All poker ecosystems are not created equally and the High Roller ecosystem has been the center of recent debate. Starting with feedback and some serious additions to the PokerStars Championship Bahamas series and coming to a head in the latest Heads Up with Remko Podcast featuring Tom Marchese, High Roller schedules, participants and growth has been a hot topic over the last few months.
Non-professional participation is something that Marchese and many other High Roller regulars consistently talk about but today, that isn’t a problem. Four “amateurs” are competing in today’s ARIA $25K High Roller and three of them will be playing in this summer’s Super High Roller Bowl.
While three of those non-pros have been battling for the last few hours, Bill Klein just took his seat in today’s event. The retired businessman from California announced himself to the High Roller world in 2015 with a runner-up finish to Jonathan Duhamel in the WSOP’s $111,111 High Roller for One Drop. Klein won just shy of $2,500,000 and donated his entire score to charity. Since then, Klein has churned out ARIA High Roller results, including three podium finishes in 2016.
If you want to talk about churning out results though, look no further than Cary Katz. Last year’s most successful High Roller already has one win under his belt, after opening the year with a victory in the first High Roller series of 2017. As one of the only two players that has ever cashed the $1,000,000 buy-in The Big One for One Drop, Katz is no stranger to the highest stakes poker has to offer. While Katz may specialize in High Rollers, Zach Hyman has seen success at nearly every level of poker’s hierarchy.
With over $1,800,000 in career earnings, including wins and deep runs in events spanning from $2,000 to $25,000 buy-ins, Hyman is about as experienced as you’ll find from a non-professional. He opened his 2017 ARIA account during the last High Roller series, notching a score in a $25,000 event and the final amateur in today’s field will hope to replicate that success today.
Eric Worre is coming off a runner-up finish in the $25,000 High Roller at the WPT’s recent Bay 101 Shooting Star stop, building off the success he had last summer. Worre nearly final tabled the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship and he has seen his fair share of ARIA success as well, including a podium finish almost a year ago in a $25,000 event.
With over $17,000,000 in lifetime earnings among the four non-pros, the rest of this High Roller field knows they won’t have an easy go of it with Klein, Hyman, Katz and Worre in the field.