Who And What To Watch At The 2018 Poker Masters

September 5, 2018
Who And What To Watch At The 2018 Poker Masters

A tradition gradually becoming like no other in poker starts up on Sept. 7. Poker Masters returns to ARIA in Las Vegas, NV, and PokerGO will be streaming a full week of High Roller events with millions up for grabs.

Last year’s inaugural champion Steffen Sontheimer is not expected to be in attendance for this year’s run at the Purple Jacket. But even with the repeat winner storyline pushed to the back page, there are more than enough items to bring excitement into the preview headlines.

Four buy-in levels, two new games, and an entirely revamped scoring system make Poker Masters must-watch every night.

Short Deck

The game sweeping poker off its feet is a part of the Poker Masters process. The fourth event on the schedule is a $10,000 buy-in of the format expected to draw strong numbers. When cards are officially in the air on September 10, the era of Short Deck tournaments begins in the United States.

Pot Limit Omaha precedes Short Deck the day before for a $25,000 buy-in. Expect to see all players part of the Poker Masters process play Short Deck out of curiosity and fun. Nick Schulman and Cary Katz both gained top-three results in the format over the summer in South Korea during the Triton High Roller Series.

This tournament is a favorite to have the most entries of the Poker Master series.

Sontheimer does not plan to be in town but is already attempting to get a leg up on future Short Deck competition.

Justin Bonomo

Superman returns to ARIA after a week in the desert of Burning Man. Bonomo was last seen winning the Big One for One Drop for $10 million at the World Series of Poker to cap off his amazing summer. The Super High Roller Bowl China and Super High Roller Bowl were both conquered by Bonomo and he now owns the No. 1 spot on the all-time earnings list.

Assuming Bonomo is motivated to play Poker Masters to the best of his ability, he is the favorite to win the Purple Jacket. Variance is a friend for Bonomo in 2018 but his skill displayed across live streams this entire year prove how elite he is playing against the best in the world.

A Poker Masters win launches Bonomo into Thanos-level of power compared to the Avengers around him. He’s already earned three stones on the 2018 High Roller Gauntlet. Why not make it four?

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High Roller Leaderboard

Sontheimer was victorious in Poker Masters because he literally won more money than anyone else. This year’s champion will be decided based on the scoring system created by Poker Central to correlate with the High Roller Leaderboard standings.

Seven total events on the schedule lean toward the possibility of the player who is consistently finishing at least on the podium to emerge with new formal outerwear for the fall season. Stephen Chidwick’s run in the U.S. Poker Open would have won under the new High Roller Leaderboard format.

Two wins, a fourth-place, and a fifth-place comprised Sontheimer’s Poker Masters. Will those same results be enough to win the 2018 title? We’ll know by September 15.

Currently, Cary Katz is number-one on the High Roller Leaderboard with 945 points giving him a slight lead over Sam Soverel’s 930.

Jason Koon and Jake Schindler

Bonomo rules the headlines but Koon and Schindler have collectively accumulated strong respective campaigns. The pair owns titles including the SHRPO Big 4 $25,500, Triton Super High Roller Short Deck, and partypokerLIVE MILLION €100,000 Super High Roller.

Count a few more World Series of Poker final tables, U.S. Poker Open runs, and a Super High Roller Bowl bronze medal, the duo presents a formidable opposition.

Both players have come close to championship glory in the best High Rollers ARIA has to offer but don’t have any hardware to show for their efforts just yet. Outside of Bonomo, the two figure to be among the top picks to claim the Purple Jacket.

2018 Poker Masters Schedule

Date Event Buy-in
September 7 No Limit Hold’em $10,000
September 8 No Limit Hold’em $25,000
September 9 Pot Limit Omaha $25,000
September 10 Short Deck $10,000
September 11 No Limit Hold’em $25,000
September 12 No Limit Hold’em $50,000
September 13 No Limit Hold’em (Main Event) $100,000
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