PokerStars has announced the filming of a new television show called “The Shark Cage” in which top poker professionals, Team PokerStars Pros, and players who qualify online will square off on the felt for a $1,000,000 prize.
The Shark Cage is comprised of eight heats that will take place in front of the cameras at European Poker Tour events beginning with the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January, 2014. Two heats at the PCA will be followed by four heats at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo and two more at EPT Barcelona.
Each heat will consist of five pro players and a PokerStars online qualifier competing for the chance to win a seat at EPT London for the final. The final event is a winner-take-all that will see $1 million go to the champion.
Special rules have been instituted that make playing in The Shark Cage a bit different than what players and viewers at home are used to. A 30-second time clock on each street will keep the action fast-paced. Also, any player who falls for a bluff on the river will be relegated to the Shark Cage and will miss one orbit of action.
Should a bluffer get called on the river card, the bluffer will be sent to the Shark Cage for an orbit and the player who didn’t fall for the bluff and won the pot will receive bonus chips. One more rule requires that no deals be made by players, ensuring that only one shark will emerge as the $1 million winner.
Online qualifiers are running now through November 30 on PokerStars that don’t require players to win, but merely finish within the top 50. By making a specified deposit using a special bonus code, players are given tickets to compete in the qualifiers. Today’s deposit requires a minimum of $60 using the code SHARKCAGE3, while the deposits and codes for Nov. 29 and 30 are $40 – SHARKCAGE2 and $20 – SHARKCAGE1, respectively.
The qualifying tournaments are freerolls with $5,000 added and are scheduled for 15:00 EST. Landing in the top 50 then requires players who would like to enter The Shark Cage to submit a video audition in English no more than two minutes in length uploaded to YouTube and emailed to email@example.com by the end of the day on December 8.
All submissions will be judged by a team at PokerStars who are said to be looking for players with “personality, enthusiasm, humour and talent.” Finalists will be interviewed via telephone with the announcement of winners scheduled for December 17. Those winners will not only get to play against top pros in The Shark Cage on TV, but will also have all expense paid trips to the Bahamas, Monte Carlo or Barcelona.
As stated at the PokerStars website, “Are you brave enough to enter The Shark Cage and play for $1,000,000 on TV?” If so, there are three more days of qualifying freerolls.