Hustler Casino Live’s “The Million Dollar Game” Criticized for Lackluster Lineup

  • The game will feature a $1m minimum buy-in and $500/$1k blinds
  • Hustler Casino Live’s “The Million Dollar Game” lacks big names
  • The list of players contains mostly businessmen
  • HCL’s hope is likely to attract some poker heavyweights before stream date.
Cash floating around man with TV for a head
Poker fans are less than thrilled with Hustler Casino Live’s announced lineup for “The Million Dollar Game,” partly because only one true poker pro is on the list. [Image:]

Multi-million dollar lineup

Hustler Casino Live has announced the lineup for “The Million Dollar Game,” and given that the minimum buy-in will be $1m with blinds of $500/$1,000 and a $1,000 big blind ante, the community response has been underwhelming.

Inaccurately taglined as the “biggest game in poker history,” the show is getting some pushback for the shortage of big names at the table.

The HCL announcement lists twelve names for the game, which is scheduled from May 27 to May 29.

Of the twelve poker players on the list, only Ethan “Rampage” Yau is a professional. The rest of the players are businessmen. And only a few of the names – Eric Persson, Rob Yong, and more recently Nik Airball – have much currency with the wider poker community.

“Lamest lineup ever,” said one commenter.

“So just another normal Friday lineup,” wrote another.

There is still plenty of time

HCL may have been counting on the high-stakes to be enough of a lure. However, with the game still six weeks away and with three days of streaming to fill, this list doesn’t read like hype – it reads like chum. By putting out a list of eleven whales, the HCL producers will have more or less their pick when it comes to big-name poker players.

This greatly improves their odds of negotiating a seat for exactly the kind of player that the commenters are complaining is missing.

Finding the right mix of players is a balancing act.

The Garrett Adelstein controversy has given us a good look at how complex the politicking behind stream lineups can be. Finding the right mix of players is a balancing act. Sharks bring in the audience and whales bring in the sharks. But too many sharks scare off the whales and the ecosystem collapses.

All that is before you add in the endless petty squabbles and personal beefs. They make for great drama if they happen on air, but they can also completely derail a lineup if players won’t sit down together and hash it out on screen.

The Hustler Casino Live team still has plenty of time to find its balance and create a great show. Here’s hoping they pull it off.

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