The 2019 High Roller scene began with a straight flush.
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in The Bahamas attracted top brass from every nation, in part due to the phenomenally successful PokerStars’ Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC), where Ramon Colillas topped a field of 1,039-entrants to win the $5.1m first prize in the largest $25,000 buy-in tournament ever created.
Sam Greenwood, Igor Kurganov, Rainer Kempe and Stephen Chidwick were in splendid form, and Jesus Cortes made his mark, cashing in several tournaments, and collecting more than a million in prize money.
Once the Bahamanian action ended, the high rollers headed to Melbourne, Australia to compete in the Aussie Millions AUD 25,000 No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha Events, AUD 50,000 No-Limit Hold’em and AUD 100,000 No-Limit Hold’em.
The undoubted star of the show has been Toby Lewis, collecting $1m+ from a runner-up finish in the AUD 25,000 event, and winning the AUD 50,000 event. Rainer Kempe continued his stunning form by winning the AD 25,000.
And that’s where most of them remain as we creep into February.
February High Stakes Action
Two high roller events remain on the Aussie Millions roster.
– AUD 100,000 Challenge
– AUD 25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha
To the best of my knowledge, it’s the first time the Aussie Millions has organised a Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) event at this steep price point. The Crown Casino has experienced somewhat of a renaissance in high roller fortunes this year, hence the risk. The AUD 25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha is a two-day event taking place Sunday 3 Feb and Monday 4 Feb.
The AUD 100,000 Challenge is also a two-day event taking place Friday 1 Feb and Saturday 2 Feb, and here are the previous winners of that event.
2006 – John Juanda AUD 1,000,000 (10-entrants)
2007 – Erick Lindgren AUD 1,000,000 (18-entrants)
2008 – Howard Lederer AUD 1,250,000 (25-entrants)
2009 – David Steicke AUD 1,200,000 (23-entrants)
2010 – Dan Shak AUD 1,200,000 (24-entrants)
2011 – Sam Trickett AUD 1,525,000 (38-entrants)
2012 – Dan Smith AUD 1,012,000 (22-entrants)
2013 – Andrew Robl AUD 1,000,000 (22-entrants)
2014 – Yevgeniy Timoshenko AUD 2,000,000 (47-entrants)*
2015 – Richard Yong AUD 1,870,000 (70-entrants)
2016 – Fabian Quoss AUD 1,446,480 (41-entrants)
2017 – Nick Petrangelo AUD 882,000 (18-entrants)
2018 – Michael Lim AUD 931,000 (19-entrants)
*Indicates the first year of re-entries.
Day 1 of the 2019 AUD 100,000 Challenge ended with 33-entrants taking the felt during the first day, and with registration open until the end of the first level of Day 2, it could grow considerably.
US Poker Open
After Melbourne, the place to be is in Las Vegas for the second-ever US Poker Open. The Poker Central event takes place at the PokerGO studios at the ARIA and here is the schedule.
Event #1: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em (13-14 Feb)
Event #2: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha (14-15 Feb)
Event #3: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em (15-16 Feb)
Event #4: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Short-Deck (16-17 Feb)
Event #5: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em (17-18 Feb)
Event #6: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha (18-19 Feb)
Event #7: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em (19-20 Feb)
Event #8: $25,000 Mixed Game (20-21 Feb)
Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em (21-22 Feb)
Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event (22-23 Feb)
The reigning champion is Stephen Chidwick, who earned $1,256,650 in the inaugural year after cashing in five events and winning a brace. This year Poker Central will award the winner with an additional $100,000. It’s the first of three High Roller Triple Crown events that Poker Central host every year – the other two being the Poker Masters and the Super High Roller Bowl.