Posts Tagged ‘Bowl’

Comedian Kevin Hart to Enter 2017 Super High Roller Bowl

 Comedian Kevin Hart to Enter 2017 Super High Roller Bowl

In its previous two seasons, the Super High Roller Bowl presented by Poker Central has had its share of businesspeople (Dan Shak, Kathy Lehne, both accomplished poker players) and poker professionals (too numerous to mention), but it has never had a “celebrity” in the mix. Some might still say that bar hasn’t been crossed but, with the announcement from Poker Central that comedian Kevin Hart will be taking part in the 2017 version of the tournament, they are drawing closer.

It doesn’t seem to faze the star of Central Intelligence that he’s in for at least $ 300,000, if not more should he choose to re-enter the tournament. “I love playing high stakes poker, and there’s no better competition than at the Super High Roller Bowl – the world championship of high stakes poker,” Hart stated during the announcement of his participation. “I am looking forward to all the support and positive vibes from my fans who will be tuning in through Poker Central to watch me stomp all over the competition.”

“For the last two years, the Super High Roller Bowl has been the premier high stakes poker event in the world. The addition of Kevin Hart this year takes it to a whole other level,” said Joe Kakaty, the president of Poker Central, who joined Hart for the announcement. “Kevin’s ability to resonate with audiences across the world gives Poker Central the platform to reach future poker fans who will be getting their first taste of the action.”

The 56-player field was already replete with some of the best poker players in the world. Including the inaugural champion Brian Rast and defending champion Rainer Kempe, other players such as 2016 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Jason Mercier, 2017 Super High Roller Bowl runner-up Fedor Holz, the two winners of the $ 1 million buy-in “Big One for One Drop” at the WSOP Antonio Esfandiari and Dan Colman, the only man to cash in both the previous tournaments, Erik Seidel, the all-time leading money winner in poker Daniel Negreanu and 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth are all a part of the field. It will present a challenge to Hart, who’s background in poker is, to be kind, limited.

Previous to 2017, there is little to no known information that Kevin Hart even was interested in the game of poker. That was until the inaugural PokerStars Championship Bahamas in January, when Hart mysteriously showed up to play in the $ 100,000 Super High Roller tournament and stayed around to take part in the $ 5000 Main Event. After the trip to Atlantis, Hart did not take part in another event until he showed up in Monte Carlo for the PSC festival, where he once again took part in the €100,000 Super High Roller. Demonstrating that you just don’t “drop in” and excel in the world of high stakes poker, Hart has yet to cash in any tournament.

The presence of Hart has also stirred interest in the poker community, for both good and bad. While he held a press conference in Monaco alongside Negreanu to ostensibly “make poker fun again,” Hart didn’t exactly point out any examples of how he, along with PokerStars, was going to exactly do just that. On the negative side, people have pointed out how it appears that PokerStars has sponsored Hart in the events he’s played, meaning that Hart is freerolling the game and doesn’t have to take it seriously (not to mention that, in being the #1 comedian in 2016 with over $ 87 million in earnings, a $ 100,000 tournament is chicken feed for him).

Could Hart “break his duck” in the Super High Roller Bowl this year? Fans will be able to see Hart in action when the first day of the tournament is streamed live through YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live on May 28. The remainder of the tournament will be broadcast through Poker Central’s digital distribution network, with the tournament being taped and edited for broadcast in its entirety later in the summer. With $ 16.8 million on the line – including $ 6 million for first place – the players will be bringing their “A” game – will Hart bring his or is he the comedic relief?

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ARIA Names Group of Players for 2017 Super High Roller Bowl

 ARIA Names Group of Players for 2017 Super High Roller Bowl

Buoyed by the attention – for better or worse – already garnered from previous events associated with it, the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl is ramping up to be a hotly contested battle this May. After choosing 35 players through a blind draw, the host casino ARIA in Las Vegas (the cohost of the tournament with the streaming network Poker Central) now has hand-picked 20 more players to join the field, leaving one more spot open for speculation.

Originally the tournament was to be set at 50 players, but the throng of potential contestants that flooded the ARIA cages with their deposits for the $ 300,000 buy in tournament surprised and stunned both the casino and its broadcast partner. In total 54 players showed support for the tournament, forcing ARIA and Poker Central into a controversial decision to determine the field:  a blind lottery draw that saw 35 names chosen from those who had put their money up. The remaining 15 slots were bestowed to ARIA for dispensing at their pleasure.

This was only the start of the controversy around the tournament, however. The runner up in the 2016 tournament, Fedor Holz, remarked on Twitter about his displeasure with how the selections were being handled. Justin Bonomo took Holz on, questioning Holz’s displeasure as he gets to play in a rake-free tournament for a large amount of money and that his complaints were misguided. Doug Polk took Holz’s side in the discussion, stating that it wasn’t right that ARIA had collected the deposits, then changed the rules on the players after the fact. The lively debate simmered for a bit before all sides calmed without a settlement.

