In its previous two seasons, the Poker Superstars Invitational poker tournament has provided some great action, putting the "all stars" of the poker world on display for the television poker fans to see. Season Three has recently started with a powerful lineup of professionals that could make this season the best of them all.
The current incarnation of "Poker Superstars" is currently running on Sundays on the Fox Sports Network at 8PM (as always, be sure to check local listings for your particular FSN outlet). "The Poker Superstars format has been incredibly successful for FSN," said George Greenberg, the Executive Vice President of Programming and Production for Fox Sports. "No other poker show on television can guarantee the top 24 players showing up for an entire season. It's an all-star game where every hand played is a true poker lesson for the viewers."
The current season is chock full of the biggest names in the game today, including the past two champions of the event. Inaugural champion Gus Hansen and second season victor Johnny Chan are joined by fellow poker luminaries that include the five of the last six World Champions. World Series of Poker Championship Event winners Chris "Jesus" Ferguson (2000), Juan Carlos Mortensen (2001), Chris Moneymaker (2003), Greg Raymer (2004) and Joseph Hachem (2005) are only part of the dangerous field that has been assembled for the events. Other poker professionals such as 2004 Player of the Year Daniel Negreanu and cash game veterans such as Barry Greenstein and Jennifer Harman are also among the twenty four players who make up the event.
As with the previous Poker Superstars events, FSN's Chris Rose ("The Best Damn Sports Show Period") announces the action with expert commentary provided by Howard "The Professor" Lederer. For a change of pace and thinking, Howard's little sister (and fellow poker champion) Annie Duke steps to the microphone to sit in for her brother. The pros will be battling for a sizeable prize pool as well; $1.2 million is up for grabs, with the eventual champion taking down a $500,000 payday.
The Poker Superstars event is unique in that it isn't a one shot tournament. The twenty four players are broken down into four groups, with each group playing a set of five matches with points assigned for the finishing positions. After these preliminary events, the top sixteen points earners move on in the tournament. These players are broken down into four tables with each table winner moving to the semifinals of the event. At that point, it becomes a heads up affair as they determine who the two finalists are, with the two survivors meeting heads up in a best two of three matchup to determine the champion.
In action so far in the event, Antonio Esfandiari, Mike Sexton and Jeff Shulman have captured victories, but they are closely pursued by Barry Greenstein, Phil Hellmuth and, perhaps most surprisingly, 2005 WSOP Ladies' Champion Jennifer Tilly. The series will be going on for much of this year, as the Poker Superstars is set for a 36 week run on FSN. The action should be intense, even in the preliminary matches, so be sure to keep up with the latest incarnation of "Poker Superstars" on Fox Sports Network on Sunday evenings.