Brandon Steven Biggest Winner After ARIA High Roller Weekend

Brandon Steven

High Roller weekends at ARIA are always a spectacle, and this past weekend saw a trio of events played: two at the $25,000 level and one $50,000 tournament.

When it was all over, a number of players walked away with big piles of cash, but Brandon Steven was the big winner after taking down the ARIA $50,000 Super High Roller 11 for $648,000 and coming sixth in the $25,000 ARIA High Roller 42 for $56,400. The win marks the biggest cash for Steven to date in a career that's now been worth over $3.1 million.

Thursday, Oct. 6

Things kicked off Thursday with the High Roller 42, which ended up drawing a total of 47 players and was set to pay $451,200 to the winner. Early leaders according to the live updates included Ali Fazeli, Sean Winter and Stephen Chidwick.

The money bubble burst when Steven woke up with {a-Diamonds}{j-Spades} in the big blind and called a 15 big blind shove from Brian Rast, who turned over {k-Clubs}{q-Clubs}. A board of {5-Spades}{9-Hearts}{j-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{a-Clubs} gave both players a sweat, but Rast missed his numerous outs on the flop. Right after that, Jake Schindler found a key double with queens against the jacks of Chidwick.

Meanwhile, Steven busted out when he jammed {a-Hearts}{7-Diamonds} into the {a-Spades}{j-Hearts} of Erik Seidel.

Schindler then busted Winter when eights held against {a-Hearts}{4-Hearts} all in preflop despite a {k-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{4-Clubs} flop that gave Winter a ton of equity. The four-handed battle ended when Cary Katz lost a race with {a-Hearts}{8-Hearts} against Schindler's sixes blind versus blind.

Play continued for about half an hour at that point, and then a big pot came up between Seidel and Schindler with the two players all in preflop. Schindler held kings and Seidel held ace-ten, with the latter at risk. It looked like heads-up play between Chidwick and Schindler was imminent after {8-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}{k-Hearts} hit the board, but the set was trumped by a straight when the {j-Clubs} hit the river.

That prompted a discussion for a deal, which was reached to end the tournament, with Schindler officially placing first, Seidel placing second and Chidwick placing third.

1Jake Schindler$306,687*
2Erik Seidel$293,125*
3Stephen Chidwick$268,768*
4Cary Katz$90,240
5Sean Winter$67,680
6Brandon Steven$56,400
7Andrew Lichtenberger$45,120

Reflects three-handed deal

Friday, Oct. 7

The following day, $25,000 ARIA High Roller 43 saw a bit of a downturn to 39 runners with $393,120 going to the winner.

Schindler was again hot early, according to the live updates, managing to hit both of his outs with nines against the aces of Andrew Lichtenberger.

After bubbling out the previous day, Rast had better luck Friday. He flopped a set of eights against Steven to double through him and then proceeded to send Steven packing with queens against {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts}, flopping another set to deny Steven three cashes on the weekend. Rast then got tricky against Winter, completing the small blind with {9-Hearts}{8-Hearts} and then shoving when Winter raised. Winter called with sevens but saw Rast bang off an eight on the turn to bust him.

Lichtenberger ended up being unable to recover from the beat as he bubbled out with {a-Hearts}{8-Hearts} against Schindler's {a-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}. Schindler couldn't make it two straight though as he followed Sam Soverel out the door when king-queen failed to get there against the tens of Rast, taking fifth-place money of $56,160 to add to his Thursday winnings.

Tens were good to Rast again when he picked them up on the button and called the three-bet shove of David Peters, who had {a-Spades}{3-Clubs} and couldn't find any improvement from the community cards. Rast then got lucky against Bill Klein, with the two seeing a flop of {5-Spades}{a-Hearts}{8-Spades} after Rast called a three-bet. They got stacks in with Rast holding top two and Klein holding ace-king. Neither the turn nor the river saved Klein.

That left Rast heads up against Katz and the match lasted a few hours before Rast prevailed.

1Brian Rast$393,120
2Cary Katz$224,640
3Bill Klein$131,040
4David Peters$84,240
5Jake Schindler$56,160
6Sam Soverel$46,800

Saturday, Oct. 8

With the two "small" buy-ins out of the way, it was time for the $50K on Saturday and 25 entries were logged with $648,000 earmarked for the eventual winner.

This time, Schindler fell a little short of the final table and had to settle for his previous two cashes as his weekend High Roller take. Only four places would be paid, and, according to the live updates, the money bubble burst when Winter shoved {a-Clubs}{j-Spades} and ran into the pocket queens of Chidwick, who held up unimproved.

Soverel notched another min-cash, this time falling to Steven when the latter paired his ace with {a-}{k-} against the tens of Soverel.

Klein was able to better his third-place finish from Friday as he busted Chidwick in a big pot on a board of {3-}{5-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{a-Spades}. Chidwick had bet the turn and river only to see Klein shove on the end. Chidwick called with {a-}{k-} but was no good against {a-}{10-}.

Klein and Steven battled heads up, with Steven at one point doubling with {a-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} against his opponent's fives. After a little over an hour, Klein ended up all in with {10-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} against Steven's {k-Hearts}{9-Hearts}. The board brought {6-Spades}{q-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}, so Klein was in need of a diamond for a flush or an eight or jack for a straight. The river improved Steven though as the {k-Clubs} hit to give him winning trips and bring a close to a weekend of high-stakes action at ARIA.

1Brandon Steven$648,000
2Bill Klein$349,920
3Stephen Chidwick$194,400
4Sam Soverel$103,680
  • ARIA hosted $100,000 worth of tourneys this weekend. Brandon Steven walked away the big winner.

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