PokerGO Announces Debut of Prop-Bet Series “Major Wager”
In an effort to flesh out its lineup of original poker-programming offerings, PokerGO has announced that a new prop-bet show, “Major Wager,” will debut on the online site this week.
The new program is scheduled for a five-episode run. The show is jointly produced by PokerGO parent PokerCentral and New York-based Roundhead Creative. The show features at least five well-known players, with PokerGO’s pre-debut announcement naming Daniel Negreanu, Samantha Abernathy, Brian Rast, Antonio Esfandiari, and Jeff Gross as participating cast members.
“Major Wager” is the latest in a long line of prop-bet shows to take a stab at garnering a dedicated TV audience. That line strecthes at least as far back as “I Bet You,” the prop-bet buddy show featuring Esfandiari and Phil Laak. That series ran for two seasons and 24 episodes on the old MOJO Network before that network itself went belly-up in 2008. (A third season of “I Bet You” was filmed but never aired.)
It’s not at all surprising to see Negreanu and Esfandiari appearing on this show, either; as has been reported previously by Variety, the two, along with Phil Hellmuth, Cary Katz and others, are among PokerGO’s owners. That’s why you see these players openly and widely promoting the site’s offerings, irrespective to quality of any particular programming.
Returning to “Major Wager,” though. According to PokerCentral, “Each episode’s contestants make performance-based bets with dignity and pride on the line. Challenges range from racing cars to pole dancing and everything else that Las Vegas has to offer. Nothing is off the table.” That’s Esfandiari pole-dancing… errm, pole-clinging… in the photo.
“We wanted to explore what would happen if we combined the most competitive personalities in poker with prop betting in everyday scenarios – Las Vegas style,” said Poker Central’s president, Joe Kakaty. “‘Major Wager’ will be a hilarious addition to PokerGO’s already robust offering of original programming.”
In addition to the new “Major Wager,” that original programming includes shows such as “Pokerography,” “Poker Nights” and “Dead Money.” PokerGO, available only online, is still more widely known for its coverage of current poker tournaments and its revivall airings of some classic poker-TV favorites, such as the original “Poker After Dark.”
“My producing partner Kevin Thomsen and I are thrilled to be a part of Poker Central’s vision for ‘Major Wager’ and the commitment they have in bringing their audience innovative poker shows unlike anything currently on the market,” said Phil Alcabes, the founder of Roundhead Creative. “We’re showcasing the lesser known skills, competitive spirit, and personalities of poker’s biggest stars that fans will have to see to believe.”
Prop-bet shows in general have been hit or miss, so it remains to be seen whether “Major Wager” can connect with a sizable. Despite the reasonably entertaining premises of these shows, there’s always been a little bit of a disconnect between the prop-betting experience, itself a fond activity of many hard-card gamblers, and the less-intensive interest in poker and gambling of many more casual poker and gambling fans. “Major Wager” offers a strong lineup of participating players, so it’s got that working for it, at the very least. The past isn’t wholly promising for the concept, but with the right mix of well-known names and weird, entertaining bets, there’s always a chance for success.
The show has yet to be added to PokerGO’s “Originals” lineup, but it will likely appear on the site during the day on Tuesday, September 5th.