While this was going on, ARIA and Poker Central changed the rules again. Instead of capping the field at 50 players (leaving an odd man out for seven-player tables), they decided to up the field size to 56 players (making for a nice round eight tables to start the tournament). Instead of opening up those six seats to players on the standby list, however, ARIA took them on to bring their total allotment to 21 seats in the now 56 player event. Additionally, ARIA and Poker Central took the route of declaring that the 2018 event would also be 56 players.

Not expected to announce players until closer to the event’s start date on May 28, ARIA instead has chosen to strike while the iron is hot. Earlier this week, ARIA announced 20 of the 21 players they had chosen to play in the tournament. The resulting list is a hodgepodge of businessmen and professional poker players that may or may not have already put a deposit down on a seat for the tournament previously.

Here’s a list of the 19 men and one woman chosen by ARIA to enter the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl:

Bill Klein
Bill Perkins
Bobby Baldwin
Cary Katz
Dan Colman
Dan Shak
Dan Smith
Daniel Negreanu
Dan Perper
Giuseppe Iadisernia
Jason Koon
Jason Mercier
John Morgan
Justin Bonomo
Lauren Roberts
Leon Tsoukernik
Phil Hellmuth
Talal Shakerchi
Antanas “Tony G” Guoga
Zach Hyman

There are some intriguing choices among these players. It is thought that Hellmuth had not put an entry into the previous 54 players and Guoga, who has been serving as a representative of Lithuania’s contingent in the European Parliament (the body that serves as the European Union’s legislature), stated in 2014 that he may play in charity events but he was “done” professionally. Finally, there is Roberts, the lone female player in the group (Kathy Lehne was the only female in the 2016 event), who has a limited Hendon Mob resume and is more known as a “equities and derivatives” trader. Then there’s Iadisernia, who has an interesting history in horse racing but not much experience on the felt.

With this list named, there is still one slot that ARIA is holding that hasn’t been filled. It is thought that ARIA is looking for a high-profile celebrity to take that seat, but they haven’t tipped their hand as to who is under consideration. That selection will probably not be named until much closer to the start of the tournament, indicating that more controversy may still be in the works.

The 2017 Super High Roller Bowl presented by Poker Central and ARIA will be run from May 28-June 1. The $ 300,000 tournament will feature a $ 16.8 million prize pool and pay out a $ 6 million payday to the eventual champion. Since Poker Central discontinued its television outlet, there is no word on whether the tournament will be broadcast on television or not (the 2016 event was broadcast on CBS Sports Network). It will be streamed on Poker Central’s Twitch page, however.

Poker News Daily

ARIA and Poker Central Expand 2017 Super High Roller Bowl Field to 56

 ARIA and Poker Central Expand 2017 Super High Roller Bowl Field to 56

Noting that their numbers would make for a complication, the streaming poker channel Poker Central and ARIA in Las Vegas have expanded the field for the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl to a nice round 56 players.

“Based on the success of last year’s Super High Roller Bowl and the overwhelming interest in this year’s event, ARIA believed it was in our best interest to increase the size of the event by six players.” ARIA’s Director of Poker Operations Sean McCormack stated in a press release from Poker Central. The increase in the number corrects what was going to be a bit of a problem for the 50-player field in that, with seven player tables, there was going to be an odd table that started eight handed. With the increase of six players, that makes for eight, seven-handed tables.

With the increase in the number of players, there also comes an increase in the prize pool for the tournament. The previously stated $ 5 million first place prize (and, at $ 300,000 a pop, the $ 15 million prize pool) will increase the payout for the eventual champion to $ 6 million (from a $ 16.8 million prize pool). “These additions will give more players a chance to play in the best event of the year and play for an even bigger prize pool. Bigger is always better and the increase in prize pool and first place payout, along with the enormous prestige of the Super High Roller Bowl, will be welcomed by the players,” said McCormack.

Due to the success of the event – players flocked to the cage in 2016 to put their money down and, in 2017, 54 players put up the reserve for their buy in – both Poker Central and ARIA thought it would be a good idea to continue at this size moving forward. “Because of the overwhelming interest this year, ARIA’s intention moving forward will be to approach next year with a tentative field size of 56 players,” McCormack announced. “This will make for a better event and give ARIA more flexibility to make sure a wide range of players are involved in next year’s Super High Roller Bowl.”

The issue that most poker fans might have will be in how those six seats are going to be handled. ARIA, as the host casino for the tournament, had been allotted 15 of the 50 seats for their “high roller” guests (not necessarily professionals). The six seats added will also be dispersed by ARIA, giving them 21 of the 56 players at the table. This could be problematic due to the number of top professionals that have been excluded to this point.

