The recent move towards televised poker games has turned poker from a game played in smoky back-rooms into an international spectator sport. The top league of poker gaming involves tables where people are playing for literally 100's of thousands of dollars on the turn of a card. These high stakes poker games fascinate both serious poker players and amateurs alike and have started to transition from the casino and television into the online poker environment.

The highest stakes poker game of all is played at the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. Here you will find the worlds top poker players battling it out with stakes of many thousands of dollars every night of the week. Known as the "Big Game" the poker is mixed between many different games to ensure that no "specialist" has an advantage. The big game is held in a glass walled "feature" table which allows the many spectators and tourists to observe without interfering with the play.

The players in the big game at the Bellagio are some of the best known poker celebrities. The likes of Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Chip Reese and TJ Cloutier regularly meeting to play poker games including 7-Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, Limit Holdem and Razz. The glass room in which the games are played is known as "Bobbies Room" – after the poker legend and multiple WSOP bracelet winner Bobby Baldwin.

High Stakes poker came to prominence in the television series of the same name. Watching well known poker professionals including Jamie Gold, Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negranu and Gus Hansen battle over hands with "bricks" of $100 notes as the stakes has caught the imagination of huge numbers of viewers.

The rise in popularity of this show spiked when a pot of over $575,000 was played between Negranu and Hansen. Both players flopped a set and Hansen was fortunate enough to spike quad 5"s on the turn, by the time the dust settled Negranu had lost almost $300,000 when his full house was beaten.

If you are not able to get to Las Vegas and a High Stakes game is not currently on the TV there are many opportunities to watch some huge games as they happen on the internet. Most online poker rooms now offer tables with blind levels running into the $100"s, stacks of over $100,000 are possible and the pot sizes proportionally large.

Railing online high stakes poker games is a great way of learning more about the game. Not only do the hand selections and betting patterns of the players give you an insight into their strategy – but the complex levels of thinking going on between the players highlight some important poker skills too.