Super High Roller Bowl VIII kicked off Thursday from the PokerGO Studio at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas. The $300,000 buy-in, no-limit hold’em event drew a field of twenty entrants across the first day of play.
The steep price of admission provided 300,000 chips to those willing to pony up, but with a somewhat uncommon, at least these days, caveat: one buy-in only, a freeze-out. The twenty entries generated a prize pool of $6,000,000, to be split amongst the top four finishers in the tournament. The eventual winner will take home $2,760,000, along with 550 PGT Points and the coveted Super High Roller Bowl ring.
Runner-up not enough for Petrangelo
Nick Petrangelo ended the day with the boss stack, bagging up nearly three starting stacks. Petrangelo finished runner-up in Super High Roller VII and now finds himself in a strong position to one up his last performance.
Petrangelo chipped up steadily throughout the day, showing no signs of fatigue despite coming off of a full slate of events in this years Poker Masters. Towards the end of play, he scored a rare double knockout, eliminating both Dan Smith and Bill Klein with a flopped flush. Petrangelo’s ten-deuce of clubs had Smith drawing dead on the flop and Klein looking to improve, but without many outs. The hand made famous by the late Doyle Brunson served Petrangelo well and held up against Klein’s draw.
Andrew Lichtenberger, fresh off a birthday win at the Poker Masters, sits just below Petrangelo in the counts. Isaac Haxton, Jason Koon, and Cary Katz round out the rest of the top five stacks. Katz, who entered play during the late registration period accompanied by Bryn Kenney, maneuvered skillfully despite the delayed entry. On the first hand dealt to him, Katz managed to flop a set and, from there, the chips just kept coming his way.
The other players to exit on Day 1 include Jonathan Jaffe, Orpen Kisacikoglu, Adrian Mateos, Alex Foxen, Bill Klein, and Seth Davies.
Negreanu’s chance to go back-to-back remains intact
Daniel Negreanu advances to Day 2 with chips to play with, but in the bottom half of the counts. Unlike last year’s explosive start, Negreanu struggled to pick momentum in the early goings and saw his stack dwindle considerably.
An early hand saw Negreanu play a five-bet pot against Justin Bonomo. The fifth pre-flop bet came from Negreanu, who held, somewhat predictably, pocket aces. The end result of the hand? Negreanu folded to a river raise from Bonomo, losing a sizable chunk of his chips in the early goings.
The loss set Negreanu back certainly, but there are other universes where the hand ends his tournament run and dashes all dreams of a title defense.
The hand history made its way to Negreanu’s Twitter where he asked his followers, “Would you call the river?” Negreanu opted not to, and he may have been wrong to fold, but the structure of the tournament, deep-stacked, with long blind levels, rewards patience. Negreanu knows this, obviously, and the fold preserved his stack and his tournament life in a spot that he deemed not worth the risk.
In the biggest hand of the day for the defending champion, Negreanu ran down Orpen Kisacikoglu’s two pair with a turned straight to score one of the day’s early eliminations. The hand saw a much-needed infusion of chips into Negreanu’s stack and propelled him on his way to a strong finish.
Wizardy 101 in the PokerGO Studio
When you get some of the best poker players in the world and let them battle it out for millions of dollars, they’re going to bring their A-game. The proceedings on Day 1 most certainly did not disappoint in that regard.
Chris Brewer’s bet, three-bet bluff on the river, utilizing his blockers to potential full houses, put Petrangelo in a tough spot. The aggression displayed by Brewer in the face of a raise proved convincing enough to Petrangelo and he folded his straight, the winning hand.
Jason Koon scored a crucial double up in a hand against Stephen Chidwick, but it didn’t come easy for him. Chidwick applied maximum pressure to Koon on the river, correctly identifying his holding as one that would struggle to call when put to the test. Koon, however, passed the test.
Chidwick’s bluff took courage, and creativity, two attributes that Koon knows Chidwick possesses in his repertoire. As he made the call, Koon said, “There’s a lot of people I pure fold to, buddy, but you’re not one of them.” The statement showed the respect Koon holds for Chidwick’s abilities, but also served as a gentle reminder that he’s not the guy to try it on.
If these clips aren’t enough to satiate your poker itch, you’re in luck. PokerGO made the entire Day 1 live stream available to watch for free on their YouTube channel. The full replay remains on their channel now, check it out below!
Super High Roller Bowl VIII continues tomorrow, with Day 2 action also streaming for free live on the PokerGO YouTube channel starting at 4:00pm ET.
End of Day 1 Chip Counts
All Images Courtesy of PokerGO