The 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is underway at the Atlantis Resort Spa on Paradise Island in the Bahamas and, with one event, it has captured the attention of the poker world. The $100,000 Super High Roller event has completed Day 1 as Scott Seiver, the 2013 champion of the event, holds the lead in his hunt for a second title.
It seems that many had the $100,000 buy in (at the minimum…it is a rebuy event, after all) lying around to jump into the event when it started on Saturday afternoon. Such notables in the High Roller arena as Steffen Sontheimer, Koray Aldemir, Ben Tollerene and 2017 Poker Player of the Year Adrian Mateos (sorry, Bryn Kenney) were on the felt for the start of the tournament, with others drifting in after the start. Nick Petrangelo, Daniel Negreanu (utilizing a scooter due to an ACL injury – who said poker wasn’t a contact sport?) and the defending champion of this tournament, Jason Koon, all slowly drifted to the felt, but it was a non-poker name that caught the attention of railbirds in the Atlantis tournament room.
As he did in 2017 when he entered the tournament, comedian Kevin Hart immediately drew the attention of everyone as he entered the event. The wisecracking star of the new film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle maintained the same attitude that he utilized in last year’s tournament, but it also seemed that he had learned something about poker over the past year that he has been a “friend of PokerStars” (along with Olympic champion Usain Bolt). He would four-bet both Petrangelo and Aldemir out of a pot (saying, “I’m sick of this s**t” while putting the 65K in chips together to push them out), but another hand sent the popular comedian into his pocket for another buy in.
After Mateos opened the betting from the cutoff and Hart (button), Stefan Schillhabel and Seiver (blinds) all called, a J-5-7 flop was checked as was a ten on the turn. When the river completed the board with a four, the floodgates would open. Schillhabel checked his option, but Seiver fired away with a 22K bet. Mateos got out of the way, but Hart popped the cost of play up to 51K when it came to his action. Now it was Schillhabel’s turn to fold, but Seiver contemplated his next move carefully.
After the time in the tank, Seiver decided his only option was to push all in and, using most of his time on the “shot clock,” Hart made the call. Hart’s 8-6 off suit was good for a rivered straight to the eight, but Seiver’s 9-8 was good for a higher turned straight to the Jack. The pot was a massive 330K strong and it was enough to push Seiver into the lead.
Hart was undaunted, however, as he fired off another bullet in the tournament. This was also true for many other competitors, including Orpen Kisacikoglu, Negreanu (in a flush versus flush situation against Sam Greenwood), but Sontheimer and 2016 Poker Player of the Year David Peters did not immediately reenter. With the option for re-entry (or even a first entry, as Cary Katz did early Sunday morning) open until the start of Day 2 action, there is a potential for several other High Roller regulars to either take their first shot in the tournament or re-enter.
1. Scott Seiver, 804,000
2. Justin Bonomo, 799,000
3. Jean-Noel Thorel, 598,000
4. Ivan Luca, 587,000
5. Sam Greenwood, 569,000
6. Bryn Kenney, 548,000
7. Christopher Kruk, 533,000
8. Stephen Chidwick, 492,000
9. Erik Seidel, 479,000
10. Kevin Hobbs, 472,000
Hart, for his part, will be around for Day 2 of the event, holding a 316,000-chip stack. Others over the starting stack of 250K include Steve O’Dwyer (451K), Negreanu (438K), defending champion Koon (363K) and Igor Kurganov (333K), while Dan Shak (246K), Isaac Haxton (244K), Byron Kaverman (230K) and the shortest stack of all Seth Davies (181K) have some work to do on Sunday.
Beginning today, the $100,000 Super High Roller will be live-streamed over PokerStars TV as the final players jump in and the tournament works to crowning a champion. From then on, PokerStars TV will be covering the action from the Bahamas as the 2018 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure plays out.