There are two recognized Player of the Year races in the tournament poker world, the CardPlayer Magazine rankings and the Global Poker Index standings. In these two leaderboards, the effect of “High Roller” tournaments – events with a buy in north of $10,000 – have been thoroughly felt. Now, those style of tournaments will get their own dedicated tournament schedule.

Poker Central Teams with ARIA, Bellagio, World Series of Poker

On Friday, Poker Central announced the summer schedule for the “High Roller of the Year” award. The streaming outlet for poker was joined by many of the top poker entities in Las Vegas, ARIA Casino Resort, the Bellagio and the World Series of Poker, and the L. A. Poker Classic in Los Angeles, in combining their talents to put together a 35-event roster that will range in buy-ins from $10,000 up to $100,000. Part of the 35 event schedule has already been completed, with the U. S. Poker Open (10 tournaments) that was completed in March putting their results into the mix along with three High Roller events from the L. A. Poker Classic.

There will be another four months of action, with most of it being filmed at the PokerGO Studios located on the site of ARIA. The ARIA High Roller Series hosts roughly four events per month that have a buy in of either $10K or $25K. These are the events which will make up the bulk of the summer schedule for the High Roller of the Year battle.

The other events on the roster are shared between the Bellagio and the WSOP. Currently underway at the Bellagio are two tournaments that will add their players to the leaderboard of the High Roller of the Year. The Bellagio will also feature three events in June, a $10,000 Short Deck Hold’em tournament and two other $10K No Limit Hold’em tournaments.

Not to be outdone, the WSOP puts its series of High Roller events in with the competition. A $50K No Limit Hold’em event (beginning on May 31), a $25K Pot Limit Omaha event (June 19), the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship (June 24) and a $100,000 No Limit Hold’em event (July 11) will be annotated for the High Roller of the Year competition.

The finale of the High Roller of the Year competition will be on July 10, a $50,000 High Roller tournament to be held at ARIA.

Who is Competing So Far…

With the U. S. Poker Open and the High Roller tournaments at the L. A. Poker Classic in the books, these are the players that currently make up the Top Ten on the list:

1. Sean Winter, 690 points
2. David Peters, 644
3. Cary Katz, 595
4. Stephen Chidwick, 540
5. Nick Schulman, 410
6. Ali Imsirovic, 390
7. Brandon Adams, 365
8. Koray Aldemir, 340
9. Maria Ho, 300
Rainer Kempe (tie)

And is There Really a Need?

Some would say the need for a dedicated “High Roller of the Year” leaderboard and tournament schedule are a redundancy because of the way the tournaments dominate the supposedly “normal” Player of the Year races. The “normal” POY standings features four people – Winter, Peters, Chidwick and Kempe – who are also on the High Roller board. The other members of the CardPlayer and GPI rankings – such High Roller stalwarts as Bryn Kenney, David Baker and Jack Salter – haven’t racked up enough points in the scheduled High Roller events to have made an impact but are currently ranked in the “normal” POY. What it will do is generate programming for PokerGO, who will have the broadcast rights to all the tournaments and will dole them out during the summer of 2019. And it will provide some excitement as poker fans watch unbelievable amounts of money being wagered by the combatants. But the real success will come if there is another “High Roller of the Year” competition in 2020 or is this a one-shot deal.

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