Something must be in the water over at Aria Resort & Casino, because another top young poker player scored back-to-back victories in the casino's latest two Aria $25,000 High Roller events this weekend. Byron Kaverman took first place on Friday for $282,948 and backed it up with another win on Saturday for $268,800, bringing his 2015 live tournament earnings to over $950,000 — and it's only the end of March.
Of the six $25,000 High Roller events held at Aria this year, Kaverman has cashed in four of them, with these two latest cashes going down as victories. At the end of January, he took fourth in the Aria $25,000 High Roller II for $80,360 and then followed that up with a second-place result the next day in the Aria $25,000 High Roller III for $282,435.
Kaverman Chops Friday's Event with Koon and Julius
Friday's event drew 34 entries and saw five players make the money. A prize pool of over $800,000 was generated, and a lot of top competition was in the mix. Players such as Sam Soverel, Tom Dwan, Andrew Robl, Cary Katz, Vivek Rajkumar, and Antonio Esfandiari all busted before cashing, and with six players left Killian McGrath was the short stack.
According to reports from Poker Telegraph, Kaverman raised from the under-the-gun position, Anthony Gregg called from the small blind, and then McGrath reraised all in from the big blind. Kaverman got out of the way, which led to a call from Gregg, who held pocket eights. McGrath was on the ropes with , but failed to improve and fell on the bubble.
From there, Tom Marchese finished in fifth for $32,640 and Gregg busted in fourth for $65,280. That left Kaverman, Jason Koon, and Kyle Julius in three-handed play, and the trio opted to discuss a deal. The top three places were originally set to take home $391,000, $204,000, and $122,400, but the numbers were adjusted such that Kaverman earned $282,948, Koon took $235,787, and Julius $199,345.
Aria $25,000 High Roller VI Payouts
*Denotes a three-way chop.
Koon is another player having an amazing start to his year. Prior to being a part of this deal that saw him pocket nearly a quarter of a million dollars, Koon's 2015 has consisted of him winning the PokerStars $1,000 Super Tuesday for $111,699 and the L.A. Poker Classic $50,000 Turbo High Roller 6-Max for $436,344.
This put Koon's 2015 live tournament earnings at just shy of $700,000 — good enough for the second best year of his career. His best year on the live felt came in 2013 when he won $1,368,444, and he's well on his way to surpassing that number.
The result was also very good news for Julius, who had a very tame 2014 ($77,004) and 2013 ($95,191) after blowing up in 2012 with $2,313,144 in live tournament earnings. He also hadn't cashed in a live poker tournament since August.
Saturday's Event Gives Kaverman Back-To-Back Wins
The event on Saturday drew a much smaller field of 16 entries. The top two places were set to make the money, and the generated prize pool came in at $384,000. The top prize was set at just under $270,000, and once again it was Kaverman who took home top honors.
After the final table was reached, Brian Rast did a lot of the dirty work. He busted Koon and Katz in a single hand to cut the field down to seven, and then he scored another double elimination when he sent Scott Seiver and Jason Les home. That left five players remaining, and Rast's momentum slowly died down. Eventually, he was the short stack and eliminated in fifth place.
Kristina Holst fell in fourth, and then Richard Lyndaker was eliminated in third place to send Kaverman and Gregg into heads-up play. Roughly an hour later, it was all over, with the second title in two days going to Kaverman.
On the final hand, Gregg was all in preflop with the against the for Kaverman. The board produced two more queens, and Kaverman's trips won him the pot and the tournament. For the victory, Kaverman earned $268,800, and Gregg scored $115,200 for his second-place finish.
Aria $25,000 High Roller VII Payouts
Data and information from Poker Telegraph.