PCA 2013: What exactly does it take to be a Super High Roller?

January 06, 2013

There are 27 players remaining on the second day of the Super High Roller, an event that costs $100,000 to play, or, if at first you don’t succeed, $200,000 after re-entering. Some of those players have since burned up on re-entry, while others have been eliminated in the usual way and must content themselves with an afternoon without poker in a luxury hotel on an Island called Paradise.

The players that have come and gone in this event are, as you’d expect, the absolute crème of this poker generation, and possibly the one before that, schooled in the fine arts of a game that rarely leaves room for those not up to scratch.

An example of the broader meta-game came yesterday as play started. Some players, with money burning holes in their pockets, held back from buying-in immediately, waiting instead for a spot to open that they (and in some cases their backers) wouldn’t mind taking. It was an unusual sight, harking back to instructions laid out in first edition poker manuals that suggested watching a game for a while before joining it, so as to gauge the competences of your opponents before jumping in.

It was hard to see what these players were looking for, given the gilt-edged nature of the field. Perhaps it was simply the seat nearest the bathroom or the drinks machine. Regardless, they waited.


Looking for the easy spot

Perhaps this was a clue as to their track records. Few leave any one asking how they could merit a spot in such a compelling event, with such esteemed company. Their resume’s sparkle with the trinkets of world poker, including 33 World Series bracelets, 16 World Poker Tour titles, 15 high roller winners, two European Poker Tour winners. And an Aussie Millions champ.

Aside from those, only three players have yet to capture a major poker title – Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Cary Katz and Gregory Jensen. They also happen to be the only players whose career earnings have a “K” at the end for thousands, rather than an “M” for millions.

The highest earner is of course Antonio Esfandiari of Big One, WPT and World Series success, with $23.7 million. Phil Ivey comes up next with $17.5 million, then Daniel Negreanu on $16.3 million. Add it all up and the last 27 players are good for $154,752,000. And change.

Actually we can now make that $160 million, with the prize pool now confirmed as $5,724,180. It means the final eight will finish in the money, with the winner receiving $2,003,480. A full list of the pay-outs is below:

1. $2,003,480
2. $1,259,320
3. $744,140
4. $543,800
5. $400,700
6. $286,200
7. $257,580
8. $228,960

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter


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