Kenney, Holz Join Former Champion Kempe in Being Chosen for 2018 Super High Roller Bowl

 Kenney, Holz Join Former Champion Kempe in Being Chosen for 2018 Super High Roller Bowl

After missing out on being selected in the “blind draw” for the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl, former champion Rainer Kempe and high roller stalwarts Bryn Kenney and Fedor Holz have been selected to play in this year’s event.

The “second round” selections by the host casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, and the broadcaster of the tournament, Poker Central (through its PokerGO streaming outlet), were announced on Thursday. Although it lacked the fanfare that came with the lottery draw of the “first 30,” it is arguable that these 15 players chosen are players that deserve to be in the field. The 15 players who have been added to the capped 48-player are (and in alphabetical order):

Brandon Adams
Dennis Blieden
Antonio Esfandiari
Seth Davies
Antanas ‘Tony G’ Guoga
Fedor Holz
Matt Hyman
Rainer Kempe
Bryn Kenney
Jason Koon
Tom Marchese
Bill Perkins
Doug Polk
Jake Schindler
Dan Smith

Perhaps because of the “blind draw” of the first round, one of the former champions of this tournament, Kempe, wasn’t chosen for the tournament (something that the “powers that be” should rectify through some sort of automatic entry for former winners). That has been rectified with his selection by ARIA and Poker Central in this round, however. Holz and Schindler were both previous runners-up in this tournament (Schindler in last year’s tournament), thus their inclusion were good for the quality of the field of the tournament. Kenney’s selection also isn’t out of line as he is one of the strongest “high roller” players in the world.

“We welcome the 15 VIPs to the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl field, who are comprised of some of the most notable names in high stakes tournament poker,” Vice President of Content at Poker Central Sam Simmons stated during the announcement of the 15 men who will take part in the tournament. “These names, alongside the 30 selected at the annual Super High Roller Bowl lottery, are sure to make for the most star-studded tournament field of the year.”

There are three more slots remaining to be chosen for the tournament. Two of those seats will be other VIP additions from Poker Central and ARIA and will be chosen before the tournament starts on May 27. The final seat will be contested in what is promising to be an exciting finale.

On May 24, a $ 550 super-satellite will be held at ARIA, with a seat in the $ 10,000 Super High Roller Bowl Qualifier for every 20 players who enter the tournament. On May 25, that Qualifier will be played IF 30 players step up for the tournament. That tournament will be rake-free to those who register before noon (Pacific time) on May 25, with people who register after that time tossing another $ 500 in as juice. If more than 30 players show, then the additional money will be dispersed among those who do not win the seat to the Super High Roller Bowl tournament, which will kick off on May 27.

The $ 300,000 buy in tournament has quickly become one of the preeminent stand-alone (not associated with any tour, such as the World Poker Tour or the World Series of Poker) poker tournaments in the game today. Originally conceived as broadcast material for the then-fledgling cable television outlet Poker Central, the original event was a $ 500,000 buy in tournament in 2015, won by Brian Rast, but it quickly settled into its $ 300,000 buy in format the following year. In 2016, Kempe was able to outlast Holz to capture the $ 5 million first place prize, but Kempe was unable to defend his title. Last year, it was Christoph Vogelsang etching his name into the history books in defeating Schindler for the championship and the $ 6 million first place check. After the decision by ARIA and Poker Central to include Kempe, all three former champions will be back in 2018 to attempt to become a two-time champion.

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