Fresh off of crowning their 2021 champion, the PokerGO Tour is back for their second run. The 2022 version of the “High Roller” circuit opened action at the Venetian in Las Vegas earlier this week, replete with those who a $10,000 buy in (minimum) is a pittance. One thing that has not changed, however, are the factors of small fields and select players dominating the action.
Newcomer Punnat Punsri Dominates First Two Events
The Venetian DeepStack Poker Series features four events, two $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournaments, a $15,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament and a $25,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament to wrap up the schedule. Wednesday saw the start of the festivities, but there did not seem to be the spirit from the “High Roller” clique to come out for the event. Only 34 total entries were received, but there was some notable action.
Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel was a part of the final table and he played outstanding poker. He would take out Jake Schindler to send Schindler home in fifth place, the first player to cash from the $340,000 prize pool for $23,800. Seidel then stormed to the heads-up battle with Punnat Punsri, a player from Thailand who had, prior to the start of this particular event, a total of slightly more than $330,000 in career earnings.
Rather than play it out, Punsri and Seidel chose to do a deal, saving back a bit of cash to play for. Punsri was able to defeat Seidel in this match, earning him the title and a total of $118,037 for winning. Seidel, meanwhile, pocketed $106,363 for his efforts and solidified his position on the all-time money list in third place ahead of David Peters.
Thursday night saw another $10,000 event take place and the results were surprisingly similar. 37 entrants came to the fore, but it was Punsri who once again emerged victorious. This time, his victory was without a deal over Chris Brewer, with Punsri taking the $133,200 first prize and Brewer having to settle for the $88,800 consolation prize.
Thus, over two events in this “High Roller” party, a player who had a total of $330,000 in career earnings has taken home more than $250,000.
Two More Events Left on Schedule
The Venetian High Roller schedule has two more events left. On Friday, they will kick up the stakes to $15,000 for those who want to pony up the money (unlimited reentries). Saturday will bring whoever wants to give the Venetian cage $25,000 the right to play for essentially the “Main Event” title. Whether the numbers will increase for these events will be interesting to see.
The PokerGO Tour has a hectic month ahead of it. The “Stairway to Millions” event at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas will be held from January 12-19. The “Stairway to Millions” allows players to start off at lower entry fees than what would normally be seen in “High Roller” events and work their way up, much like the “Steps” tournaments that were popular on PokerStars. The month of January will wrap up with the first PokerGO Tour event outside of the state of Nevada, the Seminole Hard Rock High Roller in Hollywood, FL, beginning on January 24.