PokerStars Announces “The Big Game” Epic Return
Last Updated: October 21, 2023
It’s been quite a year for poker as a whole, with live and online tournaments setting record numbers, some massive streamed cash game pots played, and entirely new poker festivals and events unveiled.
One of the big news for the end of 2023 was always going to be the return of North American Poker Tour, with the first event after the hiatus scheduled for early November.
PokerStars has announced tons of great events during the festival, and recently unveiled the full live streaming schedule as well, which will include live streams of Main Event and High Roller final tables.
But, to make things even better, the operator has also announced the return of one of the legendary TV poker shows “The Big Game,” which will be making a new appearance soon under a new name, “The Big Game on Tour.”
While not all the information for the future of the show has been announced just yet, it would appear that PokerStars plans to run the show in the breaks between NAPT stops, with contestants for the show decided in satellite tournaments during the actual live festivals.
Shows like The Big Game have been sorely missed in recent years, and a return of this epic poker show to our screens will mark a whole new chapter in the history of televised poker, with other shows likely to follow suit.
How The Big Game Works
The Big Game was one of the iconic TV poker shows that came from PokerStars studios as it had everything, big name players, recreational players to stir things up, and lots of drama.
The concept of The Big Game is quite simple. A single recreational player is selected to come on the show and play as “The Loose Cannon.” The player is given a starting chip stack and put into a cash game with some of the best poker players in the world.
The Loose Cannon is allowed to take home any profits they make on top of their initial buy-in, with the only restriction being that they have to play a certain number of hands.
During the original seasons of The Big Game we saw Loose Cannons lock up a profit and not play a hand, while others would try their luck all the way and compete with the legends of the game on an equal footing.
We will never forget when Loose Cannon Ernest Wiggins ran his pocket Kings into Phil Hellmuth’s trip Nines, only to win three out of the four runs after getting it all-in on the flop.
It’s moments like this, with the likes of Daniel Negreanu and Tony G celebrating the win with the Loose Cannon that have made the show so popular and unforgettable.
Now, we will get to see a new cast of players and characters, along with new Loose Cannons trying to make their poker dreams a reality.
New Format for The Big Game on Tour
The first season of The Big Game on Tour will be recorded in Las Vegas during NAPT Las Vegas, which is scheduled for the first week on November, and set to be played out at Resorts World Casino.
PokerStars will run an exclusive satellite during the NAPT, on November 5, with a maximum of 20 tables open for play, and entry completely free of charge.
The freeroll tournament will be played in a shootout format, with the winner of each table will earn a place in the casting stage, scheduled for November 6 and 7.
The casting will give the 20 winners a chance to audition for a spot on The Big Game on Tour, with the likes of Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan acting as judges and choosing two of the players to make their way to the show.
BREAKING NEWS: Legendary poker TV show The Big Game is back! And with a 2023 twist…
Find out how you could become the next Loose Cannon at #NAPTLasVegas…
Plus check out the full streaming schedule for the NAPT's return.
— PokerStars Blog (@PokerStarsBlog) October 20, 2023
The two players who are selected will have a chance to play in one of the two cash games, scheduled for November 8 and 9, with one Loose Cannon appearing in each game.
The Loose Cannons will be given a starting bankroll of $50,000 and will play $100/200 cash game against some of the top poker players in the world, as well as some familiar faces from the world of business and entertainment.
Like before, the Loose Cannon will get to keep any profit they earn after playing a set number of hands, and are fully allowed to not play poker hands once they have what they deem a reasonable profit.
Each of the two games will be split into five episodes of “The Big Game on Tour” and the first season of the new show will air in early 2024 for poker fans to enjoy.
While we don’t have the names of the big guns PokerStars will be bringing out to the show, we can definitely expect to see PokerStars sponsored pros like Lex Veldhuis, Parker Talbot, Sam Grafton, or Jennifer Shahade join a number of other non-sponsored pros and celebrities in playing against the Loose Cannon.
Action-Packed November Awaits
It is looking like November is going to be quite a month, as PokerStars went all-in to make sure that the first NAPT in 12 years is an impressive one.
Not only will the event feature a packed schedule of exciting poker events, but all players and fans who can’t make it to Resorts World in time will be able to watch the final tables via live stream, bringing the action right into their homes.
The addition of the freeroll satellite to The Big Game on Tour will make things even more thrilling, as everyone will be fighting for their seat in the 20 table shootout format, with the exact way to get one of those seats yet to be disclosed.
If you want to become the next Loose Cannon, stay tuned for more information on how you can take part in the satellite, and start getting ready for your potential audition which you will have to pass before you are approved to show up in what could be the biggest poker show next year.