Top Moments From Aria Super High Roller Bowl

6 years ago
Top Moments From Aria Super High Roller Bowl
02 Sep

One of the most exciting poker tournaments ever is currently airing on NBC Sports Network. Of course, I’m talking about the $500,000 buy-in Aria Super High Roller Bowl presented by Poker Central. The event took place in early July, with 43 wealthy poker players taking their shot at a $7.5 million payday. Players such as Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, and Erik Seidel competed, along with successful businessmen such as Bill Klein (runner-up in the 2015 WSOP High Roller for One Drop event).

If you haven’t seen the first few episodes of the Super High Roller Bowl, I suggest checking out the television schedule to find out when you can get caught up. This is must-see television for poker players and fans. I had the pleasure of watching the event from the TV set and can assure you that it was one of the most entertaining poker tournaments ever. I don’t want to give away too much just in case you aren’t aware of the outcome of the tournament (Brian Rast won, sorry if I just played spoiler), but here are some unforgettable moments and controversial issues surrounding what will go down as one of the most epic live poker tournaments in history.

I Caused Brian Rast to Freak Out

Brian Rast won the inaugural Aria Super High Roller Bowl. He took home $7.5 million, which is especially impressive considering he only paid $25,000 to enter, having won a satellite. Rast’s run to the title wasn’t without a bit of controversy, nor was it a smooth ride to the title. He had to overcome a massive deficit to defeat Scott Seiver heads-up. Rast entered the final table as a big chip leader but, strangely enough, he played tight through the first level of play. This style of play likely surprised his final table mates.

When the final table went on its first break, Rast made a cell phone call to a friend to discuss his play and the strategy for the next level. What Rast didn’t know, at the time, was he was still mic’ed up and his entire conversation was overheard in the media room at Aria. Along with a few other media members, I heard every word he said, including how his reads on his opponents and how he planned to become more aggressive.

I sent a text message to a friend that knows Rast to inform him that us media folk could hear his conversation. My friend then informed Rast to shush so that none of his opponents would hear the conversation. This caused a bit of drama at the Aria. Rast then came into the media room looking for me, begging us to not make his conversation public. I can totally understand his concern, which is why we all agreed to keep it quiet out of respect for Brian Rast. However, word got around that Rast’s conversation was overheard, which led to the comical Erik Seidel, a final table opponent, to crack this hysterical joke on Twitter. Or was it a joke? Let’s hope…

Phil Ivey Finally Showed Up in Vegas

Arguably poker’s most popular player, Phil Ivey had better things to do this summer than compete in the World Series of Poker. Until late June, Ivey was a no-show at the Rio, but he did make it to the Aria for the Super High Roller Bowl thanks to the massive buy-in. Ivey was too busy playing bigger stakes cash games in Macau. Ivey didn’t make a deep run in the Super High Roller Bowl, but television viewers will get to enjoy watching him at the same table as the great Scott Seiver.

Erik Seidel Proves He Can Still Compete With the Youngsters

Remember when Erik Seidel was considered a top poker player? Of course you do because he still is. Seidel cashed, finishing 7th, and continued to show why he is one of the greatest high stakes poker players ever. Seidel wasn’t able to get anything going at the final table, but he still remains one of the smartest, toughest opponents in poker. While most consider the “young” players to be the best in the world right now, Seidel showed once again that the old-school can hang with the new-school.

You can catch the Aria Super High Roller Bowl on NBCSN this fall and then on Poker Central in syndication, produced by Mori Eskandani of POKER PRODUCTIONS.

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Jon Sofen is an experienced freelance writer residing in Las Vegas and also plays poker semi-professionally. He enjoys writing about poker nearly as much as he enjoys looking down at aces in the hole. Read more


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