Bally Live Poker debuts second season with Persson, Koon, Jungleman & Nik Airball

Eric Persson playing at the WPT cash game
Craig Tapscott
Posted on: November 16, 2023 20:17 PST

The Bally Big Bet Poker livestream that debuted last summer is rebranding with a new production team at the helm and launching at The Tropicana Las Vegas on Friday, November 17, as @BallyLivePoker on YouTube and the Bally Live app.

High-stakes regular Eric Persson, CEO of Maverick Gaming, will be an integral part of the new team at Bally Live Poker and host the second season's premiere. "I enjoy playing with the best," shared Persson. "I've loved going up against many players in our lineup, such as Jason Koon, Andrew Robl, and Dan 'Jungleman' Cates. I like the thought process these players bring out of me and the game's banter and energy."

VPIP penalties are back in play

One of the exciting highlights of last summer's livestream was the incorporation of VPIP (Voluntarily Put in Pot) penalties. Immediately following the first round of blinds ($50/$100), every player who fails to reach a 35% or higher VPIP results in a mandatory big blind ($100) penalty tossed into every pot until the following dealer change, when each player's VPIP will then be updated.

The VPIP penalty could get very expensive if the blinds get pumped up (as usual) for any players who think snug poker will win the day.

"The VPIP penalty will mean players are going to be gambling," said Persson. "That's good for the game. And with Nik Airball, Santhosh, and Jungleman in the mix, I'm sure there will be a ton of action for high-stakes fans."

The new set-up for Bally Live Poker

Future plans for poker streaming on the Bally Live App

Season two of the livestream coordinates with the expanding programming of the Bally Live App. The app broadcasts the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) tour, minor league baseball games, and other sporting events. In addition, they air pre-recorded Bally Live Poker episodes and plan a regular High Stakes Friday stream on scheduled programming in 2024.

"The focal point of our rebranding for the livestream was to drive viewers to the Bally Live App," shared Alex Lee, producer for Bally Live Poker. "The app will host the poker livestream as condensed one-hour presentations. In addition, Bally’s has just acquired Stadium, the largest internet multi-platform sports network for fans worldwide. Bally Live Poker will run both full and condensed poker streams on Stadium in the near future.”

Nik Airball at the WPT One thing you can expect from Nik Airball is action

Season Two combatants: Old friends and new blood

Lee hinted that the upcoming season would explore the many different sides of the diverse cast of characters that played on stream this past summer.

One of the most intriguing players has been cryptocurrency enthusiast, Keir Sullivan. A player that most of the poker world had never seen before until the premiere of Bally Poker Live.

"Keir is a wildcard," said Lee. "He was one of the main characters we introduced in the first season. Keir was an average player who jumped into a game over his head. But he overcame that and won 80% of his streams. Kier is a very emotional player and fun to watch in the mix with the pros."

Another player to watch closely is Santhosh Suvarna, who ruthlessly competes for every pot while clocking an 80% VPIP. He has consistently confused the top pros with his radically aggressive style. Suvarna sat down late during the first episode of season one yet walked away a $300,000 winner. (Note: Survarna recently won his first WSOP bracelet in the WSOP Europe $50K entry event and took home

Back for more entertaining antics is WSOP Player's Championship two-time winner and high-stakes crusher Dan "Jungleman" Cates. It’s anyone’s best guess which ‘character’ he will be possessed by for the opening episode. Over the past few years, Cates has entertained poker fans with befuddling speech play, next-level reads, and elaborate personas. He's transformed into the Grinch, Anime's Son Goku, WWE's Macho Man, and The Terminator, much to the audience's delight and, most of the time, his opponents.

Jason Koon at the 2023 WSOP Jason Koon has had another standout year with an incredible six Triton victories Melissa Haereiti

Jason Koon, one of the world's best tournament and fearless cash game players, joins the stream for the first time. Koon set a Triton Poker Series record recently by winning his tenth title to bring his career tournament earnings to a whopping total of more than $52,000,000. The win pushed him past Daniel Negreanu into the fourth spot of Poker's all-time money list.

The season opener will also include popular high-stakes regulars Andrew Robl and Nik Airball. Robl has been on a white-hot streak on recent televised cash games, and Airball looks to stop the bleeding from a vicious downswing he’s been riding for the past few months. Rounding out the game will be two fan favorites and recreational players from season one, Pennzoil Don and Justin G.

It’s anybody’s guess as to who will end up the biggest winners and biggest losers by night’s end.

Stay tuned and tune in

Over the next year, Bally Live Poker’s livestream plans to expand to key locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and beyond.

Tune into @BallyLivePoker on YouTube at 6:30 p.m. this coming Friday evening for the debut of Season Two live from the Tropicana Las Vegas.

PokerOrg will be on the floor at The Tropicana covering all the action and you can catch interviews with all the stars of the premiere episode on our social media channels, including Instagram and Twitter.

Feature image courtesy of WPT