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Celebs headline PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge

17 September 2010

(PRESS RELEASE) --, the world's largest educational online poker site, today announced the return of Million Dollar Challenge, the star-studded poker game show that gives contestants a once-in-a-lifetime shot at winning $1,000,000. The show returns to FOX on Sunday, Sept. 19 following NFL on FOX action.

The new season will feature five celebrity defenders who will challenge various contestants in Round 1 of the competition. This season's celebrity defenders are Dancing with the Stars' Brooke Burke, Super Bowl champion, Denver Broncos quarterback and Hall of Famer John Elway, Detroit Lions star and Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders, Playmate of the Year Sara Jean Underwood and future NBA Hall of Fame guard Gary Payton.

About the Challenge

Each week, contestants must beat one of the game's celebrity defenders to win an all expenses paid trip to the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas and the opportunity to advance to the second round to compete against a Team Pro player. Four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and the second highest tournament player in poker history, Daniel Negreanu, coaches the contestant against the celebrity defenders in Round 1. Should the contestant advance past Round 1, he/she will get Daniel Negreanu's help in Round 2 against the Team Pro player.

In Round 2, Daniel Negreanu will be seated in a specially designed isolation booth where only the contestant can hear his advice. Beat the likes of World Series of Poker Champion Chris Moneymaker, WSOP bracelet winners Barry Greenstein, Jason Mercier and David Williams or poker star Vanessa Rousso in Round 2 and contestants have a choice: take home $25,000 or risk it to play Negreanu heads up for $100,000 and your seat at the tournament of champions.

Advance to Round 3 and your friend becomes your enemy as Negreanu moves to the other side of the table and becomes the toughest challenge yet. He saw how you played. He helped you win the first two rounds. He knows your moves and your tells. Beat Daniel one-on-one, take home $100,000 and play in the tournament of champions where the winner will earn the chance to play for the $1,000,000 grand prize.

About the Show

Hosted by FOX's Chris Rose, along with reporter Michelle Nunes, the seven-episode series airs on select Sundays this fall following NFL on FOX action: September 19 and 26, October 10 and 24, November 7 and 21. The grand finale championship show, where one contestant will face Negreanu heads up for the chance at the $1,000,000 grand prize, will air on Sunday, December 12.

The first season of Million Dollar Challenge was the highest rated broadcast poker program in U.S. history, averaging nearly 4 million viewers per episode. Season 1 ended with retired NYPD officer and 9/11 first responder Mike Kosowski shocking Negreanu and taking home the grand prize.

Contestants for Million Dollar Challenge qualified through specially designated tournaments on

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