Super High Roller Bowl Lineup Nears Completion

About a month ago, 30 players were selected for the upcoming Super High Roller Bowl (SHRB) via a live lottery process. That left 18 spots open for the $300,000 buy-in event. On Wednesday, Poker Central, the organizer of the Super High Roller Bowl, announced 15 more names (plus one, actually) for the tournament’s field.

A total of 61 players pre-registered for the SHRB, so it was essentially a coinflip for each to get into the field via last month’s lottery. To review, here were the 30 lucky players that were chosen, in order of their selection:

Andrew Robl
Adrian Mateos
Daniel Negreanu
Igor Kurganov
Sergio Aido
Markus Dürnegger
Koray Aldemir
Stephen Chidwick
Keith Tilston
Ben Tollerene
Andreas Eiler
Andrew Lichtenberger
Talal Shakerchi
David Peters
Brian Rast
Christoph Vogelsang
Christian Christner
Kathy Lehne
Erik Seidel
John Andress
Cary Katz
Isaac Haxton
Nick Petrangelo
Byron Kaverman
Nikita Bodyakovskiy
Justin Bonomo
Phil Hellmuth
Arne Ruge
Kahle Burns
Dan Shak

There were noticeable omissions from that list, but that is to be expected when it is the luck of the draw. Two of the three winners of previous Super High Roller Bowls (Brian Rast and Christoph Vogelsang) made it, but Rainer Kempe did not. Nor did Jake Schindler and Fedor Holz, who were past runners-up in the event. Other notables who missed the cut were 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Joe McKeehen, Doug Polk, and Dominik Nitsche.

2016 SHRB Champion Rainer Kempe

With 18 spots left, it was up to ARIA, the host venue, to extend invitations to 16 more players. It has made its selections, so now Kempe, Schindler, Holz, and Polk are now all in the tournament. Nitsche and McKeehen are not, though. As mentioned earlier, ARIA only selected 15 players instead of 16, electing to have that 16th player decided by satellite.

Here are the 15 players to be chosen by ARIA:

Brandon Adams
Fedor Holz
Bill Perkins
Jake Schindler
Seth Davies
Antanas “Tony G” Guoga
Tom Marchese
Rainer Kempe
Antonio Esfandiari
Matt Hyman
Dan Smith
Dennis Blieden
Doug Polk
Bryn Kenney
Jason Koon
*Satellite Player

If you have been doing the math, you have figured out that 30 plus 16 equals 46, two shy of the 48 entrant cap. The final two spots will be awarded in a $10,000 satellite held at the ARIA on May 26th, the day before the Super High Roller Bowl begins.

If you are anything like me, you might think that limiting the field to 48 players when more than 60 want to play is rather dumb. I don’t think adding a baker’s dozen extra seats would be a tremendous hardship for ARIA. Perhaps it’s a way to artificially increase demand by making the tournament oh so exclusive?

The lottery was instituted last year, but boy, was it a mess. The original cap on registrations was 50 players. Of those 50, ARIA was able to choose 15 non-professionals to compete. When registration officially opened, 54 players wanted to sign up for the 35 open spots. Great! The Super High Roller Bowl is popular!

But tournament organizers felt that the first-come, first-served system was unfair and would leave people out in the cold just for potentially being in line a few minutes later than others, so they changed the rules and implemented the lottery.

Oh, maybe that’s why the lottery was decided upon: Poker Central could stream the spectacle and get more people to subscribe to its PokerGO service! That’s not a bad conspiracy theory.

Then…a week later, tournament organizers yet again regretted the way things were going, so they boosted the field from 50 to 56. 50 was a dumb number in the first place, as the SHRB was to have eight-handed tables. 56 was much better. Those six extra seats were allotted to the ARIA, which picked six pros, something that generated murmurs in the poker world that the SHRB and ARIA had an agreement that the ARIA would choose some pros who had registered, but had not been picked in the lottery.

After all was settled, Poker Central said that the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl would have 56 players, which it… doesn’t. At least 48 makes sense with eight-handed tables.

The Super High Roller Bowl will be streamed on Poker Central’s PokerGO subscription service. The NBC Sports Network will also broadcast episodes of the event.

The SHRB will run May 27th through May 30th. That timing is not coincidental, as it leads right into the World Series of Poker, which begins May 30th. The first open event is Event #2, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty, which will likely draw interest from many of the players in the Super High Roller Bowl.

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