Two Ladies Awarded Loose Cannon Status for The Big Game on Tour Return Two Ladies Awarded Loose Cannon Status for The Big Game on Tour Return
PokerStars

It is official — we now know the names of the first two loose cannons who will kick things off for the new and improved The Big Game on Tour show!

After a long and grueling process to find the best candidates, both loose cannon spots went to female players Lily Newhouse and Nikki Limo. Both ladies successfully made their way through qualifying freerolls during NAPT Las Vegas, beating their respective tables and moving to the audition stage.

Winning the tournament was the first step, but Newhouse and Limo were still up against other 18 contestants who also made it through to the audition, and with only two spots up for grabs, it was down to the judges to decide who was the most deserving of the seat and the $50,000 buy-in that comes with it.

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PokerStars Brings Back the Beloved Show in Style

Many poker fans certainly remember The Big Game, a PokerStars-hosted show with a twist. The show would take people from different backgrounds and walks of life, give them a buy-in for a high-stakes game against some of the best players in the world, and let them loose — hence the name ‘loose cannon.’

The show was made interesting by two important rules. First, the loose cannon only gets to keep the profit over their original buy-in of $100,000, so it doesn’t matter if they end up with $99,000 or bust. Second, they only got to play 150 hands so things would get really heated up towards the end.

There are quite a few hands that fans of the show probably remember to this day, but if we had to pick just one, the Phil Hellmuth vs. Ernest Wiggins showdown takes the cake:

The Big Game originally ran for two seasons and brought some truly amazing stories and memorable hands, so many fans were sorry to see it go away in 2011. Now, 12 years later, coupling it with the return of the NAPT, PokerStars has decided to bring the show back with the same concept and a few tweaks and changes.

A Free Shot for Everyone

Bringing the show back under a slightly different name, The Big Game on Tour, PokerStars decided to give everyone a shot at qualifying via live satellites alongside the NAPT festival. There were two freeroll tournaments featuring ten nine-handed tables each. The tournament was played in a shootout format, so the winner of each table proceeded to the final audition stage.

Here, the panel of judges — including show hosts Joe Stapleton and James Hartigan and a former loose cannon Nadia Magnus — decided which two players would get the seat and the $50,000 buy-in.

Hartigan provided some insider info on how the entire process happened. During the first round, candidates were asked to tell a bit about themselves, share their background stories, and convince the judges why they were the ones who should get to play.

Seven of the original 20 contestants got to move to the second and final round, “two truths and a bluff.” Here, contestants had to share two truths and one lie with the judges, allowing them to talk more about themselves and challenge the judges to see if they could call their “bluff.”

After all this, the trio was left with tough choices, as several candidates had much to offer. Eventually, the decision fell on Nikki Limo and Lily Newhouse, who, as James explained, were selected because they were likely to make for fun television but also have a good shot at holding their ground against the pros and walking away with the profit.

Nikki and Lily made it through the field, but the toughest challenge is still ahead of them, as they will now have to put all their poker skills to work. On November 8 and 9, there will be two tables of $100/$200 No-Limit Hold’em running, and each loose cannon will have to try and hold their own against some formidable opponents. Nadia Magnus will provide both players with some inside info about what they might expect and share valuable tips ahead of the big day.

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Last verified: February 2024
Special Signup Offer
100% deposit bonus up to $600!
  • Deposit $20 and get $30 worth of free play
  • One of the best mobile apps
  • Biggest MTT guarantees
Please play responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, visit the National Council of Problem Gambling.

Something to Look Forward in 2024

The cash games happening right now at the Resorts World alongside various NAPT tournaments will result in 10 episodes that will make up the start of the new season of The Big Game. The show should air sometime in 2024.

While the qualifying process has changed, the show’s main premise remains the same. Loose cannons are given a free buy-in but can only keep what they win over the original amount. So, just like before, this should result in some very interesting, adrenaline-filled situations.

We will not know the results of the game until the show airs, as the cannons will probably not be allowed to talk about it so as not to spoil the surprise, but whatever happens, it is safe to assume we will have another great poker show to enjoy come the next year!