“One level above” – Nadya Magnus’ big week and The Big Game

Paul Oresteen
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Posted on: November 24, 2023 6:54 pm EST

Nadya Magnus burst onto the poker scene when she was a Loose Cannon on the original run of PokerStars’ “The Big Game” and went on to win over $2 million in her career. The show went back into production after a 13-year hiatus during the recent NAPT festival in Las Vegas and Magnus returned on the other side of the table for the show.

Magnus’ love for the game had her travel back across the country to her own backyard – the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood. She’s looking for her first World Poker Tour title and is seated for Day 1A of the $3,500 World Poker Tour Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open. Magnus has ten WPT cashes and a final table to her credit; she finished in 4th place for $171,641 at the 2020 Lucky Hearts Poker Open.

Nadya Magnus behind her signature glasses. Photo c/o WPT

Double duty at the NAPT

Magnus managed to play some events while PokerStars hosted the NAPT at the same time. “Yeah, I had a big week in Vegas,” she said. “The return of “The Big Game” and I made a final of a high roller on top of that. It was pretty exciting.”

Magnus finished in 7th place in the $5,300 NAPT High Roller at a final table that featured Shannon Shorr and Jesse Lonis. But she didn’t take much time to celebrate. “I went home afterwards,” she said. “I was completely tired. We were doing 13–15-hour days for production. It was really exhausting.”

Magnus enjoyed the player experience at the festival. “PokerStars has always been top notch, we know the ownership has changed, but they kept up their standards,” she said. “It was run flawlessly. It’s an absolutely different experience – one level above.”

Fulfilling a dream

“Back in the day “The Big Game” was the first show of that format. It had great success and showed the glamour of poker, if you will,” said Magnus. “Just the concept itself, having an amateur playing against the professionals is really exciting. It helped jump start my career because I came out a winner. Now, looking back 13 years and doing it all over again and seeing it from a different perspective is a dream come true.”