If the High Roller of the Year race is a marathon, the race towards the Poker Masters Purple Jacket is a sprint. That high-speed journey takes place live on PokerGO and the highest stakes week of the year will play a major role in deciding the 2018 High Roller of the Year. As the first High Roller Triple Crown series of the season hits the midway point, who are the Purple Jacket contenders and what does that mean for the season-long standings?

The new scoring system for his year’s Poker Masters means that players can’t hit and run the $100,000 Main Event. Last year, due to the staggering size of the Main Event prize pool, anyone that entered was an immediate Purple Jacket contender. That won’t be the case in 2018.

With only 350 points awaiting the 2018 Poker Masters Main Event champion, Purple Jacket hopefuls will have needed to build up their total prior to the series-ending $100,000 event. Through the first four events, a handful have.

Brandon Adams has done the heaviest lifting through the first half of the series. Adams opened Poker Masters with a final table finish in Event 1 $10,000 No Limit Hold’em and then reserved a seat for the next two days of final table streams. An Event 2 $25,000 NLH victory put him atop the series leaderboard and another strong finish in Monday’s Event 3 $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event kept him there on 510 points.

Event 3 is also where Isaac Haxton started to make his move. The high stakes legend placed 6th in Event 1, 4th in PLO, and then won his first Poker Masters title in Event 4. The 300 points earned for his $10,000 Short Deck victory bumped Haxton to 480 points, which is less than a min-cash away from Adams.

While Adams and Haxton have six combined cashes, Keith Lehr and David Peters Poker Masters Championship Standings totals are courtesy of just one event. Lehr bested Monday’s $25,000 PLO event, while Peters opened Poker Masters with a $10,000 victory. Each are sitting on 300 points.

There are three players with two Poker Masters cashes in 2018, but Jonathan Depa is outdoing Jason Koon and Dominik Nitsche. Depa was the runner-up to Lehr and recorded a min-cash in Event 4 to bring his total to 270. That’s good for a top-five spot, above Jared Jaffee, Brian Green, and Maurice Hawkins. All three are on 210 points thanks to silver medals in Event 2, 1, and 4, respectfully.

Cary Katz has taken a more creative route to 210 points. Three cashes through the first four events have extended Katz’s High Roller of the Year lead, but a lack of podium finishes have kept him outside the top-five.

Keeping with the three theme, the High Roller of the Year top-three remains unchanged. Katz has extended his lead, but Sam Soverel and Adrian Mateos have yet to add to their totals. Soverel is still searching for his first Poker Masters cash of 2018, while Mateos has yet to enter an event.

The top-five has changed though, with Adams and Haxton replacing Ben Tollerene and Justin Bonomo. Tollerene is another Poker Masters no-show, but the Super High Roller Bowl winner and newly minted all-time money leader has yet to open his Poker Masters account.

With three of the biggest events of Poker Masters still remaining and a tight race at the top of the Championship Standings, the race for the Purple Jacket will be intense. Poker Central will follow that race closely, while PokerGO is your home for final table action.

Subscribe to watch Wednesday’s Poker Masters $25,000 No Limit Hold’em final table stream on PokerGO, along with the rest of the highest stakes week of the year. Click here for more information on Poker Masters and here for more information on the High Roller of the Year race.

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