PCA 2012: No soft spots in The Super High Roller

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpg The variance of your starting table draw in a tournament should never be underestimated. It is, after all, the foundation upon which you build your main event campaign. You might get seated on a table full of nervous, never seen before faces. That's a good thing. On the flip side, you might find yourself with a couple of EPT and WSOP winners on your direct left with a few make-almost-zero-mistakes MTT online grinders populating the other seats. That, in case you hadn't realised, is a very bad thing for your tournament expectation.


The Super High Roller is under way

When the buy-in is $100,000 your chances of a good seat draw are zero. Soft spots are non-existent and even the players that you may pick out as being on the weaker side have some impressive scores: Masa Kagawa, for instance, has a 3rd place score in an A$100,000 Aussie Millions event and a 7th place finish at a £20,000 EPT London High Roller. The seat draw reads like a who's who of the poker world: last year's Super High Roller winner and runner-up Eugene Katchelov and Daniel Negreanu, PCA main event reigning champ Galen Hall, tournament legends Erik Seidel and Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier. The list goes on (as you can see from the seat draw below) and it doesn't make for pretty reading.

1 1 David "Doc" Sands
1 2 Galen Hall
1 3 Bill Perkins
1 4 Chance Kornuth
1 5 Tom Marchese
1 6 Will Molson
1 7 Eugene Katchalov
1 8 Bryn Kenney

2 1 David Benefield
2 2 Shawn Buchanan
2 3 Mike "Timex" McDonald
2 4 Daniel Negreanu
2 5 Masa Kagawa
2 6 Humberto Brenes
2 7 Yevgeniy Timoshenko
2 8 Erik Seidel

3 1 Isaac Haxton
3 2 Jonathan Duhamel
3 3 Philipp Gruissem
3 4 Terje Augdal
3 5 Viktor "Isildur1" Blom
3 6 Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier
3 7 Jason Mercier
3 8 Scott Seiver

The players listed above have combined live tournament winnings of $102,000,000. To use online poker speak, that's a sick three tables.

Before the tournament started - and as Mike McDonald and Tom Marchese decided they had just enough time to pop to the sweet shop - Daniel Negreanu elucidated on the difficulty of the Super High Roller: "If you see a move you got to take it, you can't wait for mistakes. It's a lot more intense."

pca_super high roller_boat.jpg

Win this, buy one of these

If you read through the live updates you'll understand exactly what Negreanu meant. Almost every pot seems to be three or four bet, no quarter given or asked for. Buy-in aside, this is not a tournament for the feint-hearted - but it's a hell of a spectacle to witness.

PokerStars Blog reporting team at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (in order of press room seat draw): Simon Young (button), Brad Willis (small blind), Stephen Bartley (big blind) and (cut-off).