The $25,500 Super High Roller, the highest buy-in event of the partypoker MILLIONS taking place this week at Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn, began today with 23 total entries. While the likes of timely starters Sam Grafton, Christoph Vogelsang, Ben Heath, and Alex Foxen had to chat in the wings for a while before the first table’s cards went airborne, the day was not short of action thereafter.
Seven-handed, the initial line-up made Leon Tsoukernik an offer that should he sit down, they would not be “boring” – all of them agreed to straddle for the first level. This was one of many decisions made en masse by the Super High Rollers, the last of which was quite a hefty alteration to the planned schedule – Day 1 would end at Level 8 and the ten survivors would return to two more levels of late registration. And so it was, and so it shall be.
Play ended with Luke Reeves comfortably in the chip lead. His 5,160,000 chips represent almost twice the closest stack to his – that of Preben Stokkan (2,685,000.) Reeves’ big pairs won him big pots: he cracked aces with queens (eliminating Kahle Burns in the process) and then held up when his own aces found the kings of Michael Zhang behind him. That late-stage pot busted Zhang; likewise Tsoukernik, who drove the early action with a bravura display of preflop aggression – definitely eye-opening for anyone watching the live stream – ran out of chips once too many for today but both have the option to re-enter on Day 2, should Day 1a of the $10,300 Main Event not appeal.
Stokkan is not the only chip multi-millionaire. Kristen Bicknell takes 2,455,000 chips into Day 2, Mikita Badziakouski 2,250,000, Alex Foxen 2,240.000, and Igor Kurganov 2,380,000. There is only one player who can really be said to be returning short-stacked: Vogelsang, whose 290,000 chips are unlikely to remain neatly stacked for too long after play recommences at 1 p.m. local time. Live streaming (cards up) from the Feature Table will begin around 4pm local time.