As stated previously, 54 professional poker players had at the minimum laid down their reserve for a seat at the 2017 tournament, forcing ARIA and Poker Central into a decision. They could stick with their “first come, first served” format that usually is the norm for casino decisions, but the two entities instead chose a different path. Utilizing a “lottery” draw system, ARIA and Poker Central chose 35 random players to take part in the tournament, with the leftover 15 players (at that time) to be chosen by ARIA.

The drafted roster of 35 featured several notable top pros (including defending champion Rainer Kempe, inaugural champion Brian Rast and the only man who has cashed in both previous versions of the Super High Roller Bowl, Erik Seidel), there were some names that were left off the list. Although he hosted the lottery draft and has close ties with Poker Central, Daniel Negreanu was not one of the 35 players chosen in the lottery. Also left off the board were such players as the defending Player of the Year at the World Series of Poker Jason Mercier, the most recent champion of the $ 1 million buy-in WSOPBig One for One DropDan Colman and high roller regulars such as Dan Shak, Nick Petrangelo and Mike Watson. Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey were not a part of the field either, but neither had put their money down (among the 54 players) to be considered eligible for the lottery drawing.

The 2017 Super High Roller Bowl will be held between May 28-30 at ARIA in Las Vegas and we will probably see many of the names that, at this point, have been left off the list find their way to the baize. While the lottery idea might not have been the best one, kudos for Poker Central and ARIA to expand the field and make the tournament even more interesting for poker’s fandom.

Poker News Daily

Poker Central Super High Roller Bowl Changes Rules, Uses Lottery to Determine Players

 Poker Central Super High Roller Bowl Changes Rules, Uses Lottery to Determine Players

Instead of holding to the “first come, first served” philosophy that it was built on, officials with Poker Central deviated to a special “lottery” to determine who would be among the 35 professionals to take part in the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl later this year.

After opening registration for the tournament, which will be played from May 28-31 at ARIA in Las Vegas, officials with the casino and the streaming website were stunned with the numbers that came to the fore. Once the cage was opened for deposits for entry 54 players came out, in theory putting up a percentage of the $ 300,000 for their buy in. This was going to be a problem for ARIA and Poker Central as there were only 35 seats available for the “professional” poker players (15 of the 50 seats in the event are reserved for ARIA, to be distributed at their discretion).

Faced with the dilemma – and rather than going with the “first come, first served” philosophy that is the normal course of a tournament poker sign up – both sides came up with a special “lottery” to determine the players who would be given first opportunity at a seat in the tournament. They made a bit of a production over the lottery, snaring Daniel Negreanu to host the drawing, and drew the lots that arbitrarily set the professional field for the 2017 event. What is notable about the list is the players that weren’t a part of it.

Here are the players that were chosen through the lottery to participate in the 2017 Poker Central Super High Roller Bowl:

Christian Christner
Antonio Esfandiari
Igor Kurganov
Matt Berkey
(to be noted, first with his money to the cage)
Connor Drinan
Steffen Sontheimer
Jake Schindler
Pratyush Buddiga
Rainer Kempe
(the defending champion of the tournament)
Sean Winter
John Juanda
Dominik Nitsche
Christoph Vogelsang
Stefan Schillhabel
Andrew Robl
Brian Rast
(inaugural champion)
Bryn Kenney
Fedor Holz
David Peters
Jason Les
Ben Tollerene
Tom Marchese
Erik Seidel
(only player to cash in both years of tournament)
Sam Soverel
Scott Seiver
Ankush Mandavia
David Einhorn
Nick Petrangelo
Haralabos Voulgaris
Isaac Haxton
Andrew Lichtenberger
Doug Polk
Ben Sulsky
Byron Kaverman
Koray Aldemir

So, what names aren’t on the list?

Negreanu is one of the most glaring omissions from the 35 names chosen. Even though he had already declared to play in the tournament (and his position as a prominent promoter of Poker Central), Negreanu was one of those left on the outside. In fact, the 36th ball out of the lottery chute? Negreanu’s.

Negreanu’s not the only one to be left wondering if they’ll be a part of the show come May. The defending Player of the Year at the World Series of Poker, Jason Mercier (a staple on the High Roller circuit), was not chosen in the lottery, nor were such players as Dan Colman, the champion of the most recent $ 1 million “Big One for One Drop” at the WSOP or “High Roller” stalwarts such as Dan Shak, Nick Petrangelo or Mike Watson (second at the $ 100,000 Challenge to Petrangelo at the 2017 Aussie Millions). Also not on the list were Phil Hellmuth (who never met a camera he didn’t like) or Phil Ivey, but for good reason – neither had put their money down to play in the tournament yet.

