After PokerStars’ announcement of its “Big Game” poker television show, Full Tilt wasted little time rolling out “The Poker Lounge.” The series, which pits an amateur against five Full Tilt Poker pros, will air on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.
“The Poker Lounge” will be filmed in London and air on Channel 4 weekly from June 21st to August 23rd. Ten matches will hit television airwaves in total, each pitting a qualifier from the world’s second largest online poker site against five pros. The only confirmed names so far are Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen. Ivey reached the final table of the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event and is poker’s all-time money leader. Hansen is one of two players ever to win three World Poker Tour (WPT) titles. Needless to say, the competition will be fierce.
Each “Poker Lounge” show consists of a $20,000 buy-in six-man sit and go; the winner banks the entire $120,000 prize pool. Text found on Full Tilt Poker’s website describes the allure of the winner-take-all event appearing on television: “Experience the cut and thrust of friendly banter that is such an integral part of the live game, while expert commentary provides insight as the cards fall.” The format is similar to the NBC franchise “Poker After Dark,” which airs during the week at 2:05am ET.
Qualifiers for “The Poker Lounge” begin on April 4th on Full Tilt Poker and will run through July 4th. A total of eight $22,000 prize packages will be up for grabs and the buy-in for each tournament is $640. If the three-figure price tag is above your bankroll, Full Tilt Poker is running satellites beginning at $10. To find the “Poker Lounge” tournaments, open the Full Tilt Poker lobby and select “Standard View.” Then, click on “Tournament,” “Live Events,” “All,” “All Types,” and “Highest.” The “Poker Lounge Qualifier” tournaments will be shaded in green. Register and you may be on your way to Jolly Old England with a chance to scoop a $120,000 top prize.
The $22,000 prize package consists of the $20,000 “Poker Lounge” buy-in plus $2,000 to use towards travel and other expenses. Contestants are responsible for making all travel arrangements, including hotel and air. All players must be at least 18 years of age and can only take home one “Poker Lounge” prize package. Multiple winners will simply have $22,000 in T$ deposited into their accounts. Each $640 Direct Qualifier takes place on a Sunday at 19:30 GMT.
Qualifiers began running on Full Tilt Poker on Monday. According to the USA-friendly site, two filming periods will be held. One “Poker Lounge” taping takes place from May 14th to 16th, while the other will be held from July 24th to 25th.
Full Tilt Poker is already the sponsor of several poker television brands, including “Poker After Dark,” Fox Sports Net episodes of the World Poker Tour (WPT), and “Face the Ace.” The former is in the midst of airing an encore presentation of “USA Versus Italy” this week. The cast features Italians Dario Minieri, Max Pescatori, and Marco Traniello facing off against American heavyweights Erick Lindgren, Chris Ferguson, and Howard Lederer. The next new installment of “Poker After Dark” airs on NBC during the week of April 19th.
PokerStars recently introduced the “Big Game,” a high-stakes cash game series that will air on Fox. PokerStars is qualifying members to play in the “Big Game” armed with $100,000 in cash against the likes of Daniel Negreanu. More details on airdates and pro participants will likely be announced in the near future, according to officials from Fox.
Visit Full Tilt Poker to qualify for “The Poker Lounge.”