Monday marks the return of everyone’s favorite short-handed, late night card game; Poker After Dark.
The new season kicked off on Monday, January 3, in its normal 2:05 a.m. EST (11:05 p.m. PT) time slot on NBC. Season seven opens with a $100,000 freezeout titled “Big Heat,” pitting Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Erick Lindgren, Huck Seed, Tom “durrr” Dwan, and Phil “OMGclayaiken” Galfond against each other in a winner-take-all NLHE tourney for $600,000.
The entire season seven schedule has yet to be released, but a few lineups have been leaked. Of the 13 matchups to be shown in 2011, two Pot-Limit Omaha games will be aired, along with more cash games.
Gone are the days of nothing but $20,000 NLHE shootouts. The price of poker has gone up and two $100,000 cash games are on the schedule; Mike Matusow, Chris Ferguson, Michael Mizrachi, Brandon Adams, Peter Jetten, Jean-Robert Bellande and new free agent Phil Hellmuth with compete in one, then Hellmuth will come back to play Huck Seed, Antonio Esfandiari, Annette Obrestad and Justin Smith in the other.
But $100,000 is not the biggest game on tap. Eli Elezra, David Peat, Olivier Busquet, Phil Laak, Greg Mueller and Full Tilt Poker honcho Howard Lederer will square off in a $150,000 cash game. For the nosebleed railbirds out there, Ivey, Dwan, Patrik Antonius, David Peat, Eli Elezra and David Oppenheim will appear in a $200,000 cash game in season seven.
The schedule will be updated on the fly, so check out www.nbcsports/msnbc.com/poker as the season progresses.
NBC has also announced that they have reached an agreement to extend PAD through 2014. Also, at least the next three seasons will be filmed in the stunning Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas’ City Center, home of Ivey’s Room, the new place to find the “big game” in Sin City.
Also, Leann Tweeden is back for another season as host. That is reason enough to tune into PAD season seven.