The lottery decision was a tricky one for Poker Central and ARIA. What if someone like the defending champion, Kempe, hadn’t been chosen? And just what are the rules going forward? Will Negreanu have the next chance at the seat should someone out of the 35 players not be able to take part (likewise, will he be let in should ARIA not invite it allotment of 15 players?), as he is the first alternate apparently? Everything that has occurred leave many questions and few answers for the other players who were looking to be a part of the tournament.

Everything will be figured out well in advance of May 28, however. The issue is that those who will determine the success of the event – the viewing public – won’t be given any knowledge as to what will occur between now and then.

Poker News Daily

Super High Roller Bowl to Return in 2017

 Super High Roller Bowl to Return in 2017

Although they have ceased operations as a “cable television station,” Poker Central still exists as a streaming outlet online. With this in mind, the online site is moving forward with their seminal event, the Super High Roller Bowl, which will follow in much the same manner as last year’s tournament.

From May 28-31 (just prior to the start of the World Series of Poker), the Super High Roller Bowl will play out with a maximum of 50 players being accepted. The $ 300,000 buy in tournament will allow 35 professional players to take part in the tournament, with the other 15 seats being given to the host casino, ARIA in Las Vegas, to parcel out to non-professional players. Of that 15, at least one of the seats will go to a “celebrity guest,” per the information from Poker Central. At stake for those involved? A $ 15 million prize pool and a guaranteed $ 5 million to the eventual champion.

“The Super High Roller Bowl is the world championship of high stakes poker,” said Joe Kakaty, president of Poker Central, in the press release from the streaming network. “Fans can now follow the action live from start to finish.” It is expected that the tournament will be streamed live over Twitch – now the location for live events for Poker Central – and at Poker Central’s website.

Beginning on February 2, ARIA will begin accepting deposits for the event. If it is like 2016, then those seats should go quickly, per the Director of Poker Operations for ARIA Sean McCormick. “Last year’s Super High Roller Bowl sold out in two weeks, well in advance of tournament play,” McCormick commented. “It was an exciting event for the players and fans who stopped by to watch and we anticipate another successful Super High Roller Bowl again this year.”

A few of the names that are expected to take part in the 2017 version of this event include the winningest (as far as money) player of all time, Daniel Negreanu, and the winner of the first $ 1 million buy in event, the WSOP’s “Big One for One Drop,” Antonio Esfandiari. Add in the all-time record holder for WSOP bracelets won in Phil Hellmuth, the inaugural champion of the Super High Roller Bowl Brian Rast and high stakes player Tom Marchese, and the tournament has already built a solid foundation.

In a scant two years, the Super High Roller Bowl has become one of the preeminent tournaments on the poker schedule. In 2015, the tournament was a $ 500,000 event that drew in the crème (or at least the deepest pocketed) of the poker community. 43 men put together a $ 21.5 million prize pool and played for three days at seven-handed tables (which has been the format of the tournament in every year of its existence). Battling down to heads up play, Rast defeated Scott Seiver to take home a $ 7.525,000 payday for his efforts (Seiver didn’t leave empty handed with his $ 5,160,000 consolation prize).

The buy in for the tournament was reduced to $ 300,000 for last year’s tournament and it was the right move. As previously stated, the field hit the 49-player max limit with those on the outside (on an alternates list) literally hoping that some of those who got their deposits in first couldn’t make the tournament. The prize pool may have been a bit smaller (“only” $ 15 million), but it also featured additional money contributed by the official sponsors for the tournament, which included such mainstream companies as Pizza Hut, Amazon Coins, Anheuser Busch and, in what would become a running gag for poker fans, the Dollar Shave Club. It was marked as the coronation of the latest German wunderkind, Fedor Holz (who didn’t have a bad 2016), but it was another German player, Rainer Kempe, who walked off with the $ 5 million first place prize (and Holz picked up “only” $ 3.5 million).

TRIVIA #1:  Only one man has been able to make the Super High Roller Bowl final table twice. Who is it?

TRIVIA #2: Has a woman ever taken part in the Super High Roller Bowl? Answers once you get to the end!

The 2017 version of the tournament should follow in the footsteps of the previous two (even at these nosebleed stakes, you can find 50 people to take part), but there might be some questions as to whether the sponsorships will come out as they did last year. Without the “live television” option – and instead the “live streaming” online – advertisers cannot quantitate how popular the program is nor how their products being involved with the tournament are received. Twitch will naturally have some of its own material, but no sponsors have been announced at this moment.

It will be a great way to kick off the 2017 WSOP and the players involved will enjoy the bankroll boost should they make the final table. Mark your calendars for May 28 as the Poker Central Super High Roller Bowl makes its triumphant return.

ANSWER to Trivia #1:  Erik Seidel (seventh in 2015, third in 2016) is the only man to have cashed in both Super High Roller Bowls.

ANSWER to Trivia #2:  Much as she has in many other High Roller events, businesswoman Kathy Lehne is the only woman to have taken part in the Super High Roller Bowl (2016).

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