The 2018 Poker Masters is officially underway. Over the next week, the world’s best will compete across seven High Roller events for the title of Poker Masters champion. The Poker Masters Purple Jacket awaits and “Today at the Poker Masters” will take you through the highest stakes week of the year with daily updates from the PokerGO Studio.
The Short Deck storm has passed and the Poker Masters skies have cleared to set the stage for the three biggest events of the series. Heading into those three events, there is a clear separation on the Poker Masters Championship leaderboard. Brandon Adams and Isaac Haxton lead what is a two-horse race through four events. When Event 5 concludes, the homestretch will be full of contenders.
Five players at the Event 5 final table have already opened their 2018 Poker Masters accounts. Brian Rast is the only player that hasn’t, but no one would count the 2015 Super High Roller Bowl champion out with $50,000 and $100,000 events still to come.
While Rast enters Wednesday’s final table on zero points, Jake Schindler, Ben Yu, and Jason Koon return to PokerGO tied for a top-ten spot with 150 points. Through four events, they’ve all come close to a Poker Masters title. An Event 5 win by either of those players instantly vaults the victor into the top-three.
It is impossible to predict the future, but if Schindler wins today he would have to be a favorite to win the Purple Jacket. Schindler’s ARIA High Roller resume is unmatched and includes runner-up results in both the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl and the 2018 U.S. Poker Open Main Event. Poker Masters is the only High Roller Triple Crown series that remains unconquered, but that could change if Schindler continues his stellar run of big buy-in finishes.
Daniel Negreanu enters the Event 5 final table as the short stack and outside the Poker Masters Championship Standings top-twenty. If “Kid Poker” finishes 6th, he will move into the top-fifteen and need a near perfect finish to the series to compete for the Purple Jacket. If Negreanu can make some jumps, the most recent Super High Roller Bowl runner-up could rise up the leaderboard.
Then there is Ali Imsirovic. The Poker Masters newcomer opened the series with an Event 1 cash and currently sits on 60 points. Defeating the toughest final table the 2018 Poker Masters has seen thus far would elevate Imsirovic into immediate Purple Jacket contention, but he’d also have to add to his total through the final two events. That may prove to be mission impossible, Imsirovic cashed his first $50,000 event last month, but a perfect Purple Jacket finish to Poker Masters would prove that the young American belongs among the game’s elite.