineup of live tournaments at Resorts World Las Vegas, has revealed plans to revive the iconic high-stakes poker TV show, “The Big Game,” during the upcoming NAPT festival.
After a lengthy twelve-year break, this cash game format is set to make a comeback, offering its distinctive combination of thrilling high-stakes action, strategic gameplay, and the ‘Loose Cannon.’ The announcement comes weeks following Flutter Entertainment’s rebranding of PokerStars VR as Vegas Infinite, ahead of its fifth anniversary.
Although not all details regarding the Big Show’s future have been disclosed, PokerStars will schedule the show during the intervals between NAPT events. The players will be selected through satellite tournaments held during the live events.
NAPT Returns to Vegas After 12 Years
It has been over a decade since poker fans have seen the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) make its way back to North America. Kicking off on November 4th, the long-awaited return is set to attract poker players and fans to Resorts World Las Vegas for one of the richest live poker events of the year.
Over four action-packed days, the NAPT will host the prestigious $10,300 Super High Roller, $5,300 High Roller, $1,650 Main Event, and $1,100 Mystery Bounty. With live streaming coverage provided by PokerStars, poker fans around the world will have front-row seats to the final table action.
From November 10th through the 12th, viewers can tune in to the Twitch and YouTube channels to catch all the nail-biting elimination hands. On the 10th, James Hartigan and the team will be on the call for Day 3 of the Main Event.
The following day, on November 11th, sees the Main Event crowning its champion. Finally, the 12th brings the highly anticipated conclusion of the $5,300 High Roller. For Portuguese speakers they have an additional treat with the Brazilian broadcast team of Felipe de Paulo and Flavio de Valle anchoring full coverage of the NAPT in their native language.
A Last Impression of ‘The Big Game’
Originally airing between 2010 and 2011, The Big Game was a pioneering high-stakes poker television program produced by PokerStars. Each episode featured a qualifier dubbed the ‘Loose Cannon’ who was bankrolled to take a seat in no-limit hold ’em cash games against stars like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, and Antonio Esfandiari.
One iconic episode saw amateur Ernest Wiggins river quads against Phil Hellmuth’s Trip Nines. The show was also known for its dramatic storylines, including when Negreanu famously bagged a $1.5 million pot in a single hand.
Over the two seasons, the high-stake cash game delivered great viewing as massive pots were won and lost. While the qualitative format saw mixed results for the amateur Cannons, the show consistently generated headlines and discussion across the poker world.
The Big Show became an iconic event for its innovative blending of professional and recreational players. It played a big role in introducing new audiences to the exhilarating world of high-stakes cash games. After concluding its run in 2011, the show left a void for televised high-stakes poker that remained unfilled for over a decade.
The Return of The Big Game on Tour
PokerStars is answering those calls with the debut of “The Big Game on Tour” during the upcoming North American Poker Tour festival in Las Vegas this November. Kicking off with two cash games scheduled for November 8th and 9th, the rebooted show will once again feature the fan-favorite Loose Cannon format.
Free satellites on November 5th will see 20 winners each receive a $50,000 bankroll to take a seat at the Big Game tables. While full-player lineups are still to be announced, past Big Game regulars are expected to return to defend their turf. Over five scheduled episodes, “The Big Game on Tour” will document the high-stakes showdowns.
Past Big Game regulars like Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari have expressed interest in returning. The show will air in 5 one-hour episodes on PokerGo in 2024. The wins will build up on an exceptional year for bettors in Las Vegas, which saw more than $1 million won in jackpots in just one week.
The Game Is Another Star in PokerStars’ Legacy of Innovation
PokerStars has consistently demonstrated a commitment to enhancing the poker experience, not just through its game offerings and platform, but also through its dedication to producing high-quality poker content. The return of ‘The Big Game’ is a prime example of this commitment, ensuring that poker remains a source of entertainment and inspiration for future generations.
PokerStars has been at the forefront of innovation in the online poker industry since its inception. The company’s commitment to providing a safe, secure, and user-friendly platform has earned it the trust of millions of players worldwide. PokerStars’ extensive game offerings, ranging from traditional cash games and tournaments to innovative formats like Zoom Poker, cater to the diverse preferences of poker enthusiasts at all skill levels.
Beyond its game offerings, PokerStars has consistently produced high-quality poker content, including live streams of major tournaments, instructional videos featuring renowned poker professionals, and captivating documentaries that delve into poker’s rich history and culture. The return of ‘The Big Game’ represents a continuation of this commitment, ensuring that poker remains a source of entertainment and inspiration for generations to come.
PokerStars has pulled out all the stops to ensure the North American Poker Tour’s long-awaited return to the United States is one to remember. By reviving the iconic cash game The Big Game format during NAPT Las Vegas, the operator aims to satisfy long-standing demand for high-stakes poker entertainment while boosting what will surely be the most monumental NAPT stop in the tour’s history.