Since ARIA sold out the 35 open seats in a single day, the remaining seats, reserved by ARIA, have become a hot topic of conversation.
After ARIA filled the open seats with a live lottery, predictions were made on who would obtain the highly coveted invitational seats. Those predictions intensified last week, when ARIA announced the expansion of the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl. 56 players will now compete in the world's biggest event. A week after announcing that expansion, ARIA is ready to announce who will be filling their reserved seats.
The following 20 players will be competing in the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl. The remaining mystery spot, reserved for a celebrity guest, will be announced at the beginning of next month.
Bill Klein – A retired businessman from California, Bill Klein, pictured below, made waves in 2015 when he finished runner-up to Jonathan Duhamel in the WSOP’s $111,111 High Roller for One Drop. Klein won just shy of $2,500,000 and then made even bigger waves, as he donated the entire payout to charity. After not playing in last year’s Super High Roller Bowl, Klein will return in 2017.
Bill Perkins – The man that is changing the Twitch game one stream at a time is also one of the first non-professional players to dive head first into the High Roller world. The hedge fund manager has made a name for himself in the poker world as one of the community’s biggest prop betters, but his poker resume is nothing to scoff at either. He recorded a nearly $2,000,000 score for a podium finish in the $111,1111 One Drop High Roller at the 2013 WSOP and Perkins will have another shot at a massive result this summer.
Bobby Baldwin – While this list of players is mostly segregated between professionals and non-pros, Bobby Baldwin satisfies both requirements. “The Owl” is a four-time WSOP bracelet winner, who is best known for winning the 1978 WSOP Main Event. For the last few decades though, Baldwin has spent his time becoming one of the most influential and successful casino executives in Las Vegas. Baldwin will be making another return to the high stakes arena, after participating in both the 2015 and 2016 versions of the Super High Roller Bowl.
Cary Katz – As one of only two players that ever cashed the $1 million buy-in The Big One for One Drop twice, Cary Katz is one of the more respected non-professionals that competes at the High Roller level. This was evident last year, as Katz amassed 15 cashes for over $3,000,000 in ARIA High Roller earnings to be the most successful player through that series in 2016. Katz then opened the year with another ARIA win, meaning he’s hoping to keep his recent run going until this summer’s Super High Roller Bowl.
Daniel Colman – Fresh off his HK$250,000 Triton Super High Roller Series victory, Daniel Colman will have another attempt to reach the top of the poker world this summer. Colman did just that in 2014, when he won the $1,000,000 The Big one for One Drop for $15,300,000. Since, Colman has pushed himself into the top-four on poker’s all-time money list and has solidified himself as one of the best No Limit tournament players on the planet.
Dan Shak – Much like the previously mentioned Perkins, Dan Shak was one of the first semi-professional players to compete at the highest level. Shak was also one of the first to do so at that level, as he’s finished as the runner-up twice in $100,000 buy-in Super High Rollers at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He’s also won a $100,000 buy-in event in Australia and is coming off a cash in last year’s Super High Roller Bowl. Only one player has been able to cash twice, Erik Seidel, but Shak will try to change that this year.
Dan Smith – Last year, Dan Smith, pictured below, might have bubbled the Super High Roller Bowl but he then went on to notch podium finishes in some of the summer’s biggest WSOP events. Smith finished 3rd in a $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha event and then scored another bronze medal in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop. Smith then ended 2016 by raising $1,700,000 for charity and opened this year with an ARIA High Roller win. Smith will return to the Super High Roller Bowl this summer.
Daniel Negreanu – While he has been unable to find his way into the money during the last two Super High Roller Bowls, Daniel Negreanu is one of poker’s biggest names and best players. “Kid Poker” has had success across the globe and with $32,000,000 in career earnings, is poker’s leading money earner. Throw in six WSOP bracelets, two WPT titles and one of the largest fan bases the game has ever seen and the Poker Central Ambassador will be a player to watch as he goes for his first career Super High Roller Bowl cash.
Dan Perper - With results from tournaments of varying buy-ins, from $500 events to $100,000 buy-in events, Dan Perper has had success at nearly every level of tournament poker. His biggest scores have come in Super High Rollers though, after Perper finished 4th in a $100,000 event in 2012 and then 5th in the 2015 version of the $111,111 buy-in One Drop High Roller at the WSOP. While he may not get the time to play as much poker as he'd like, the investment firm partner clearly makes his High Roller action count and will look to do the same this summer.
Giuseppe Iadisernia – Not much is known about Venezuela’s Giuseppe Iadisernia. The Italian-born business man has only one career tournament score, from the 2011 WSOP Main Event, but a quick Google search shows that he’s been involved in the horse racing and training business for the better part of the last decade. Needless to say, Iadisernia may be the dark horse of this year’s Super High Roller Bowl.
