“Poker Night in America” Taping Two Television Events in August
31 July 2017
PokerBrave (3542 articles)
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Although it hasn’t been the groundbreaker that many thought it would be, the syndicated poker program Poker Night in America has continued to take its shots. In the month of August, the PNIA cameras will be traipsing the country in broadcasting four tournaments live while also taping cash game events and a “made for television” effort for future broadcast.

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in Hollywood, FL, kicks off in a couple of days with a unique series of tournaments. Called “The Big 4,” the schedule of the SHRPO features (naturally) four tournaments that will play out simultaneously. Beginning on August 9, a $1100 No Limit Hold’em (NLHE) with a $500,000 guarantee will kick off the festivities for “The Big 4.” Following that the $5250 SHRPO Main Event (with a single re-entry) and a $3 million guarantee will open play on August 11.

As these two events play, two more will be started. On August 13, a $2650 NLHE (no rebuys) freeze-out tournament with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool will hit the felt and the $25,500 “High Roller” (re-entry allowed) with a $2 million guarantee will start on August 14. These tournaments will be running simultaneously as they lead to the penultimate day.

On August 15, “The Big 4” tournaments will all come to a conclusion. Beginning at noon, all four tournament final tables will be in action, crowning champions on each table. PNIA will be on hand to broadcast the action of all four tournaments over their Twitch channel beginning at 12:30 (Eastern Time). In charge of officiating the festivities will be noted poker commentator Ali Nejad and top professional poker player/analyst Maria Ho; both will be tested on the non-stop action that will be around the Hard Rock that day.

PNIA isn’t going to settle with broadcasting four tournaments at one time. Following the close of “The Big 4,” PNIA is going to feature a “High Roller” Cash Game from August 17-19. Although a player list for the three-day event hasn’t been released yet, PNIA officials are encouraging the public to come to the taping of these games beginning at 3PM (Eastern Time). PNIA will also stream the cash games on their Twitch channel.

Not content to take a break after such a hectic schedule, PNIA will only have a couple of days off before their next stream/taping session. Part of the show will be a unique heads up “made for television” matchup, while the second will be the traditional PNIA cash game.

On August 22, PNIA will travel to Schenectady, NY, and the Rivers Casino Resort for the inaugural “King of the Hill” competition. Four players – 14-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, former WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela, and WSOP bracelet winners and online terrors Daniel Cates and Doug Polk – will each put up $50,000 of the own money in a heads-up competition. After playing preliminary events on the 22nd, the final heads up match will be held on August 23, with the eventual champion walking off with the championship belt and, perhaps more importantly, the $200,000 prize pool in the “winner take all” match.

The preliminary action on August 22 will begin at 3PM (Eastern Time), with the live stream from PNIA starting (on delay) at 3:30. On August 23, the final match will start at 8PM (with the live stream beginning at 8:30) and the public is encouraged to turn out for the action. If people are unable to make it to Rivers Casino, the made-for-television event will be taped for broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.

After the “King of the Hill” has been determined, PNIA will have an “invite only” cash game that will be played over two days. From August 24-25, the seven-handed cash game will also be taped for posterity (and broadcast). As with the Seminole stop, players for the invite only game haven’t been announced yet by PNIA officials.

With all the action in August, it is good to see events – even if they are a “made-for-television” endeavor – outside of the major tournament circuits get some airtime. It is also good to see the cash games featured, something that has been a staple for PNIA. The live streams should prove to be exciting and, once edited for broadcast on the CBS Sports Network, should provide some more nuance beyond the raw feed.