PokerStars Returns to US TV with Nine-Episode PSPC Coverage

PokerStars has made its return to US television with coverage of the biggest live $25,000 poker tournament in history.

Action from the 2019 PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) has been running locally in Detroit, Michigan on FOX 2 since earlier last month, tying into the recent launch of PokerStars MI—and it has now expanded nationwide.

There’s no better partner than FOX, who shares our enthusiasm for high-stakes action.FS1 is running episodes on Friday and Saturday nights for the next five weeks. The first two installments of the nine-episode series ran the final weekend of February, with the rest of the episodes playing out on the nationwide channel throughout the month of March.

PokerStars is partnering with FOX Bet and FS1 to bring the action from the PSPC to American audiences.

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“There’s no better partner than FOX, who shares our enthusiasm for high-stakes action,” said FOX Bet CMO, Andrew Schneider. “The PSPC tournament is ready made for TV and exemplifies everything we love about poker and showcases the type of opportunities and events we’re passionate about offering the PokerStars community.”

The voice of PokerStars, James Hartigan, tweeted about his return to the US airwaves with partner Joe Stapleton.

The PSPC footage began airing in Detroit on FOX 2 earlier this month, coinciding with the launch of FOX Bet, PokerStars and Stars Casino in Michigan.

PokerStars jumped into the Michigan market as soon as it was open, and along with FOX Bet and Stars Casino, they’ve been able to corner the early online gaming market in the state. At present, PokerStars is the only operator dealing real money poker to Michigan players.

More to Come from PokerStars and Fox

The PSPC broadcast is just a sign of things to come, the company said.

As the only operator offering poker in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and with a solid footprint in the New Jersey market, PokerStars is situated to offer some of the best poker content to the US market. This has led to a deepening relationship with FS1 that will see exciting PokerStars content from around the world broadcast on the 24-hour sports network.

“We are excited to deepen our partnership with FOX Bet by offering viewers this riveting slate of never-before-seen content from PokerStars,” said Bill Wanger, Executive Vice President, Head of Programming and Scheduling, FOX Sports.

The plan is for PokerStars content to be regularly featured on local FOX stations in the markets PokerStars operates in, providing PokerStars another chance to connect with local players and giving FOX exciting new content to show.

PSPC Goes Beyond Just Poker Players

The PSPC was a unique event on the poker landscape. Usually, a $25,000 buy-in attracts the cream of the poker crop, along with big-bankroll recreational players, but the big buy-in usually limits the field size. The high profile of the PSPC, along with the large number of Platinum Passes given away, attracted a huge field of 1,031 players to build an unprecedented prize pool of $26.4 million.

The massive guarantee and expected large field sizes also attracted some big names from outside the poker world. Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk was there to try his hand at the game, as was golf legend Sergio Garcia and NBA star Paul Pierce. No stranger to the poker felt or to the spotlight, Canadian comedian Norm Macdonald fit somewhere in the middle of the stars and the poker regulars.

The end result was a massive, one-of-a-kind event that pitted huge stars against some of the top poker players in the world, with some lucky amateurs included through the Platinum Pass giveaways. That led to six players becoming millionaires through the event, along with dozens of players getting big scores and hundreds of Platinum Pass winners getting a free vacation to compete for massive prizes.

The operator had hoped to repeat the success with PSPC 2020, promising even more Platinum Passes for another $25,000 buy-in tournament, this time to be hosted in Barcelona in the summer.

Unfortunately, after months of build-up and promotions, and hundreds of Passes given out, the operator was forced to postpone the event due to the coronavirus outbreak. No further details have yet been released on when it may be rescheduled.

So as it stands, the original PSPC is still a one-of-a-kind event, not yet repeated. If anything, this makes it even better for live coverage—a made-for-TV event that will serve as an excellent return to televised poker in the US for PokerStars and FS1.

Check out the schedule below to find out when you can catch this huge event on FS1.

2021 PokerStars on FS1 schedule

Date Episode Time (EST)
Friday, Feb. 26 PokerStars Episode 1 11:00 PM
Saturday, Feb. 27 PokerStars Episode 2 Midnight
Friday, March 5 PokerStars Episode 3 11:00 PM
Saturday, March 6 PokerStars Episode 4 Midnight
Friday, March 12 PokerStars Episode 5 11:30 PM
Saturday, March 13 PokerStars Episode 6 12:30 AM
Friday, March 19 PokerStars Episode 7 10:00 PM
Friday, March 19 PokerStars Episode 8 11:00 PM
Friday, March 26 PokerStars Episode 9 11:00 PM