The countdown to the year’s biggest event has begun and over the next 25 days, Poker Central will introduce the entire 2017 Super High Roller Bowl field. From the world’s best high-stakes players, to online crushers and successful businessmen, poker’s most exclusive event has it all. Follow Poker Central’s “25 Days of SHRBowl” to know who will be competing when cards get in the air on May 28th.
Live poker and online poker are very similar. Five cards of the same suit still make a flush, three-of-a-kind still beats two pair and the button still rotates clockwise. Live poker and online poker are also very different and that is likely why only a select few have been able to master both arenas. Dominik Nitsche, Igor Kurganov and Ben Sulsky have had immense success on both the live and virtual felts and all three will make another Super High Roller Bowl appearance this summer.
German Dominik Nitsche may come into this year’s $300,000 buy-in event with one of the most complete, top-to-bottom tournament resumes. The 888Poker Ambassador has over $3 million in online earnings and over $6.5 million in live tournament earnings. Nitsche, pictured top, also has three World Series of Poker bracelets and his first came in a $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event with 4,620 entrants in 2012.
Nitsche picked up a $654,000 score for that victory and then added two more WSOP wins to his resume in 2014, in another $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event and the $10,000 WSOP National Championship. Nitsche also has a World Poker Tour title from 2012, thanks to a victory in the WPT Johannesburg Emperors Palace Poker Classic.
Maybe more impressive than Nistche’s resume highlights is his entire body of work. He has amassed over $6.5 million in live earnings without the support of a seven-figure score but instead consistent six-figure results dating back to 2009. While Nitsche only has a handful of High Roller results, his last coming this past summer at ARIA, that is where Igor Kurganov, pictured above, does most of his damage.
The PokerStars Team Pro dove into the High Roller pool at the start of the decade and has been swimming laps around the competition ever since. Kurganov finished 2nd in the EPT8 London £25,000 High Roller in 2011 for nearly $500,000 and the flood gates quickly opened. Nearly two dozen six-figure or better results later and Kurganov is Russia’s all-time money leader with over $12 million in career earnings.
Kurganov’s best results have also come in the biggest events. He won the massive €25,000 High Roller at the EPT8 Grand Final in 2012 for $1,425,000 and then finished 3rd in the €100,000 Super High Roller at the EPT10 Grand Final two years later for another seven-figure score. Kurganov also has eight cashes in events with over $100,000 price points from nearly every corner of the world.
While Kurganov has High Roller results for days, Ben Sulsky only has one such result. That came in the $111,111 buy-in High Roller for One Drop during the 2015 World Series of Poker and Sulsky made the most of that opportunity. Just a week after final tabling the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, for a $353,000 result, Sulsky finished 4th in the High Roller for a $1,118,000 score.
Those results account for the majority of Sulsky’s $1.7 million in career earnings but tournament scores and live play aren’t what “sauce123” is known for. Sulsky, pictured above, is arguably one of the winningest players in online poker history and has been a constant figure at the highest stakes of No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha cash games for the better part of the last decade. Sulsky talked online and high stakes poker with Poker Central’s own Remko Rinkema last month on Heads Up with Remko.
These hybrid crushers will come in with different Super High Roller Bowl experience. Nitsche made his debut last year and returns for a second-straight year in 2017, while Sulsky will be making his first appearance since the event had a $500,000 buy-in in 2015. Igor Kurganov has played in both previous installments of the Super High Roller Bowl and all three will be looking to add scores in the year’s biggest event to their lengthy tournament resumes later this month.