Poker Central, in conjunction with Poker Productions and Aria Resort & Casino, have announced an expansion for the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl. Instead of the field being capped at the previously stated 50 players, six extra spots have been added for the May 28th $300,000 buy-in, rake-free tournament.
Ramifications of Expansion
By adding six seats, the prize pool will grow from $15 million to $16.8 million, while the eventual winner will take home $6 million, a million more than last year’s champ. It will also allow tournament officials to balance tables from the get-go, offering eight seven-handed final tables.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after a live lottery awarded 35 open seats to 54 players who wanted them. Among those fortunate enough to secure a seat were Poker Hall of Famers Jon Juanda and Erik Seidel, as well as David Peters, Fedor Holz, and Antonio Esfandiari.
The two past winners of the event also locked up a seat. Brian Rast won $8 million in the inaugural event in 2015, which boasted a $500,000 price tag. A year later, the buy-in was lowered to $300,000 and it was Rainer Kempe who walked away with $5 million.
Aria’s Director of Poker Operations Sean McCormack revealed that the expanded 56-player cap will apply for future editions of the Super High Roller Bowl, which is currently in its third year.
Who’s Waiting to Get In?
In the aforementioned lottery, 19 players were left out in the cold. That included megastars the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Dan Colman, and Justin Bonomo. Fortunately, those players, as well as others who have yet to express interest, such as Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey, have better odds of getting in now, thanks to the expansion.
The six extra seats will be awarded at Aria’s discretion.
That is in addition to the 15 seats they already had in reserve, one of which is set aside for an as-yet-unnamed celebrity guest. Those seats, which still require recipients to put up the $300,000 buy-in, won’t officially be awarded until later this month, but there are a number of players considered favorites to get one.
Negreanu, who sits atop poker’s all-time money list, tweeted that he is confident Aria will grant him a seat. Given his close association with Poker Central, he would seem a shoo-in. Likewise, the roster of the casino’s poker ambassadors, which includes Hellmuth, Ben Lamb, and Jean-Robert Bellande, could very well receive preferential treatment.
Others who’ve expressed interest in playing, but have yet to secure a seat, are Dan Shak, Dan Smith, and Nick Petrangelo. Last year, Smith bubbled the Super High Roller Bowl in ninth place, while Shak finished one spot better for $600,000. Meanwhile, Petrangelo is coming off a win in the 2017 Aussie Millions $100K Challenge for $666,113. Only time will tell if they get in.
The 2017 Super High Roller Bowl will take place at Aria May 28-31.