Rooster Teeth: Gamers Play Monopoly for Real Money in 'Hardcore Tabletop'

Like high-stakes poker but even more absurd.

It’s a common joke that friendships are destroyed over Monopoly. But the gamers of Achievement Hunter are raising the stakes by playing the Milton Bradley classic, for real, with actual money on the line.

This is Hardcore Tabletop, and in an exclusive clip on Inverse, the briefcase containing all $20,580 is unveiled.

Initially screened at RTX 2018 in Austin, Texas before premiering on Rooster Teeth’s FIRST streaming platform, the first episode of Hardcore Tabletop will be available for everyone to watch for free today, August 21, at 3 p.m. ET on Rooster Teeth’s official website. The rest of the series will continue to air on FIRST.

As the name implies, the new series follows the outlandish personalities of Achievement Hunter who play a board game with a “real” twist. The first season centers on Monopoly as it’s played with $20,580 in actual, legal tender.

“We take Monopoly and we make it as serious as you can,” says series creator and host Geoff Ramsey in an interview with Inverse at RTX. “They’re playing for real money, so there’s real stakes.” And yes, “they really get to keep it.”

Filmed over the course of two intense days, Hardcore Tabletop was partially inspired by a 3 a.m. binge-watch of high-stakes professional poker on ESPN. “It made me laugh in my head,” he says. “I was tickled at how serious people were taking it, and I wanted to see how funny it would be to take something that was not serious and treat it that seriously.”

Now it's serious.

Rooster Teeth

Monopoly, given its proclivity to ruin friendships with fake blue and yellow bills, was the perfect fit. “One time I saw my first wife pick up a Monopoly board and throw it at her sister in the middle of a game,” Ramsey recalls. “That’s what I wanted to create. That’s what plays in the back of my head: Playing Monopoly in 1996 and watching how angry they got and wanting to capitalize and nurture that anger.”

While it’s unlikely that Hardcore Tabletop will expand to other games like Operation (let’s hope not), Ramsey promises that future seasons with other games will happen if the Rooster Teeth audience deems it worthy. “Based on audience response, we’ll make more,” he said.

Talk about a gamble.

Hardcore Tabletop premieres August 21 at 3 p.m. ET on Rooster Teeth FIRST.

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