2012 may turn out to be the first real year of the High Roller and Super High Roller poker tournaments. They were properly tested last year but this year looks to be when they are cemented into the poker world and 2013 should bring more of them.
The year has started off with the one of the best news and action results for the poker industry with Action Man Isildur1 (Viktor Blom) winning the 1st Super High Roller tournament of the year.
Isildur1 won the Bracelet for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Buyin Super High Roller this weekend, beating a field of 30 players with some who happily re entered when knocked out. Like you do at $100,000 a pop.
Viktor Blom won $1,254,400 as well as the pride and professional recognition of winning his first large poker tournament. And if you are going to win a tournament and your 1st big one – apart from a WSOP – there are few better to win than a Super High Roller tournament!
Viktor Blom’s win is perfect for the industry and poker news in general. The poker public want to see the big names winning things or someone like Isildur1. It makes the story sexy, exciting and newsworthy. If Daniel Negreanu or Jonathan Duhamel had won it then that would have been great but its the poker sensation that is Isildur1 that will drive forward the poker game and attract more younger players.
Another benefit of Isildur1′s monster win is that he is very likely to reinvest a lot of it back into the poker economy. You would not expect players such as Erik Seidel or Jonathan Duhamel to put much of their monster winnings back into the poker community but the Action Man will.
The new look and new poker tournament playing style of Isildur1 is hopefully the sign of good things to come for poker after the Annus horribilis of 2011.
Aussie Millions Super High Roller tournament
The next Super Higher Roller poker tournament coming up is the Aussie Millions. Last year it was famously won by Erik Seidel who went on his purple patch of a year. The tournament itself was hastily thrown together and even thought it was a massive AUD $250,000 Buyin (about the same in US $ at today’s conversion rates) it was a turbo event so a few Hong Kong or Macau business men could still play but catch their plane.
The fact that these business men were entering gave everyone enough of an edge to make it certainly worth their while to play, even though at $250,000 to enter you wouldn’t want it to be a Turbo!
Last year there were 20 runners in the Aussie Millions Super High Roller poker tournament and hopefully with a better structure and more notice there should be a lot more players.
Why more Super High Roller poker tournaments?
The reason is not just to do with the aftermath of Black Friday on the US High Stakes players – it is more to do with ROI on the High Rollers time. Phil Ivey and many others have said that it is just not worth their while to spend 3-5 days playing a tournament and winning a ‘small’ amount for them.
The poker superstars do struggle to get the motivation to spend all that time when they can win more playing a session online or at the Big Game. They even struggle to play some of the – to them – smaller tournaments such as EPT’s, WPT’s or WSOP’s unless they are the larger buyins or a massive prize pool is guaranteed.
One of the main reasons some of them play the WSOP events is of Bracelet bets and the recognition that they get which increases the chances of poker sponsorships.
The poker Super High Roller tournaments guarantees them huge prizepools of $1,000,000+ which is enough to get most people out of bed.
Another reason is that due to the small fields they do not take to long and the difference between getting in the money and not are huge. This means that although in theory a small ROI, in actual money the amount can be huge. For example in the PCA Super High Roller tournament that Isildur1 won, the difference between the bubble and ITM was $250,900 – a nice return of $150,900 if you only bought in once. The prize places were 1st $1,254,400 2nd $846,700 3rd $470,400 4th $313,600 and 5th $250,900.
Now that a lot of poker TV shows have been cancelled the poker Super High Roller tournaments offer a great opportunity to see all the famous high stakes players competing against each other without the common great unwashed getting in the way and knocking out the superstars – which few sponsors and railbirds want to see.
We should expect there to be more Super High Roller Tournaments this year and especially in the coming years. Including the biggest poker Super High Roller tournament of them all – the WSOP Big One For One Drop with its $1 million Buyin!