Charlie Hustle and the $60 Million Poker Game

When Fox Sports Net holds a charity poker event on Monday night in Hollywood, scheduled to play is none other than former baseball great Pete Rose—who literally gambled himself out of the Hall of Fame.

While Rose’s decision to gamble in public—even for charity—is eye-opening, so too is the dollar figure tied to the event he’s promoting. FSN is airing the Pokerdome Series, which will include a six-person, $60 million winner-take-all tournament that the network says is the biggest single-day payout in the history of sports television.

The three-year-deal is for a weekly series, plus three big-money, winner-take-all events—the first of which is the $60 million tourney, scheduled for July 12, 2006. Sources close to the network say gaming site is paying $100 million over three years for the series and mega-events, which will be produced by FSN.

FSN says the 2007 and 2008 events will be for $75 million and $100 million, respectively. The series premieres May 15 and continues for 43 weeks on FSN.

The show will air from Las Vegas, where the “Pokerdome” set—a mirrored room designed for optimal camera coverage—will be constructed. The series is slated to be a year-long tournament, which will end with a $1 million prize. If Rose performs well in the charity game, perhaps FSN will offer Charlie Hustle a spot in the tourney.