Jason Koon – Each year, there are plenty of High Roller tournaments but there are only select events that get Super High Roller billing. Jason Koon opened the year with a victory in the first ever PokerStars Championship Bahamas $100,000 Super High Roller. That win was good for a $1,600,000 score and it came just a few months after Koon recorded another seven-figure results at the SHRPO Championship. One of poker’s hottest players will not be missing out on poker’s biggest event.
Jason Mercier – Both the reigning GPI Player of the Year, David Peters, and the reigning WSOP Player of the Year, Jason Mercier, will be back in 2017. Mercier had potentially the best summer in recent memory last year, when he won two WSOP bracelets and made four final tables. Outside of his WSOP success, Mercier has crushed High Rollers around the world and he’ll hope to record his first Super High Roller Bowl score this summer.
John Morgan – Non-professionals have fared well in ARIA High Roller events throughout the last few years and businessman John Morgan was one of the first do so. A victory in a 2015 High Roller announced Morgan to the High Roller world and ever since, Morgan has proven his worth at every level of the poker hierarchy. The Minnesota native has over 125 career tournament results, including nearly 20 outright wins. While the Super High Roller Bowl may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play at the highest level for some players, it’s probably just another weekend for the fearless Morgan. An experienced regular in some of Las Vegas’ biggest cash games and tournaments, Morgan will be returning to the Super High Roller Bowl in 2017.
Justin Bonomo – Thanks to a stellar summer, that saw him record two runner-up finishes and two 3rd place results at the WSOP, 2016 was Justin Bonomo’s best year as a professional. That’s tough to do after such a storied career. Then after a storied summer, Bonomo kept the run up with a final table appearance at the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic and another runner-up finish in an ARIA $100K Super High Roller. All told, Bonomo made over $3,000,000 last year and after two more podium finishes to start the 2017 ARIA High Roller calendar, he might already be on his way to another banner year.
Lauren Roberts – Financier Lauren Roberts, pictured below, burst onto the tournament scene last year when she finished 7th in the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic. Since then, Roberts has become even more passionate about the game and has been climbing both the cash game and tournament stakes. For any player, professional or not, the Super High Roller Bowl is the highest rung of the ladder and Roberts, as the lone female in the field, will go for Super High Roller Bowl history this summer.
Leon Tsoukernik– The Czech Republic’s Leon Tsoukernik showed the world his abilities extended far past the day-to-day operations of running a casino last year when he won the EPT Prague Super High Roller for nearly $800,000. The King’s Casino owner will now try to take down an even bigger event.
Phil Hellmuth – With a record 14 World Series of Poker bracelets, Phil Hellmuth needs no introduction. “The Poker Brat” has over $20,000,000 in career earnings and his second biggest career score came in last year’s Super High Roller Bowl. A 4th place finish that was highlighted with great table talk and even better play is going to be hard to improve upon in 2017 but no one would bet against the world’s greatest poker player.
Talal Shakerchi – A majority of the non-professionals in this year’s Super High Roller Bowl hail from the United States but English hedge fund manager Talal Shakerchi has been a regular in the High Roller arena for the last few years. Like his non-pro peers, Shakerchi has amassed a couple million in career live tournament earnings but, unlike them, he may be best known for his online poker prowess. Last year, Shakerchi beat Super High Roller Bowl rookie Sean Winter heads up for the PokerStars SCOOP $10,000 Main Event title and a $1,500,000 score.
Tony Guoga – His last live tournament result may have come in the spring of 2013 but during the Poker Boom, Tony Guoga, famously known as “Tony G”, was one of poker’s most exciting and entertaining players. He was also successful, collecting victories from seemingly every corner of Europe and amassing nearly $5,000,000 in earnings. After transitioning from poker professional into a position in the European Parliament representing his native Lithuania, “Tony G” will make his long anticipated poker return this summer.
Zach Hyman – California businessman Zach Hyman has been a mainstay on the poker circuit for the better part of the last decade. He recorded his first victory, good for a $730,000 score, in 2007 and ever since, has recorded scores in some of the country’s biggest events. He’s recently made the jump to High Rollers, including some success in ARIA events over the past two years. This summer’s Super High Roller Bowl will his biggest tournament to date but with one of the most impressive non-pro resumes in the field, that won’t bother Hyman.
It should be noted that there is currently a 15 player wait list for the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl. If a seat were to open up ARIA will have final say on the replacement player. The final seat, which is to be filled by a celebrity guest, will be announced at the start of next month. Until then, follow Poker Central on Twitter for exclusive Super High Roller Bowl content in the build-up to the year's biggest event.