They’ve come tantalizingly close, but so far no professional poker player has taken the top prize on a major reality TV show. On the new season of The Amazing Race, premiering September 27th, poker pros Tiffany Michelle and Maria Ho will try to be the first to take their profession to the top of the podium…and win themselves a million bucks while they’re at it.
As reported right here at Silver Oak a couple months ago, rumors leaked out during shooting that pro poker players would be taking part in the 15th edition of the hit show. But their participation has now been officially confirmed, along with the identities of the rest of the teams. And Ho and Michelle aren’t the only competitors with some name brand recognition. A pair of Harlem Globetrotters, Nathaniel “The Big Easy” Lofton and Herbert “Flight Time” Lang, will have a chance to prove their globetrotting skills aren’t just useful on a basketball court.
But the real question for gambling fans is whether the poker skills they’ve developed, like the ability to read opponents, to bluff, and to know when to go all-in on a huge gamble, will help Ho and Williams in their quest. In recent years, other poker pros have tried, and failed, to win a big reality show prize. Annie Duke was runner-up to Joan Collins on Celebrity Apprentice, while Jean-Robert Bellande wasn’t able to finish in the money on Survivor.
This season of The Amazing Race promises some new twists. The new “Switchback” challenge will force the players to go back for another attempt at the most difficult “Roadblock” from earlier in the game. And another task will force the contestants to lead a tour group through the streets of Tokyo, with the first team to get their entire twenty person group across the finish line winning the challenge.
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