Poker challenge takes to the seas, sky, rails

Outside the Salle des Etoiles
The first tournament takes place in Monte Carlo, playground of the fabulously wealthy and Gus Hansen.

The four glamorous locations are set, now all that's left to do is find eight of the best poker players in the world to compete the new All Star Transcontinental Challenge.

Dubbed an "international poker exhibition" by its marketer, Vega Promotional Systems, the challenge is to air on national television so viewers can watch the pros compete for $1 million in gold.

Given the locations of the events, though, the travel itself is something of a prize. The first two tournaments are to take place at a privately chartered mega yacht off the coast of Monte Carlo.

Next they'll jet off for a reception in Venice, Italy and afterwards board the Orient Express to ride the rails to London, England. Once they're all aboard, the players will compete in a car outfitted with a poker table where events three, four and five will unfold.

Following another reception in London, it's off to Las Vegas by air. On the private jet, the players will compete in two more tournaments. Once in Vegas, the final event will play out at a yet-to-be-determined casino, however, organizers are already billing it as a black-tie affair.

The structure is a points-system tournament, where players accumulate credits based on their performances at eight single-table tournaments.

All aspects of the All Star Transcontinental Challenge will be captured on film for an eight-hour show to be broadcast in the U.S. Vega Promotional systems also plans to release the program in Europe, Asia and South America.

"This type of event has never been done before," Vega CEO Michael Herron said in a release Thursday.

"It will give people all over the globe a chance to watch the top players in the world playing a lot of poker against each other, not against unknown Internet qualifiers, during seven grueling days in environments where poker has never been played before."

Filming is slated to begin in November and broadcast in the U.S. in early 2008.

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