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Online amateurs take on the best of the best for up to $1 million. It's time to Face the Ace!

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host Steve Schirripa
Co-Hosts Oliver "Ali" Nejad
Megan Abrigo
Announcer Matt Vasgersian
Creators Mori Eskandani
Bob Wolf
Joe Medeiros
EP Mori Eskandani
Eric Drache
Pierre Moossa
Packager Poker PROductions for NBC Sports
Origins Golden Nugget, Las Vegas, NV
Airs 9p Sat, NBC
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Episode 1
August 1

We've all played poker before. It's the kind of thing that brings folks together. But I bet you haven't played against the best in the world... And I bet you haven't played for up to $1 million. It's pros versus joes poker style as the best amateurs arrive... to FACE THE ACE!

The rules are simple. Behind each of four frosted doors is a poker star. We call them the Aces. Beat one heads up, win $40,000. Beat two... win $200,000. Beat three... You're a millionaire. But if an Ace beats you... lose everything, and the Ace will pocket $10,000 for the charity of his or her choice.

First up, Jonestown, PA brings up JONATHAN NYGAARD. He... hates the Yankees. He likes the Phillies. He wears a Red Sox hat. If he wins today, he's going to spend it on his family.

First Ace he's going to face is the Ace of Spades... with seven WSOP bracelets to his credit... Phil Ivey!

ROUND 1: Phil Ivey

Each player will start each round with $20,000 in chips. First pot goes to Nygaard on pocket aces. Second one could also goes to Nygaard on Queens. Phil is all-in with A-4. Flop: J-8-J. Nygaard still has two pair. Turn: 3h. If Nygaard can avoid one of the three aces remaining, he's going to win $40,000... River card... 7d! Jonathan Nygaard wins $40,000!

But will he keep it or play on for $200,000? Jonathan's going to take the money and run.

Next up, from Midlothian, IL, a man who lives at home with his sister and mother, Don Topel. He wants to win money so he can get both of them out of his house.

First Ace for $40,000 is the Ace of Diamonds... With one WSOP bracelet... the 2008 Player of the Year.... Erick "E-Dog" Lindgren! Don's a fan. E-Dog's nervous as hell.

ROUND 1: Erick Lindgren

Don has J-10 to Erick's Q-5. Flop: 4-10-3. Turn: 2h. Erick has 11 outs. Bet, raise, call. River: 6d. That was one of the eleven. Erick bets out $4000. Don folds, and the first pot... $9000 to Erick.

Eric has A-2c to Don's Q-2d. Flop: J-3-3. Turn: 8d. River: 3d. Trip threes on the board, and Erick wins again with $1600.

Don has Q-6. Erick has pocket Aces. Flop: 4-2-10. Don... folds. Good move.

Erick has 7-6. Don has K-Jh, raising $1000. Flop: 8-K-6. Turn: Jc. Two pair for the qualifier, and Don bets $2200. Erick folks, and Don wins $5000.

Don bets on A-9 to Erick's Q-8. Flop: 10-6-4.... and Don folds.

Blinds are going up to 400 and 800 with Erick leading, 26,000 to 13,000. Don has A-9d to Erick's A-5c. Erick's all-in. There's a 14% chance that the pot will be chopped. Don calls it. The flop: 10-7-2, two diamonds. Don has a flush draw. Turn: 5s. Erick now has the best hand. Don needs a diamond or a 9. River... Jd! Don doubles up and stays alive.

Erick's comeback starts with cowboys to A-3 for Don. Flop: 3-A-J, two pair, aces up for the qualifier. Erick folds as Don increases his lead.

Don plays J-5h. Erick defends with 9-7d. Flop: 9-2-2, something for everyone. Don has a flush draw, while Erick has two-pair. Erick is all-in. He needs to avoid a heart or a jack. Turn: 4h. Eric is down to four cards, a 9 or a 2 will keep him in it. River: 7s. Don wins $40,000.

But will he move forward or cash out? He's gonna risk it?

But against who? Time to choose an Ace. He picks the Ace of Hearts. He's got two WSOP bracelets and two WPT titles.... He's the Professor, Howard Lederer!

ROUND 2: Howard Lederer

In round 2, each player is footed $100,000 in chips.

Don folds out of the gate. He recovers with a K-9 to Howard's 8-4. Flop: Q-5-3. Don folds, and Howard's out to an early lead.

Don has 4-3 to Howard's 9-2. Flop: K-7-A. Howard raises to $7500. Don won't call.

Howard spikes A-Qs. Don spikes pocket Kings. He raises to $30,000. Howard is all-in, and Don calls. Howard's got Don covered, and if Don wins, he'll have almost all of the chops in play. The flop... J-3-10, straight draw for Howard. We don't want to see a king or an ace now. Turn: 4c. Don still has five cards to avoid. River... 2s. Don Topel doubles to $188,000.

Topel folds over a small blind to Howard. The Ace needs to double, all-in with A-3. Don hits 9s and calls. Flop: Q-5-10. Turn: As. Disastrous for Don. He needs a 9d to win $200,000. The river... Ah. Howard doubles up on trip Aces.

Blinds are now up to 3000 and 6000. Don still has a 5-1 chip lead. Don calls with Q-9. Howard has 4-2. Flop: 6-9-7. Howard's all-in. Don has a pair and calls. Howard needs a diamond to survive. Turn: 3h. Howard's now up to a 5 or a diamond. River: Ac. Don wins $200,000.

Now the big question... is Don Topel going to cash out at $200,000 or is he going to face another Ace for a million? In the vault waiting for him is that million. Will Don take a shot at it?

DON'S GOING FOR A MILLION! But against who? We'll find out... next week.

To see this episode in its entirety, go to To qualify to be a contestant, go to