The High Roller of the Year race is off and running. Each week, Poker Central is your home for the results, moves, and stories from the world’s biggest events. From the first ARIA High Roller Series to the 2019 Super High Roller Bowl, Poker Central is High Roller of the Year headquarters.
From the first High Roller of the Year update to the end of the World Series of Poker, this summer was all about Justin Bonomo. The Super High Roller Bowl winner took control of the High Roller of the Year race after ripping off back-to-back ARIA High Roller wins in June, but Cary Katz has taken control since. Katz has 11 cashes and has earned over $1.2 million to lead the High Roller of the Year race heading into September’s Poker Masters series.
The top-five is shown below and a compete High Roller of the Year leaderboard can be found here.
Cary Katz may be leading, but only by the slimmest of margins. The High Roller of the Year leader can’t shake Sam Soverel, who has matched Katz through the first portion of the season. Soverel has five victories and nine cashes since the Super High Roller Bowl and is just 15 points behind Katz. More importantly, Soverel is comfortably sitting in the top-five.
Soverel bricked last year’s lottery and was passed over by ARIA when they made their initial 2018 Super High Roller Bowl selections. A last-minute change secured Soverel a seat, but the high stakes pro probably doesn’t want to deal with a similar sweat this year. His strong High Roller of the Year start could mean Soverel will be one of the first to lock up a seat, but that remains to be seen.
The High Roller of the Year race is a marathon, not a sprint. It is not how you start, it is how you finish. The cliches can go on and on, but the fact remains, one month of High Roller of the Year results won’t make you, one month without results could break you.
While Cary Katz and Sam Soverel are trending near the 1,000 point mark, there are a handful of big name players that have yet to even break triple digits. Defending Poker Masters champion Steffen Sontheimer has one cash and 30 points, while Bryn Kenney has two cashes for 90 points. Isaac Haxton (75 points), Sean Winter (50 points), John Andress (50 points), and Christian Christner (45 points) are sandwiched between them.
If those players don’t pick up points during the seven-event Poker Masters series, they could be out of High Roller of the Year contention before the turn of the year.
The High Roller of the Year leaderboard will guarantee the top-five a spot in the 2019 Super High Roller Bowl and after the first wave of action, there are some interesting names near the Super High Roller Bowl bubble. Adrian Mateos, who we touched on in our previous update, remains in the top-five, but Dominik Nitsche is on the outside looking in.
The German missed out on the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl and, much like Soverel, likely doesn’t want to leave this year up to chance. The High Roller of the Year race could be his ticket and Nitsche has done well to keep himself in contention. He has three cashes and two wins, which puts Nitsche 8th with 355 points, behind Elio Fox and Nick Petrangelo.
While Elio Fox’s Super High Roller Bowl aspirations are unknown, Petrangelo, Nitsche, Stephen Chidwick, Dan Smith, Jake Schindler, and Rainer Kempe are all expected to put down a deposit next year. They will all also enter Poker Masters inside the High Roller of the Year top-15, meaning that more the Purple Jacket won’t be the only thing that will be up for grabs.