Swim inside PokerStars’ Shark Cage (vid)

Shark Cage poker players

Two months ago, PokerStars announced the Shark Cage competition and the lineup for the first episode was revealed. Jennifer Harman, Lex Veldhuis, Phil Laak and Tony Dunst were the poker professionals to play at the same table with actor Jason Alexander and the winner of some particularly intense qualifiers.

The stakes are as high as they get, with six players competing for $1 million and the winner-takes-all format makes any mistake fatal for the one at fault. Speaking of mistakes, a bluff gone wrong can send a player into the infamous Shark Cage and the same happens to those who are the victims of a successful bluff. This is the cornerstone of this original competition which takes bluffing to an entirely different level, because any false step will have a two-pronged effect.

Not only poker players will find themselves in the awkward position of spending time behind bars, but they will also miss an entire orbit. This will make it harder to accumulate chips and will amplify the pressure on their shoulders to make up for the lost time. The four professionals seem to have a better chance at winning the event, but the guest star and the ambitious qualifier shouldn’t be underestimated.

Jason Alexander is quite comfortable in front of the cameras and it is only fair to assume that his game won’t suffer one bit. As for the qualifier, he overcame the odds by surviving a string of satellites, en route to making the final table and won’t allow the professionals to push you around. Players had a lot of fun in the first episode, but many succumb to pressure and the shot clock on the action took its toll, with bluffs victims and bluffers alike spending some time in the cage.

Qualifiers for the next taping have begun on PokerStars, with the most successful 50 players in each satellite to get the chance at the live taping. It will take place this spring at the European Poker Tour Monaco and the winner will be selected among those who submit an audition tape after making the top 50 in the qualifier. The first step is making a deposit on PokerStars as this is the only requirement for receiving free tickets to qualifiers, with the list of bonus codes being available on the official website.

Prospective players should check out the 4 minute video below: