Stop licking those envelopes. Christmas can wait. Put down that cheap wine. Listen up. It’s time to find out what the high stakes poker players have been up to this week.
It’s time for The Pinnacle.
We begin with a new record.
partypoker successfully breached the $20m guarantee slapped onto the wrapping paper covering the $5,300 buy-in MILLIONS Online event. All told, 4,367 entrants created a total prize pool of $21,835,000, and leading the pack going into Day 2 is the high roller and partypoker ambassador, Philipp Gruissem with 26,865,379 chips.
Gruissem has earned more than $3.6m playing online multi-table tournaments (MTTs), so expect him to run deep, if not win the thing. If he does, it will rank as his Jolly Green Giant of wins as the first prize is $2.5m and not even the man with the best tash in the business has won money like that before.
Here are the other high rollers who have made it through to Day 2 (that I know of).
68th: Fedor Holz, Team partypoker: 11,946,929
305th: Sam Trickett, Team partypoker: 5,576,388
505th: Dzmitry Urbanovich, Team partypoker: 2,432,447
270th: Viktor “Isildur1” Blom: 6,303,392
285th: Chance “ChanceSeeYou” Kornuth: 6,006,067
425th: Talal “raidalot” Shakerchi: 3,600,564
You see the name of Sam Trickett in 305th place, well the lad from the UK has had a good week. Trickett and Dusk till Dawn (DTD) owner, Rob Yong, both pulled $300k+ off the $100/$200 and $200/$400 Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) tables at partypoker this week. At his peak, Matt “SwordfishAA” Kirk sat with more than $600k in front of him.
They may have begun with the goal to become the End Boss of live tournaments, but they are also demonstrating the power to go head-to-head with PokerStars in the online realm.
Super High Roller Bowl Ruling; Brian Rast Musing
From what is now the Whole Foods Green Nutty Buddy of an online poker tournament to it’s equivalent in the live realm. I am, of course, talking about the Super High Roller Bowl V (SHRB).
Poker Central scheduled the event for May 2019. Then they pulled it back to December 2018, told people to pay a $30,000 deposit by Nov 26, and promised to select the first draft of players via a live lottery on PokerGO on Nov 27.
Well, it’s 4 Dec.
2017 Poker Master, Steffen Sontheimer, had to ask Twitter if Poker Central had postponed said lottery. ARIA Tournament Director, Paul Campbell, confirmed the rumours were true. The deposit deadline had moved to Dec 3, and the lottery would take place on Dec 4.
I reached out to three players who will be in that live lottery, including Sontheimer, and they all confirmed that nobody from ARIA or Poker Central served notice.
Bad form for a $300,000 buy-in event if you ask me.
The first-ever SHRB took place in 2015. Back then the price point was $500,000, and Brian Rast beat 43-entrants to win the $7,525,000 first prize, and Brian has been battering Twitter this week.
Rast showed that he’s not a fan of nationalism, reposting a blog post he wrote in 2016 entitled Citizen of Earth.
Here are some pieces of gold from that one.
Nationalism has become an intellectual poison, a virus.
The more I age, grow, and travel, the more that this is clear to me: Despite what my passport says, I am not fundamentally an American, but a citizen of the pale blue dot that is Earth.
But in poker, I’ve learned that I am not defined by what I’ve done. Every day that I go play, I forget what I’ve accomplished because that only exists to serve my ego. And serving my ego, while perhaps emotionally satisfying, is but a crutch and will only hold me back. I’m only as good as the next hand that I play. And the same is true of just about everything else you do in life.
The post also included this peach of a video from Carl Sagan.
Check it out.
Birthdays, Books and the Bathroom Bet
It was an excellent week for the three-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Eli Elezra. Not only did he celebrate his birthday, but his autobiography: Pulling The Trigger, finally shipped to the printers and will be on sale January 2019.
You can buy a copy on presale here:
Elezra wasn’t the only high stakes poker player enjoying a birthday this week. The former One Drop winner, Antonio Esfandiari, turned 40 and celebrated in his usual imitable style throughout the Las Vegas Strip.
Remember the time that Esfandiari pissed in a bottle underneath a poker table at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), so he could win a bet with Bill Perkins?
Well, this week we learned of an even more insane bet.
High stakes live cash game grinder, Rich Alati, stands to win. $100,000 if he can live in a bathroom for 30-days.
I nearly forgot.
The bathroom will be sealed shut.
There is no light.
No personal possessions except a yoga mat.
No contact with people.
Fellow high stakes live cash grinder, Rory Young, is the man likely to win the $100,000 even money bet.
Doyle, Dan, David and Dandelion Tea
David Peters continued his pursuit of Alex Foxen in the race for the Global Poker Index (GPI), Player of the Year, after defending his $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em crown at the Seminole Hard Rock Rock ‘n’ Roll Open.
Peters topped a field of 95-entrants to win the top prize of $143,159, 12-months after conquering a field of 61-entrants to bank the $104,309 first prize.
Peters later told the press that he wore the same sweatshirt during both tournaments. Maybe poker isn’t bringing in enough bacon to pay the bills? If so, then I have just the job for him.
Hey! I am looking for an experienced star-quality chef with a great mindset to work within my home and with my team!
Extensive cooking experience and location Vienna required. Outlook: Running a low-key 1*-Restaurant in our space. Health & performance will be central.
— Fedor Holz (@CrownUpGuy) November 27, 2018
Last year, Fedor Holz kindly contributed $250,000 to Dan Smith’s fourth Charity Drive, and this week, the man in the ten-gallon hat released details of his fifth Charity Drive where he will match any donations to the tune of $1.4m. Once again, effective altruism is at the heart of his decisions.
Learn more here.
And nobody wears a ten-gallon hat better than the next man.
Doyle Brunson believes that the host of the Waking Up Podcast, Sam Harris, is an idiot after Gus Hansen tweeted that the famous atheist suggested you could walk him blindfold into a library and he would pick out a book with more wisdom on how to live your life than the bible.
And I bet that’s precisely how Brunson felt when in the days before giant corporations turned a stretch of the Las Vegas desert into The Strip, he turned down the opportunity to buy a prime piece of land for $60,000 because he lost a big bet on the Dallas Cowboys.
And that is this week’s Pinnacle.