The world’s going crazy for poker these days, and we’re right there with them. One of the coolest things about poker’s increased popularity is the huge number of Poker TV shows being aired. It started off simple with just tournaments and then progressed to cash game shows and now we’re starting to see some really neat and innovative television, all based around everybody’s favorite game. One of the more recent of these, the PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge, is currently in its second season and airing at the moment, so you should definitely check it out.
The Million Dollar challenge, as the name suggests, allows one lucky competitor to walk away with a cool million in cash. It’s not an easy road to get to said million though, so pay attention if you think you’ve got what it takes. PokerStars runs daily Million Dollar Challenge freeroll qualifiers online, which you have to enter, and then come in the top twenty. Everybody from the top twenty sends in an audition video, outlining why they think they’d make a good contestant, much like in PokerStars’ other show, The Big Game. If your video is selected, then you’re on your way to a TV set in Las Vegas where the action takes place.
There are four steps now before you reach the million, but you have the chance to opt out with less along the way if you’re not feeling confident. The first step is to play heads up against a celebrity, such as the lovely Playmate of the year Sara Jean Underwood. If you lose, you walk away with nothing, but if you win, then you’re rewarded with a trip to the Bahamas and the chance to move onto step two. Step two is to play against a PokerStars Team Pro, for instance last week it was Barry Greenstein, again you’re playing heads-up, but this time if you lose you get to walk away with your Bahamas trip in tact, and if you win, then you’ve earned a nice $25,000.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Millionaire style, you can now choose to walk away with your $25,000 safe in the bank, and never return again. Or, being the degenerate gambler that you are, you can move onto Step 3 and battle against Daniel Negreanu. If you lose you can kiss the $25k goodbye, but if you win then you’ll be sitting on a very respectable $100,000. Now here’s where the gamble really starts to set in, and where the show gets its name from. You can choose to forgo the $100,000 and sit at the final table with Negreanu and four others, with a million big ones up for grabs if you come out on top.
While it takes a lot of gamble, a lot of luck, and a lot of skill to make it to the final table and win the million dollars, it has been done before! In the first season, Mike Kazowski, a first responder during the September 11 attacks, bested Daniel Negreanu and others to win the million dollars. Of course there have also been near misses, with a player in season 2 making it all the way to the final table before losing his stack on a bluff with queen high.
This is a really fun show to watch, and I can only imagine how awesome it would be to win the chance to play on the show and meet all the great poker celebrities and pros PokerStars has to offer. If you think that you’ve got what it takes to beat your peers, celebrities, pros and even the poker great Daniel Negreanu then head over to PokerStars today to start qualifying for your shot at the million!