If being excited for the Masters is wrong, I don’t want to be right. The Masters marks the start of spring, is the biggest golf tournament of the year and is a tradition unlike any other. The Masters is also golf’s most exclusive event, just like the capped field that will come together when the Super High Roller Bowl begins later next month.
The Super High Roller Bowl is also the biggest poker tournament of the year, with a $300,000 buy-in, and, in its third year, is starting to become a tradition unlike any other in the High Roller community. Because of those convenient parallels, let’s make some more, using the Masters and Super High Roller Bowl fields…
Tiger Woods/Phil Ivey
Woods and Ivey are both legends and considered one of the best to ever play their respective sports but unfortunately, they will be absent from this year’s Masters and Super High Roller Bowl. Woods has battled health problems for the better part of the last few years and hasn’t won a major championship since the 2008 US Open. Those health problems are keeping him out of this year’s Masters and save for a few appearances over the last few years, Ivey won his 10th WSOP bracelet in 2014, Ivey has been relatively absent in the poker world. Health problems didn’t keep him out of the Super High Roller Bowl, in fact, no one knows why he isn’t playing and it remains to be seen whether either Woods or Ivey will ever return to the untouchable status they each once held.
Dustin Johnson/Bryn Kenney
It may be hard to compare golfers and poker players but in terms of what they’ve done through the first quarter of 2017, Johnson and Kenney are both the hottest in their sport. Johnson has three wins in his last three starts and is the #1 ranked player in the world. Bryn Kenney only has two wins this year but is absolutely crushing seemingly every High Roller he plays. He has five ARIA High Roller cashes and nearly $3,000,000 in earnings this year, along with being the current GPI Player of the Year leader. Both Johnson and Kenney also each won major titles in 2016, with Johnson breaking through to win the US Open and Kenney opening the year with a victory in the $100,000 PCA Super High Roller, and if there were betting lines for the Super High Roller Bowl, Kenney would likely be the early favorite, just like his white hot golf counterpart.
Rickie Fowler/Jake Schindler
Many in the golf world have been waiting for Rickie Fowler’s first breakout victory and he has come dangerously close to major championships. Most of those close calls came in 2014, when Fowler, pictured above, finished tied for 2nd in both the US and British Opens, which is also the year that Jake Schindler won his first major title. Schindler took down the $25,000 PCA High Roller and since then, his close calls have come via three World Poker Tour final table finishes. While Schindler’s breakthrough came in 2014, Fowler had to wait an extra year, as he won The Players Championship in 2015. Both have one win in 2017 already, with Fowler winning The Honda Classic in February and Schindler taking down an ARIA High Roller event in March, but they’ll both be looking for a second major title after coming close over the last few years.
Phil Mickelson/Daniel Negreanu
Both “Lefty” and “Kid Poker” have been at or near the top of their sports for the better part of the last two decades. Mickelson has five major championships, including three Masters victories, while Negreanu has six WSOP bracelets but both also have their fair share of runner-up finishes. Mickelson has had to settle for silver in the US Open six times and Negreanu has six runner-up results from WSOP events, along with a 2nd place finish in the 2009 WSOP Europe Main Event, the 2011 $100,000 PCA Super High Roller, the $25,000 EPT Grand Final High Roller and the $10,000 EPT 10 Barcelona High Roller. Safe to say, if Mickelson or Negreanu aren’t in the winner’s circle, they are always near it.