The tournament world might be moving towards decreased buy-ins and increased guarantees, but a new poker TV network is planning to buck that trend with an event costing $500,000 to enter.
Announced earlier this week, the “Super High Roller Bowl” is set to air on Poker Central and feature some of the top players in the game.
Aside from being aired on a new 24/7 poker network called Poker Central, the tournament will be rake free and the organizers have stated that at least 50 players will ante-up when the event gets underway on July 2.
Already on the list of willing participants is Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari and Erik Seidel and, according to Mori Eskandani, president of Poker PROductions, the company helping the produce the show, “many of the best players in the world are on board to compete for millions in prizes.”
Alongside the Super High Roller Bowl, a celebrity shootout and a high stakes cash game will also be filmed, creating a trio of events that will air on Poker Central in August.
On hand to host the games and award the Super High Roller Bowl winner with a special championship ring will be the Aria, Las Vegas.
Adding yet another high profile MTT to its summer schedule (the casino will also host the WPT500 which kicks off in May), it seems as though the Aria is trying hard to establish itself as a credible alternative for World Series of Poker (WSOP) players looking for more action this summer.
Despite being an open event, the $500,000 buy-in will exclude a larger number of players and, significantly, go against the current trend among tournament organizers. In an effort to create larger fields and appeal to a wider audience, the WSOP and World Poker Tour (WPT) have lowered the entry fees for certain events in recent years.
The WSOP’s Colossus and the recently announced WPT500 by the Aria each have buy-ins of $565 and prizepools of $5,000,000 and $2,000,000 respectively.
Following a downswing in participation rates, tournament organizers have been forced to adjust their offerings and that’s prompted a shift towards more affordable events such as the two offerings from the WSOP and WPT.
However, despite this trend, there is still interest in super high stakes spectacles such as the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop and this could help the Super High Roller Bowl gain some traction. Over the last few years the amount of high stakes poker on TV has decreased dramatically and this new $500,000 event could help fill this void.