The Super High Roller Bowl is the world’s biggest poker event. The $300,000 buy-in makes other High Roller events dwarf in comparison and while the event’s 56-player cap means that the field is limited in terms of size, it does allow for some exciting build-up in terms previewing and predicting the year’s biggest event.
The upcoming Poker Masters series has no such cap and while the field for the five-event high-stakes series remains to be seen, it is expected to include the big names and players that fans expect in ARIA’s high stakes arena.
The event is close to two months away and while any real predictions shouldn’t be made until we are within touching distance of the opening Poker Masters event on September 13, exclusively on PokerGO, we just couldn’t help ourselves.
Without further ado, the early top-ten that could contender for poker’s newest prize, the Poker Masters Purple Jacket™…
After the best summer of his career, Daniel Negreanu seems to be at the top of his game. The Hall of Famer dominated the $10,000 Championships at the World Series of Poker, recording eight top-18 finishes in those events, along with four final table finishes. Negreanu’s pre-summer preparation paid off in a big way and while a record third WSOP Player of the Year title never materialized, Kid Poker will be a threat to end September in purple.
Yes, the German wunderkind is retired and yes, he failed to cash in both the Super High Roller Bowl and the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop at the WSOP, events he dominated in 2016. For those wondering if Fedor Holz has lost it? The answer, unequivocally, is no. Holz won back-to-back $50,000 ARIA High Rollers in May and added another victory to his lengthy resume this week in the Triton Super High Roller HK$250,000 High Roller. He may be playing part-time but that resume doesn’t look like it is going to stop growing any time soon.
After a banner year in 2016, a runner-up finish in this year’s Super High Roller Bowl confirmed that Jake Schindler is one of the best players in the world. The 2nd place result came after Schindler opened the year with two ARIA High Roller victories and while the Pennsylvania native has had a relatively quiet summer since recording a $3.6 million score, his past performances at ARIA speak volumes to what Schindler is capable of at the highest stakes.
He hasn’t cashed in a poker tournament since April, when he won another PokerStars Championship $100,000 Super High Roller in Monte Carlo, but through the first few months of 2017, there was no one better than Bryn Kenney. The New Yorker has won $10 million over the last two years, including a final table finish in the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl, and King Kenney always seems to rack up results in quick succession, meaning that if he gets hot during the week-long Poker Masters, everyone should be on high alert.
Few players have accomplished what Brian Rast has throughout his poker career. The High Roller has done it all, including winning the 2015 Super High Roller Bowl and becoming only the second player to ever win two $50,000 Poker Players Championships in 2016. Rast has two ARIA High Roller victories on his 2017 resume but he has yet to win a big one, meaning that Rast is likely saving his best for the biggest stage.
The young Brit cannon balled into the High Roller pool a few years ago, and ever since, has been swimming laps around his competition. Despite never playing in the Super High Roller Bowl, Charlie Carrel is arguably one of the best high-stakes players in the world and after deep runs in both the WSOP Main Event and $10,000 Heads Up Championship, the colorful Carrel will look to add even more color to his wardrobe this fall.
In the high-stakes world, there may not be a more complete player than Ben Lamb. The Las Vegas professional is a staple in *Sin City’s biggest cash games and after making his second-career WSOP Main Event final table, Lamb has confirmed that he is one of the best poker players in the world. The former WSOP Player of the Year’s result in the Main Event is still up in the air but with a seven-figure score locked up, Lamb would enter Poker Masters with tons of momentum.
Speaking of momentum, enter stage left, Patrick Leonard. The online legend has only recorded three cashes this summer but they have all been massive. Leonard won two ARIA High Rollers in the span of a few days to open July, good for $403,000 and $386,000 results, and just won the $10,000 Bellagio Cup XIII Championship for another $475,000 score. Leonard is another player that has never played in the Super High Roller Bowl but if he elects to participate in Poker Masters, his High Roller run could continue in a big way.
While he has cooled off over the last two weeks, Adrian Mateos may have been the hottest player on the planet at the start of the summer. The 22-year-old won the $50,000 High Roller at the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo series in May and then cashed in two ARIA High Rollers before winning his third-career WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 Heads Up Championship. Most of the Mateos’ damage is done internationally but if he makes the trip to the US for Poker Masters, Sergio Garcia won’t be the only Spaniard to win a jacket in 2017.
This one is more wishful thinking than prediction. Kevin Hart stole the show, literally, during the Super High Roller Bowl, knocking out Phil Hellmuth and Fedor Holz before bowing out before the money. The world-renowned actor and comedian only comes out for the biggest events in poker and with a $300,000 price point across five events, Poker Masters definitely fits that billing.