Big Bet Poker: High-stakes live stream debuts from the Tropicana Las Vegas

Craig Tapscott
Posted on: June 28, 2023 13:21 PDT

The latest high-stakes poker stream, Big Bet Poker LIVE, premieres tonight live from the historic Tropicana in Las Vegas.  

The stream house will have big shoes to fill when it comes to competing with the popular Hustler Casino Live, Poker at the Lodge, and other poker live streams already in action.

The team behind the revamped OG live stream, Live at the Bike, before leaving the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, is behind the production at the Tropicana.

Big Bet Poker has mainly generated buzz due to executive producer and showrunner, Houston Curtis. Curtis has a long and storied history of successful television and production experience including MTV, CBS, A&E, and GSN.

Curtis was the mastermind behind the infamous Molly’s Game in Los Angeles alongside actor Toby McGuire, which was made into a movie in 2017 by director/writer Aaron Sorkin.

Curtis seems willing to go out on a limb and make big promises about his future in innovative poker entertainment.

"We've never seen anything quite like this in Las Vegas, in regard to live stream poker on the strip,” said Curtis.

Poker’s biggest stars sign on to play on new live stream

The Big Bet Poker live stream promises a fusion of high-stakes action among some of the most renowned big game hunters on the planet in attendance.

Tonight’s Big Bet Poker show will feature some of high-stakes cash games' biggest names, including Dan “Jungleman” Cates, Matt Berkey, MJ Gonzales, YoH Viral, Brian Kim, Jeremiah Williams, Matthew Su, and Vegas Aarash.

Thursday and Friday’s live shows will feature legendary players and fan favorites like Patrik Antonius, Ben Lamb, Rob Yong, Andrew Robl, Nik “Airball” Arcot, and surprise guests.

High-stakes regular Eric Persson, CEO of Maverick Gaming, will host this week’s premiere episodes.  

And it should come as no surprise if Persson decides to grab a seat to exact a little sweet revenge versus Patrik Antonius after losing close to $2M pot during PokerGo’s million-dollar buy-in cash game four months ago.

“I intend to leverage these exciting Big Bet Poker live streams into awareness for our new Maverick Gaming poker room opening this October at the Tropicana Las Vegas,” said Persson. “Partnering with Ballys Corporation is a dream come true for myself and my company.” 

VPIP penalties debut during Thursday’s live stream

Big Bet Poker is turning up the heat in the games by incorporating VPIP (Voluntarily Put in Pot) penalties into the game.

On the second night of action, June 29th, each player's every move will be closely tracked. Any player with a VPIP below 35% will receive an advanced warning before the dealer change, and failure to reach 35% or higher VPIP will result in mandatory penalty chips into every pot until the following dealer change.

“We encourage VPIP shaming during the game amongst the players,” said Curtis. “The players will have to nut up or pay up.”

Gamble gamble in Las Vegas and Los Angeles

In the meantime, Curtis and Persson are gearing up for tonight’s Big Bet Poker debut. 

“Neither Houston nor I am afraid to take risks,” said Persson. “With Houston bringing Bally’s Big Bet to the Tropicana, it was an easy choice for me to get involved. I’m excited to be a part of it.”

The Big Bet Poker live stream has big plans for additional locations in the works. 

“I won't say the name, but many people can guess that we will include a streaming location in Los Angeles late this summer,” shared Curtis. “We are excited to return to LA for additional high-stakes streamed poker. And look out, Chicago. We will be coming to Chi-town soon.”

To top it off, the degen gambling in future live streams could ramp up at any second during a streamed game. Included within the studio space are blackjack, craps, and baccarat tables. 

A stuck player in the poker game could pull back to even with a roll of the dice or a lucky 21, or they could just as quickly plummet into mega-tilt if things go south. 

Will Jaffe brings the tough conversations and a razor-sharp tongue 

The king of snark and the purveyor of tough Twitter conversations, Will Jaffe, will handle the lead commentator chores. 

“The thing I’m looking forward to most is to see how the dynamics play out with the players who have history,” said Jaffe. “Some of these players have bad blood, and I’m curious to see how that translates on the felt.” 

The show will also feature actress, model, contemporary artist, and brand ambassador Britney Palmer, a former UFC Ring Girl of the Year recipient, as Big Bet Poker’s primetime hostess.  

Many of poker’s content providers are coming up for air to chime in with their take on the new live stream. One of them is the eminent podcaster/content creator Joey Ingram. 

“I’m excited about it because the Vegas poker world has great potential,” said Ingram. “Bringing a show like Big Bet Poker to the strip could be a game changer. It could cause a chain reaction of casinos putting more effort into creating poker streams, events, etc.”

Big Bet Poker will air on Bally Sports West 

"The Big Bet Poker show distributes through our YouTube channel,” said Executive Producer Rick Mahr of Outlaw Media Group. “Our one-hour best-of-the-stream show will be premiering on Bally Sports West with our premiere high-stakes games launching on Fridays.” 

Poker fans far and wide love to watch poker 24/7, as demonstrated by ESPN’s reruns of the WSOP main event and the popular WPT episodes on FOX Sports. Poker is the only ‘sport’ that is rewatchable in such a unique way. 

Today Curtis announced more distribution news of the show with PokerOrg.

“We will launch immediately (tonight) on the Stadium Internet Sports Network. They are an incredible distribution platform for our show(s). The addition of Stadium is good news for all poker fans worldwide," Curtis said.

Big Bet Poker LIVE will go live tonight at 6 p.m. PST and 9 p.m. EST. It will be available on the Big Bet Poker LIVE  YouTube channel and stream on their Facebook Live, and Bally’s Live app