While big buy-in tournaments run in nearly every corner of the world, ARIA Resort & Casino has become High Roller HQ over the last few years. Since the inception of ARIA High Rollers in 2014, standalone events have turned into recurring series, which have created an arena for the world’s best to regularly compete for some of poker’s biggest prize pools.
Poker Masters, which will debut on PokerGO in September, is the product of that growth. Four years after the first-ever ARIA High Roller, the week-long high-stakes tournament series will be the first of its kind and award arguably poker’s most coveted prize, the Poker Masters Purple Jacket™.
Before we look ahead to the first Poker Masters event, beginning on September 13, let’s first look back on the four-year buildup to the high-stakes series…
The WPT500 debuted at ARIA in the summer of 2014 and while that tournament was the first of its kind, the first ARIA High Rollers debuted a few days later. Three $100,000 buy-in events, dubbed Super High Rollers, followed, along with smaller $50,000 buy-in tournaments to end the year.
Those events laid the groundwork for ARIA’s 2015 schedule, which included two dozen High Roller events spread throughout the year. That summer, ARIA was also the home of the first-ever Super High Roller Bowl and 43 players put down $500,000 to compete in the inaugural event. Poker Central Ambassador Brian Rast won, earning $7,525,000, and that event set the stage for a massive 2016 for ARIA High Rollers.
Last year, 38 big buy-in events ran, awarding an average prize pool of over $1 million. Cary Katz and Poker Central Ambassador Tom Marchese were some of the most successful players throughout the calendar year, as the pair combined for seven wins, over two dozen cashes and over $5 million in total winnings. The Super High Roller Bowl returned, with a $300,000 buy-in, for a second time, with Germany going 1-2 and Rainer Kempe claiming $5 million for his victory.
If last year was big, 2017 is even bigger at ARIA. Through the midway point of the year, over 30 events, with buy-ins ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, have turned the ARIA High Roller series into a must-play for the world’s best players. Brian Rast, Bryn Kenney, Fedor Holz, Dan Smith, Patrick Leonard and reigning GPI Player of the Year David Peters were just some of the high stakes crushers that have made their way to the winners circle, along with Christoph Vogelsang, who won the third Super High Roller Bowl earlier this summer on PokerGO.
Those players and more are likely to compete in September’s Poker Masters and with ARIA working with Poker Central and PokerGO to continue to expand their High Roller schedule, the best and biggest events will continue to come from High Roller HQ.