The countdown to the year’s biggest event has begun and over the next 25 days, Poker Central will introduce the entire 2017 Super High Roller Bowl field. From the world’s best high-stakes players, to online crushers and successful businessmen, poker’s most exclusive event has it all. Follow Poker Central’s “25 Days of SHRBowl” to know who will be competing when cards get in the air on May 28th.
With a $300,000 price point, the Super High Roller Bowl is the biggest tournament of the year and over the last few years, only a few events have boasted bigger buy-ins. The $1,000,000 The Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker is one of those events and while most of the Super High Roller Bowl field know what it feels like to take down a big tournament, Antonio Esfandiari and Daniel Colman are the only players that have ever taken down The Big One.
The first $1,000,000 buy-in The Big One for One Drop rolled out the blue carpet in 2012 and 48 players put up seven-figures for a chance at poker immorality. The field was stacked with legends and while some of those legendary names and personalities made the final table, including Mike Sexton and Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari worked his magic to defeat Sam Trickett heads up for the title.
The win earned Esfandiari $18,300,000, the biggest individual tournament score in poker history, and cemented his place as one of the all-time best. Esfandiari may be known for that one result but even without his The Big One victory, Esfandiari has put together a Hall of Fame resume that includes multiple major tournament victories, over $27 million in career earnings and a following that has made him one of the game’s biggest personalities for over a decade.
Esfandiari won his first WSOP bracelet in 2004, in a $2,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event, but his first major victory came earlier that year. “The Magician” won the 2004 WPT LA Poker Classic Main Event for $1,400,000 and at the end of the decade, claimed his second World Poker Tour title in the 2010 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Championship Main Event for an additional $870,000 score.
Outside of those huge victories, Esfandiari has consistently churned out six-figure results for the last dozen years, well before Daniel Colman, pictured above, had even announced himself to the poker world. That was in 2014, when Colman won the €100,000 Super High Roller at the EPT 10 Grand Final for $2,212,000 but two months later, he would take down an even bigger event.
Colman navigated the 42-player $1,000,000 The Big One for One Drop field to make the final table, which included Super High Roller Bowl participants Cary Katz, Scott Seiver and Christoph Vogelsang. Colman then dispatched Daniel Negreanu heads up, to win The Big One title and $15,300,000.
Much like Esfandiari, Colman has plenty to surround his The Big One victory, with most of those results coming in quick succession after that massive result. At the end of the 2014 summer, Colman finished 2nd in the €50,000 Super High Roller at EPT 11 Barcelona and then won the $5,000 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event, for $1,446,000.
Colman then added another victory before the year was over, in a €60,000 WPT Alpha8 event in London before returning to the World Series to nearly win another One Drop event, finishing 3rd in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop in 2015, for $1,544,000.
Through the first half of 2017, Colman has High Roller scores from around the globe, including a Triton Super High Roller Series win from February and an ARIA High Roller victory from March. Those results have pushed Colman’s career earnings over $28 million, which is good for 3rd on the all-time money list.
As the youngest player, excluding the retired Fedor Holz, in that all-time top-ten, few would be surprised to see Colman finish his career atop those rankings. Don’t count Esfandiari out either though, as he currently sits 4th on the all-time money list and is anything but old.
A big score or run of results for either player could drastically shake the top of that all-time list and as the only two professionals with wins in The Big One, this week’s Super High Roller Bowl could be another opportunity for Esfandiari and Colman to sit atop the poker world.