In its short existence, the SHRB has already established itself as one of the most prestigious tournaments in poker and one of the most talked-about events on the poker schedule — before, during, and after.
There’s hype leading up to the tournament, with speculation about who’s playing and who will win; there’s a lot of real-time coverage; and it’s a professionally produced event, which means you can tune in and watch the edited episodes produced for TV.
“The Super High Roller Bowl is the world championship of high stakes poker,” said Poker Central President Joe Kakaty in the press release. “Fans can now follow the action live, from start to finish.”
Added Aria Director of Poker Operations Sean McCormack:
“Last year’s Super High Roller Bowl sold out in two weeks, well in advance of tournament play. It was an exciting event for the players and fans who stopped by to watch and we anticipate another successful High Roller Bowl again this year.”
A look at the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl
The SHRB tournament will once again take place at Aria in Las Vegas. As was the case in 2016, it will overlap the start of the World Series of Poker, running from May 28-31 (more on the 2017 WSOP schedule here).
The tournament doesn’t have a guarantee. But based on previous incarnations, it’s likely it will reach the 50-player cap, which will create a total prize pool of $15 million, with $5 million set aside for the winner.
For the second year, the buy-in for the tournament is set at $300,000 (the buy-in was an even heftier $500,000 in 2015), and the event will not be raked; each player’s entire $300,000 buy-in will go directly to the prize pool.
As noted, there will be a hard cap of 50 players (up from 49 last year) with 15 of the spots reserved for non-professionals who will be selected from Aria’s large pool of high rollers. Seats are first-come, first-serve, and players can reserve a spot in the tournament with a $30,000 deposit.
A look back at the 2015 Super High Roller Bowl
As noted above, the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl featured a $500,000 buy-in. Considering the steep buy-in and the nascency of the event, organizers were pretty much over the moon when 43 players registered.
Brian Rast, a three-time WSOP bracelet winner and a familiar name to poker fans, won the tournament, the title of SHRB Champion, and more than $7.5 million in prize money.
In addition to Rast, the seven players who made money in the tournament were a veritable who’s who of poker high rollers:
- Brian Rast – $7,525,000
- Scott Seiver – $5,160,000
- Connor Drinan – $3,225,000
- Timofey Kuznetsov – $2,150,000
- David Peters – $1,505,000
- Tom Marchese – $1,075,000
- Erik Seidel – $860,000
A look back at the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl
With a reduced buy-in, $300,000 added to the prize pool, and 14 seats set aside for non-professional players, the 2016 SHRB had no problem hitting its player cap of 49.
As was the case in 2015, the final table of the 2016 Super High Roller Bowl read like a Player of the Year race for high-roller events:
- Rainer Kempe – $5,000,000
- Fedor Holz – $3,500,000
- Erik Seidel – $2,400,000
- Phil Hellmuth – $1,600,000
- Matt Berkey – $1,100,000
- Bryn Kenney – $800,000
- Dan Shak – $600,000
The Super High Roller Bowl is one of the few poker initiatives launched in recent years that has not only lived up to the hype, but exceeded it.
I expect the 2017 event to continue building on the foundation established in 2015 and 2016 and further cement the SHRB as one of the most prestigious tournaments in poker.