A total of 90 players have participated in the Super High Roller Bowl since its inception in 2015. This year 14 of the 48 players are playing for the very first time, including Australia’s Kahle Burns. Burns is the lone representative of Australia in this year’s event, and we spoke to him about the experience of playing this event for the very first time, and why he’s not emotionally tied to the result in this event.

Burns put down the $30,000 deposit for this event for the very first time this year, as a back injury prevented him from traveling to the United States last summer. On playing this event for the very first time, Burns said in a way only Aussies can, “My name was pulled out in the lottery, so here we go.”

“It’s a great experience to play in a tournament with great players and a great structure like this, I’m very excited and it should be fun,” Burns said on the second break of the event when he was seated with the likes of Jason Koon, Justin Bonomo, Adrian Mateos and Christian Christner.

“There are obviously financial barriers, and I wouldn’t have been able to play this a few years ago, but I started at the bottom and slowly grinded my way up. I’ve always worked hard, I have a big passion for the game and I’ve had a bit of fortune on my side.”

On being on the lone Australian in the Super High Roller Bowl, Burns explains how the lack of big buy-in events Down Under along with a smaller poker scene makes for a far tougher environment for young players to come up and reach the top.

“Also, some of the best players in Australia are a fair bit younger right now, and perhaps they didn’t have the time yet to get where they need to be financially. Obviously, this is a pretty massive buy-in, and I’m sure that has something to do with it.”

Reflecting on his own game, Burns calls it a combination of various important aspects with a decent understanding of game theory along with a lot of experience in live poker.

“But I wouldn’t say that I do as much studying as some of these other players playing in the tournament, as the majority of my poker experience has come in large live cash games. I feel pretty comfortable playing with deep stacks and playing live, and I think that in a tournament like this you need a bit of both. You need the game theory aspect, a good mathematical understanding of the game, but also the ability to make reads and knowing when to stray from that.”

“Right now, I got a pretty tough table, and everyone is very competent, so you want to play a fundamentally strong game against those players, and then versus some of the less experienced players you’re going to look to stray a little bit.”

Combining his experience in the game along with a healthy dose of confidence and a laidback attitude, Burns seems as comfortable as any of the players in the field and he speaks to those feeling.

“I don’t get intimidated by anyone at my table, but obviously there are some fantastic players in this event and I respect their games. I’d honestly say that I really don’t care about the result. I’d love to get a fantastic result but if I feel like I played good, then I don’t really care if I come first or are the first one out. As long as I’m happy with my decisions I’m not going to be too concerned with the end result.”

Continued coverage of the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl is ongoing on PokerGO through Wednesday, May 30th. If you’re new to PokerGO, subscribe right now and don’t miss a minute of the action. As of publishing, Burns is seated at a table with Bryn Kenney, Doug Polk, Kathy Lehne and recent WPT LAPC winner Dennis Blieden. 

Kahle Burns