PCA 2014 High Roller: When $1.3m isn't enough

As you will have seen if you've been following Daniel Negreanu's Twitter account, the prize pool information for the $25,000 High Roller event at the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure has been announced.

The winner will take close to $1.3m (full details below), which is not quite enough for Negreanu. This week's High Roller field attracted 198 unique players, and 49 of them took their one re-entry, generating a prize pool of $6,051,500.

Negreanu noted that last year's winner (Vanessa Selbst, of course) won $1,424,420 when the field had 45 fewer entries. The tournament officials have this year flattened the payout structure, paying down to 31st place, and a min-cash is worth $53,260.


Vanessa Selbst makes her High Roller defence

The rights and wrongs of the new structure is one for the players and officials to argue over, but here's one thing we can say: Negreanu at least has the experience in High Roller events to have a valid preference. He is one of only 37 players to have contested the $25,000 High Roller event at the PCA for the past three years.


Daniel Negreanu, in the middle of a massive field

Last night, Sookhee Hallberg, the owner and co-ordinator the the Thee Best Hands massage team at the PCA, said that she had noticed how few familiar faces she had seen in the High Roller field this year.

Players tend to have their favourite massage therapist and put in specific requests for tournament like the High Roller. But Hallberg said that many of their regular customers were missing. She said the field, although big, was relatively new.

With reference to the player lists on the main PCA website, we were able to test Hallberg' hypothesis. Of the 198 players in this $25,000 High Roller field, only 76 played the same tournament last year.


A record breaking High Roller tournament

There are some very good reasons for some of the exceptions -- Max Silver and Mike McDonald were still in the Main Event, for example, when registration closed in the High Roller.

However the general changing complexion of the field represents a general flux in tournament poker. Players go through patches of form, where it makes sense for them to anted up $25,000, and hit slumps, when it doesn't.

We can also check the poker hotbeds: there are 12 Brazilians in this week's High Roller event, while last year there were only five. There were three Russians last year, and this year there are 12.

As they head towards the money, and will play deep into the night, here's a look at what they all want to win, but none of them can:

$25,000 High Roller payouts

1 - $1,279,880
2 - $861,740
3 - $607,580
4 - $492,600
5 - $389,720
6 - $295,920
7 - $216,040
8 - $157,940
9 - $130,720

10-11 - $110,740
12-13 - $98,640
14-15 - $89,560
16-17 - $80,480
18-20 - $71,400
21-23 - $65,360
24-27 - $59,300
28-31 - $53,260

Follow full coverage of the $25,000 High Roller event on the High Roller page.