NBC has taken several chances on poker shows made for television, and enough success has been had to take it one step further. With Poker After Dark and the National Heads-Up Poker Challenge both currently on the NBC line-up, one more will be added in August of 2009 with Face the Ace, a reality poker game show.
The significance of Face the Ace being picked up by NBC is that it will be aired in prime time on Saturday nights this fall. Though the product looks to be nothing like Poker After Dark or other shows by Poker PROductions insofar as concentrating heavily on poker content, it will feature well-known professional poker players and use some aspects of the game in its episodes.
The premise of the show starts with a focus on one or more contestants who are chosen to compete, and the contestant will then choose a “poker ace,” one of four poker pros hiding behind four doors. The contestant will then play a game of heads-up no-limit hold’em against that ace. If the contestant wins, he or she can keep the winnings and quit or risk it all on a second match against another poker pro. By winning the second match, the choice will be between going home with the winnings thus far or playing a third and final match for $1 million, though a loss will send him or her away with nothing at all.
Hosting the show will be Steve Schirripa, an actor known for his role in The Sopranos. And 21-years and older contestants will be found through an online search at the television show’s website and through Full Tilt Poker, where the chosen ones will fly to Las Vegas to participate in the show and potentially be chosen to play for the money. Prize packages for winners include airfare for the winner and a guest to and from Las Vegas, accommodations at the Golden Nugget for four nights, and $500 in spending money, along with an audition with the show’s producers.
Face the Ace will premiere on Saturday, August 1st at 9pm Eastern Time in a one-hour time slot. The second show will air on Saturday, August 8th in the same time slot, though future shows are scheduled to follow on Saturday afternoons on NBC beginning in September. However, if the shows bring solid ratings and feedback is positive, there is always the chance that the Saturday primetime position could be opened up for the show going forward from August 8. Presumably, future decisions and changes to the current schedule will rely on ratings.
While show hopefuls can compete on FaceTheAce.com for a spot in the audience, Full Tilt Poker will be hosting qualifying tournaments that will send the top finishers to be a part of the audience as well. To begin practicing, download Full Tilt Poker now, and use “POKERWORKS” as the bonus code to sign up for a 100% bonus on any deposit up to $600. Practicing everything from ring games to heads-up matches may give hopefuls an upper hand and the experience they need to get qualified for the show.