Skill, luck or bias: 2018 Super High Roller lottery system still in place

TAGs: 2018 Super High Roller Bowl, 888poker

The organisers of the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl have announced March 1 as the date of registration, and have confirmed they will select the final player list via lottery if interest exceeds 48-players.

The reasons Homo Sapiens have managed to put a leash on the tiger, ride elephants and adorn our walls with the heads of bears are numerous. One of them is our ability to make a mistake, learn from it, adjust, and try again.

Has the Super High Roller Bowl lost sight of that fact?

Skill, luck or bias: 2018 Super High Roller lottery system still in placeOn Thursday, March 1 registration opens for the 2018 iteration of one of the eagerly anticipated tournaments of the year. The best poker players on the planet will form a line at the cash cages of the ARIA, pocket watch in hand – tick, tock – waiting to drop a lit match on the trail of gunpowder leading to a place in history.

The buy-in is $300,000. Players will put down a non-refundable deposit of $30,000. The event is rake free. The game will accumulate over $14m in prize money. The winner picks up $5m+. The ARIA reserve 18 seats for ‘VIP Guests.’ The other 30-seats are available to anyone who wants them.

The organisers are urging the players to act fast, throwing out a reminder that last year’s event sold out in seven hours. Unless I am missing something, there is no rush required.

The Cock-Up

Rewind a year, and you would think the players had turned up in a penny arcade when 54 players wanted to buy-in to the event. There was a 50-player cap. What to do? In a rush of blood moment, a lottery took place to determine a list of 35 confirmed players, leaving the ARIA to choose the final 15.

Fortunately, ARIA officials saw sense, realising that turning the application process into a lottery of luck sprinkled with nepotism for the World Championships of High Roller Tournaments was a bad idea.

Everyone was allowed to play.

Lesson Learned?

Are we heading for the same mess?

I hope not, but the press release indicates that we likely are.

If there are more than 48 players who register for the event, a lottery will be held to determine the final player list.

I assume the ARIA and Poker Central will wait and see who enters, allowing them to choose the best 18-players for the made for TV show. The other pieces of the jigsaw will fall into place. But if you miss out, you are going to feel very unhappy about the process.

Who will be amongst the 18?

Daniel Negreanu.
Phil Hellmuth.

These are two people that the organisers will want in the event.

Last year Kevin Hart played. There is no mention of a celebrity playing in this event, but Hart is first and foremost a human being, and if he registers, they will find a spot for him.

Brian Rast.
Rainer Kempe.
Christoph Vogelsang.

They have to find a place for the previous winners, right? Especially, Vogelsang, who is the reigning champion.

Adrian Mateos.
Stephen Chidwick.
Justin Bonomo.
David Peters.

These are the top four players in the world according to the Global Poker Index (GPI). Undoubtedly, these all have to play in the event if it lives up to the billing of World Championship of the High Roller Tournaments?

Steffen Sontheimer.

The German who won the Poker Masters must play, right?

Fedor Holz.
Erik Seidel.

I could go on and on.

The fish.

The organisers have a responsibility to sprinkle the event with enough weak players to make the tournament attractive to the best players in the world.

If this is the World Championships of High Roller Tournaments then why are we using a lottery system to select the players? It’s akin to deciding the UEFA Champions League participants by the roll of dice.

There is a better way.

All the previous champions get a berth. The top ‘x’ money earners in this event get a berth. The GPI World #1 gets a berth. Then give Eric Danis a call and ask for a list of the most significant winners of the past 12-months in tournaments with a buy-in of $25k+, and choose the entry list based on success and not luck and bias.

The 2018 Super High Roller Bowl is sponsored by 888Poker. You can watch the action live in PokerGO, or tune in to watch the highlights on the NBC Sports Network.

Let’s hope, by the time we tune in to watch the World Championships of High Stakes Tournament Poker; it’s an event that includes the very best players in the world.


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