As if facing The Beast wasn't enough, now four cash game grinders will have to face the world.
In an online poker event unlike anything the game has seen, a quartet of greats will have their webcams flipped on as they compete against one another at the jackpot tables in an Americas Cardroom challenge known as "The Beast Live".
"The Beast Live is one of the most innovative things I've seen," said Dusty "Leatherass" Schmidt, a member of Americas Cardroom's Team Elite who will join fellow pro Matt "mbolt" Bolt and top ACR grinders GiFtoFGab and Johnwallin in the month-long poker saga. "Adding a live element to The Beast combines the best aspects of live and online poker."
Fans can watch the action unfold throughout September at Beast Live. Those with Americas Cardroom accounts can earn $50 by catching one of the grinders with his camera turned off.
The Beast is Americas Cardroom's groundbreaking progressive points race that revolutionizes how jackpots are awarded. It is funded entirely through players' shared contributions at jackpot tables. Instead of doing what most sites do – throw fees into one giant pot that rarely gets distributed – The Beast creates a new jackpot that pops every month.
Featuring a live leaderboard, The Beast is especially attractive to grinders because anyone who sits at a cash table marked "Jackpot" becomes part of the competition, earning points by virtue of participating in a raked hand. While more points are earned at higher stake levels, everyone participating in the same raked hand earns the same number of points.
Americas Cardroom spokesman Michael Harris agreed that The Beast Live is a game changer. "Those playing at the same table as our grinders will have the opportunity to read their faces," Harris said. "This could lead to better decisions, and perhaps winning even more money along the way."
The more people who play at Americas Cardroom's jackpot tables, the greater the The Beast's prize pool, and, in turn, the more players who will reap the rewards. The Beast actually features two prize pools: One awarding a cash prize, and the other tournament entries. A total of 312 players got a piece of The Beast's July cash pool, which hit $78,037. Meanwhile, 501 players took part in more than $54,000-worth of tournament entries.
Pros Schmidt and Bolt have to be considered the prohibitive favorites in The Beast Live. Schmidt might be the greatest grinder in online poker history, winning more than $4 million over seven years and almost 11 million hands – all without ever posting a single losing month. Bolt has been a consistent winner five years, specializing in shorthanded No Limit Hold'em and typically playing NL 600 through NL2,000. GiFtoFGab and Johnwallin are two of Americas Cardroom's top grinders, and will try to knock off the pros.