2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas: $100,000 Super High Roller Event Kicks Off with Special Guest

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The 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas (the artist formerly known as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure) is underway at Atlantis Resort and Casino and the players have wasted little time in getting to business.

The very first tournament of the 92-event schedule, the $100,000 Super High Roller, exploded out of the gates with a sizeable field of poker’s most well-known (or deepest pocketed) professionals taking their place at the tables. All-time money leader Daniel Negreanu (who is having that perch threatened by Erik Seidel), “Big One for One Drop” champion Dan Colman, Dan Shak, Stephen Chidwick, 2016 Player of the Year David Peters and a host of other notables were in the field for the tournament, but none of those players would draw the attention that one person was able to garner from the railbirds.

Perhaps as a marketing ploy by Amaya Gaming to draw attention to the new PokerStars Championship (we might have to ask someone in charge if he was paid for his appearance), actor/comedian Kevin Hart was at the tables and ready for action with poker’s heavyweights. For anyone who knows Hart’s “character,” he’s never afraid to take on a challenge and never afraid to trash-talk those that stand between him and his goal. The mouth of Hart perhaps bypassed “The Mouth” for incessant running during the entirety of the day’s play.

Yes, that’s correct. Hart played decent poker throughout much of the day but ran his pocket fives into Jason Koon’s pocket Jacks on an 8-8-9 flop to burn through his first buy in. Undaunted, Hart immediately popped another $100K out and jumped back into the fray. By the time the bell sounded to end the day’s play, Hart had dwindled down to only 130K in chips but was eligible to come back for Day 2 action on Saturday. Naturally, Hart’s confidence was at a high as he repeatedly stated to anyone who would listen, “I don’t need luck! I’m gonna f*****g win!”

Hart wasn’t the only player who had to take advantage of the rebuy in this event (the rules state that there are unlimited rebuys until the start of Day 2 action today). Isaac Haxton, Bill Perkins and Seidel were all victims of bad fortune as they busted on Day 1, but they put some more in the kitty and stuck around to play. In total, 50 entries have been received to this point and the tournament clock states there are 36 players still left in the tournament (although that number may go up as players can continue to buy in until the start of action today).

There were several top professionals who had a very good day in the sun of the Bahamas (not that they saw much of it!). Koon was rumbling through the field after eliminating Hart, eventually ending the day with a 624,000-chip stack. Connor Drinan, who routinely makes appearances at these high roller tournaments but has been dry since he won the now-defunct European Poker Tour’s $10,000 High Roller in Barcelona last August, also did well in powering into the fourth spot. It will be Nick Petrangelo, who contended for the 2016 POY throughout last year, who holds the top slot on the mountain when the tournament resumes today.

Nick Petrangelo, 861,000 Steve O’Dwyer, 801,000 Daniel Dvoress, 720,000 Connor Drinan, 637,000 Jason Koon, 624,000 Sam Greenwood, 605,000 Leo Yan Ho Cheng, 571,000 Koray Aldemir, 552,000 Jason Mercier, 517,000 Byron Kaverman, 461,000

Lurking under the Top Ten are such poker luminaries as Dario Sammartino (423,000, 12th place), former World Champion Joe McKeehen (405,000, 13th), and Peters (393,000, 14th). Those with some work to do include Paul Newey (124K), Mustapha Kanit (128K) and Hart as they are at the bottom of the totem pole.

Play resumes at 11PM (Eastern Time) on Saturday, when the final numbers will be in for the Super High Roller. The PokerStars National Championship will begin its play on Saturday also, with the $2200 tournament sure to draw some players looking to warm up for the Main Event, which features the first of two-Day Ones starting on Sunday. This is all a part of the massive schedule of events that will make up the PokerStars Championship Bahamas as the show rolls on.

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