The hype around NAPT Las Vegas has just gone up a considerable notch with the news that The Big Game is also making a return after 12 years.
It might not seem that long ago, but The Big Game only ran for two seasons between 2010 and 2011. The hook for the show came in the form of the Loose Cannon qualifiers. The Loose Cannons were bankrolled and let loose in a high-stakes cash game with some of the biggest names in poker over a 150-hand session. At the end of the session, they got to keep any profits, with the biggest winner over the series getting an NAPT package.
It’s fitting, then, that PokerStars is bringing The Big Game back to help celebrate the return of the NAPT. Taking place at Resorts World Las Vegas, the first NAPT in 12 years plays out November 4-12 and ends with the $1,650 main event.
“The Big Game was one of the most beloved poker programs of all-time,” said VP of PokerStars North America, Steve Preiss. “As we continue our focus on creating the best poker content, re-imagining and re-launching The Big Game was a no-brainer.”
You could be the Loose Cannon
David Williams was one of the players who played in the original The Big Game, and he’s delighted to see it back. We spoke to him after the announcement was made, and he said, “The return of The Big Game is exciting news. Some of my fondest poker memories are from that show. The format, the hands, and the legends I got to play with… I was even on the episode when Aces were folded preflop! I can’t wait for the return, maybe I’ll even try to qualify as a Loose Cannon.”
How would he do that? PokerStars has announced the qualifying mechanic, and the Loose Cannons won’t be selected until the NAPT itself. PokerStars will run exclusive live satellites on November 5 at Resorts World Las Vegas. 20 winners from these will head to the casting stage (November 6-7) where judges such as Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan will select two Loose Cannons who will each be staked $50,000 for the special The Big Game on Tour.
Whoever gets selected will hope that Tony G makes a return to The Big Game tables. He was a big part of the original and said to us on hearing it was back: “I really enjoyed playing the first time around and welcome its return. It was always about protecting the Loose Cannon as the table captain!”
The show will be filmed over two $100/$200 no-limit cash game tables for 10 episodes that will launch in 2024. Line-ups are yet to be announced, but, according to PokerStars, you can expect to see the Loose Cannons mixing it with “some familiar faces along with some of the biggest poker crushers of today”.