Drew Amato has been covering the World Series of Poker since 2014. This year he’s covered the U.S. Poker Open and Super High Roller Bowl for Poker Central. Twice per week, Amato will share his favorite images from the World Series of Poker, starting today with a look back at the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl. Enjoy this recurring piece as, own words, Amato describes the biggest moments in the game.
Since covering my first World Series of Poker back in 2014, the game, the stories and its people have fascinated me. This year, I had the opportunity to shoot the Super High Roller Bowl for the first time. The PokerGO Studio provided the perfect setting for dramatic poker action, and for me to capture some great moments on camera.
Below you’ll find my favorite shots from the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl, and going forward you’ll be able to see my favorite shots from the World Series of Poker twice weekly, exclusively on Poker Central.
The voices of the Super High Roller Bowl: Nick Schulman and Ali Nejad. If you’ve watched even just a minute of the PokerGO stream it should come as no surprise that Ali and Nick received a lot of praise. This iconic duo brings high-end analysis as well as a healthy dose of comedic relief and banter to keep fans engaged for the duration of every event that they commentate on.
The tools of the trade: Cards and chips. The PokerGO Studio provides a world-class setting for poker’s elite to compete, but it’s the players, their cards, and chips that ultimately decide the outcome of the event. The ARIA Resort & Casino provides the highest quality tools for the players for an intimate tournament experience for all involved.
Drama: Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk squaring off at the feature table. When it was announced that Polk and Negreanu were sitting side-by-side on Day 1 of the Super High Roller Bowl, the anticipation of poker fans around the world skyrocketed. While Polk grabbing headlines with his “More Rake is Better” t-shirt, Negreanu had the last laugh. Polk was eliminated early on Day 1 while Negreanu collected $3,000,000 for finishing in second place.
The G.O.A.T. No player in the history of poker has the draw that Phil Ivey does. The iconic Poker Hall of Fame member played in his first Super High Roller Bowl since its inaugural event in 2015, much to the delight of poker fans around the world. While Ivey failed to cash, he hinted at playing a full schedule at the World Series of Poker. It’s good to have you back, Phil.
Past and present: Justin Bonomo doubles through Christoph Vogelsang. Bonomo’s 2018 success is nothing short of mind-blowing. Playing his best poker combined with variance being on his side, he doubled up on the bubble of the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl through the defending champ. An ace on the river saved Bonomo’s tournament versus Vogelsang’s kings and the rest is history.
Five million reasons to focus: Justin Bonomo heads up for all the money and the custom-made Super High Roller Bowl Championship ring versus Daniel Negreanu. Bonomo started the heads-up battle with a big lead over Negreanu after knocking out Jason Koon in dramatic fashion when both players made two pairs in an enormous dictated the outcome of the event.
Accepting defeat: Daniel Negreanu finishes second for $3,000,000. Quite possibly the biggest name in poker, Daniel Negreanu, has managed to stay on top of the game for more than two decades. Outspoken about the work he had put in to stay on top, it should come as no surprise to see him with another phenomenal performance amidst the game’s elite.
The spoils of being the champion: Justin Bonomo after closing it out. Proudly sporting the championship ring, a pile of cash, and an exclusive crystal bottle of 130-year old Hennesey, Justin Bonomo has it all. Over the last six months, Bonomo has now won nearly $15 million in live tournaments to put him in third place on the game’s all-time money list.
Motherly love: Justin Bonomo hugs his mother after winning the biggest event of his career. Bonomo said, “Where’s my mom?!” moments after winning, and the two greeted each other with a warm embrace. Bonomo later dedicated this win to his mom, who’s supported him every step of the way.
Follow Drew Amato on Instagram. Relive the Super High Roller Bowl final table on PokerGO right now. Watch the final table by clicking this link. The 2018 World Series of Poker streams live on PokerGO now. Don’t miss a minute of the action by subscribing to PokerGO. The PokerGO WSOP Sweepstakes is still open! Sign up now for a chance to win your way into the 2018 WSOP Main Event and $1,500 towards your travel. Follow Poker Central on Twitter to stay up to date with all the latest from the world of poker.