Reality Poker for the Masses

It is ironic how reality television has become the reality for millions of people across the globe. Our fascination with other people’s reality seems to more interesting than our own, with the likes of Big Brother, Survivor and I’m a Celebrity – Get me out of Here becoming part of the everyday lives of Britons. Never has the lives of others been so important and engrossing.

Television bosses and executives are constantly trying to find new angles for their reality programmes. It didn’t take long for a sporting slant on reality TV to be developed. Massive breakthroughs with the boxing reality show, The Contender, proved that sports could hold its own and capture the imagination of a wide cross section on people.

Poker has seen a massive resurgence over the past decade. This is partly due to the crossover nature of the game. The unprecedented amount of television coverage and the growth of online gambling have helped to thrust poker into the conscience of an entirely different audience than ever before.

American television companies are always the first to realize the commercial possibilities when analysing the demographics. NBC has recently produced the first ever reality poker TV series, named Face the Ace.

As the name might suggest, qualifiers of this Full Tilt Poker sponsored programme, will have the opportunity to face bona fide pros and the chance to win $1 million dollars in prize money. The winners of the qualifying rounds will secure $500 cash, round trip tickets to Las Vegas, free accommodation at the Golden Nugget and the coveted opportunity to face the ace players.

There will be four doors for the competitors to choose from, and behind each door lays a professional poker player for them to face. If a competitor bets the pro, they will go on to open another door. If the contestant consecutively beats three pros in a row, they will take home the $1 million dollar prize money. Players who lose just one game will go home empty handed.

Executive Vice President of NBC Sports, Jon Miller said, “Face the Ace gives us a chance to continue our great relationship with Poker Productions and provide people at home with an exciting opportunity to get into the game.”

For sure, anything that whips up interest in poker has to be good for the game on a whole. The format of Face the Ace is intriguing and will spark lots of interest and excitement. It also gives amateur players the opportunity to take on the best, with the aim of becoming a household name. Poker is already on the ascendency, and reality TV programmes of this nature will enhance its reputation and glamour even further.

With the dramatic rise in popularity of reality and online poker, it only seems right that the two should join together in holy matrimony. If the TV networks can make a huge bundle of cash with a group of people limped together in a single house, imagine how popular an exciting reality poker programme could be.

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