If the walls of Bellagio’s legendary Bobby’s Room could talk, they’d tell you story after story of the highest stakes the poker world has ever seen. Today is no different but we’d argue that this is the first time Bobby’s Room has played host to a mixed game High Roller, thanks to the efforts of Poker Central ambassadors Daniel Negreanu and Brian Rast.
Both Negreanu and Rast are regulars in ARIA High Roller events and during a $25,000 event earlier this year, Negreanu came up with the concept for, as Rast put it, “Doing something like this but for mix.”
Rast instantly thought it was a good idea, as it added another High Roller to the Las Vegas tournament schedule and could also bring in a different group of players that ARIA usually draws for their multi-day series. Rast also believed that these big buy-in events could spearhead cash game action and incentivize some players to make a trip to Las Vegas before the World Series of Poker.
After some deliberations and discussions with Negreanu, they had their concept and a week after the initial ARIA High Roller that spawned the idea, Rast decided to make it happen.
“A week passed and I decided, I’m just going to do this. It’s true about most things in life, you want something to get done, you just got to do it.” Rast said in an interview with Poker Central’s own Remko Rinkema earlier this week.
Rast then turned a nebulous idea into conversations with Craig Lupp and his Bellagio Poker team and after some more deliberations and discussions, that idea had turned into the Bellagio $25K Mixed Game High Rollers.
The structure mirrors that of the World Series of Poker’s $50,000 Poker Players Championship, an event Rast has won twice. Players in today’s Bellagio Mixed Game High Roller will play No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better, Stud, Stud 8 or Better, No Limit 2-7 Lowball, Badugi, Limit Hold’em, A-5 Razz and 2-7 Triple Draw.
Heading into today’s event, Rast and the entire High Roller population were unsure about what kind of numbers they were expecting for the first ever $25,000 Mixed Game High Roller. Legendary names like Doyle Brunson and Jennifer Harman were tossed around as tentative for today’s event and while they haven’t made an appearance yet, some of the world’s best have.
Rast and Negreanu were some of the first players here, with Scott Seiver, Ben Lamb, Eli Elezra, Andrew Robl, Mike Gorodinsky and Nick Schulman filling Bobby’s Room around them. So far, through close to six levels of play, 23 players have come together for today’s $25,000 event.
Just as we have done over the last few months at ARIA, Poker Central will provide features and content from the floor of today’s Bellagio Mixed Game High Roller. When registration closes and the field reaches the final table, we will begin providing tournament updates, until a champion is crowned.