After a second straight year of overwhelming interest, 61 players entered the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl Lottery. Of those players, 30 locked up a seat in the year’s most exclusive event. Over the last month, Poker Central has introduced those players, but ARIA’s Super High Roller Bowl VIP selections also need to be introduced. Follow along as Poker Central runs down the rest of the field, from legends of the game to High Roller regulars, successful non-professionals, and more.
Since final tabling the first Super High Roller Bowl, Tom “Big Cheese” Marchese has churned out big ARIA High Roller results at an alarming rate. Marchese has 21 ARIA High Roller cashes since his 2015 6th place finish, with six of those runs ending in the winner’s circle. While 2017 was the first year Marchese didn’t eclipse seven-figures in live tournament earnings since 2013, his nine ARIA victories and 27 cashes put The King of Cards near the top of both ARIA all-time leaderboards. With one Super High Roller Bowl cash on his resume, Marchese enters 2018 as one of eleven players that have a chance to match Erik Seidel, who is currently the only player in history with two Super High Roller Bowl in the money finishes.
Despite bubbling the second Super High Roller Bowl, Dan Smith’s 2016 was still the best year of his professional career. Smith amassed over $5 million in tournament earnings through 2016, thanks podium finishes in both the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller and the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop at the WSOP. Smith kept his momentum into 2017, picking up four ARIA High Roller Series victories and a massive score at the end of the year in a $100,000 Super High Roller at Bellagio. In total, Smith has cashed for just shy of $10 million over the past two years and a result in the Super High Roller Bowl could push Smith into the top-ten of poker’s all-time money list.
From one bubble boy to another, Jason Koon returns to the Super High Roller Bowl after notching an 8th place finish in 2017. While Koon did receive a $60,000 rebate on his buy-in for that final table appearance, the High Roller extraordinaire more or less left empty handed. Koon has been anything but since diving headfirst into the High Roller arena in 2016 though, as he’s amassed nearly $10 million in live earnings over the last two and a half years. His biggest score came in one of 2017’s biggest events, when Koon took down the $100K Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for over $1.6 million. Since then, Koon has over a half dozen over $300,000 scores and he will be a player to watch this year when he returns to the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl.