One of poker's premier high roller tournament series, the 2018 Poker Masters, kicked off Friday with Event #1: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em at the PokerGO Studio just outside ARIA Resort & Casino.
At the end of Day 1, just six players remain from a field of 69 entries — that number representing a bigger field than any single event in last year's series, albeit sporting a smaller buy-in. One of the more successful players at that inaugural Poker Masters, Brandon Adams, leads those final six who will take to the felt on Saturday for the streamed final table on PokerGO.
In 2017, Adams finished sixth in the final money standings that determined the Poker Masters Purple Jacket winner. He won Event #40: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $819,000, failing to cash in the other three events in which he played.
Now, Adams has positioned himself for a second Poker Masters title, though this one would only be worth $193,200. Plus, his lead isn't much to speak of. While Adams accumulated 2,385,000 from his 125,000 starting stack, German former Super High Roller Bowl champion Rainer Kempe is right on his tail with 2,230,000.
After that, more competition remains in the form of David Peters (1,585,000), Cord Garcia (1,125,000), Brian Green (880,000) and Isaac Haxton (410,000).
Poker Masters Event #1 Streamed Final Table
Adams won a massive pot to burst the bubble during Level 17 (15,000/25,000/25,000). After short stack Tom Marchese raised, Adams three-bet to 150,000 and big blind Matthias Eibinger called. Marchese called all in for less, and Adams would flop a set of tens against Eibinger's queens.
The rest of the money went in on the turn, and Adams still needed to dodge outs since Eibinger had picked up a combo draw plus he could still hit a queen to win. When Eibinger missed, Marchese bubbled out with his ace-high and Eibinger picked up a min-cash for $20,700 in 10th.
The other players busting in the money were Cary Katz, long-time chip boss Ali Imsirovic and David Eldridge, who was among the final players to register.
Plenty of other stars, like Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth and 2018's undisputed poker king, Justin Bonomo, took shots and fell short of the money. They'll have plenty of chances with the rest of the PokerGO schedule, but for now, it's down to these final six to battle for the first leg of the 2018 Poker Masters.
The remaining players come back Saturday with blinds and antes still at 15,000/30,000/30,000 for a few more minutes. They get cards in the air at noon with a stream to start an hour later on PokerGO. Meanwhile, the rest of the high rollers can gear up for another 2 p.m. start on Event #2: $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em.