One of the most prestigious tournaments in the poker world got underway with seven levels of Day 1 action at ARIA, and when the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl finished up play, Byron Kaverman bagged the chip lead.
He turned his 300,000 starting stack into 1,247,000, giving him a sizable lead over King's Casino owner and EPT Prague $50K Super High Roller champ Leon Tsoukernik (912,000). High roller crushed Fedor Holz, who finished second in this event last year for $3.5 million, sits in third with 803,000.
The SHRB got going in the early afternoon with the majority of players taking seats right at tip-off, while a few, like Phil Hellmuth, arrived only a bit late. It featured a bit of an unusual betting structure that called for the normal small and big blinds but also a large ante from the big blind that served to keep things moving and keep the chips more consolidated into bigger denominations.
Kaverman won a couple of huge hands that enabled him to bag his lead. He got sneaky with aces after opening for a raise, just calling a reraise from Cary Katz and then flopping a full house. Katz flopped trip kings with king-five of hearts and made a full house of his own on the turn. He ended up calling a large check-raise on the river.
Later, Kaverman made a straight with jack-nine of clubs against Igor Kurganov, who hit top two pair with ace-queen. He couldn't get away on the river when Kaverman put him all in.
Holz got lucky to eliminated John Juanda in a three-bet pot that saw Juanda get it in with top pair on the turn but Holz get there with a gutshot and flush draw.
Holz's well-known penchant for running through high roller events has enabled him to rack up over $22 million in tournament cashes. Poker fans around the world will be following closely to see if he can keep up his amazing run with another final table finish here at ARIA.
Another player who will have plenty of eyeballs following his coverage is actor and comedian Kevin Hart. Hart made it through Day 1 with just a hair below the starting stack, but he memorably eliminated Hellmuth. The two got it in on a queen-high board with Hart holding top set of queens and Hellmuth a smaller set of threes. When he couldn't spike his one-outer, Hellmuth was done.
In all, 12 players saw their tournaments come to an end in the slow-paced, deep-stacked Day 1. In addition to the "Poker Brat," Erik Seidel, Ben Sulsky, Ben Tollerene, Ankush Mandavia and Haralabos Voulgaris hit the rail.
The remaining 44 return on Monday for Day 2, scheduled to start once again at 1 p.m. Come back to PokerNews for more updates then.