Live poker events have been few and far between in 2020 for obvious, COVID-19 related reasons. So it will come as both as a surprise and a relief to many poker fans that three one-day events will take place at the world-famous ARIA Casino venue in early December.
The high roller scene has moved online from live venues in the past six months, and has been a huge success, with tournaments such as the GGPoker Super Million and EPT Online Series giving the elite players in the mindsport opportunities to prove themselves against the best in the business.
The three forthcoming events will take place live at ARIA casino in Las Vegas on December 3rd, 4th and 5th, with each tournament costing $10,000 to enter. Each of the events are single-day format, with a winner on each night come what may.
If you thought it might be like the recent Phil Hellmuth vs. Antonio Esfandiari ‘High Stakes Duel’, where both players played without masks for their third and final bout – which Hellmuth won to take the $400,000 and run – then you’d be wrong. All players and staff present at the venue will be ‘masked up’ throughout the events, to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.
As a result, players who are based in Las Vegas will likely fill up the event, with no travel required and a friendly start time of 2,00pm local time. At $10,000 + $200 to play, the registration fee is minimal, but that’s only for players in their seats as play begins, with a $500 toll required for anyone who takes advantage of late registration. That also applies to re-entries and will the great and good sure to be in the ARIA to play the events, this could be as much as 40% of the field on one or two of the days.
With 40-minute blind levels and a 10-minute break every two levels, there are six levels of late registration and all the action takes place with a 30-second shot clock and six 30-second time extensions for use by all players (whenever they register). If players make it to the final six then they’ll top up their time extensions to six, a little like tennis players receive an extra challenge when starting a tie-break at the end of a set.
All the action is six-handed throughout and with all players encouraged to practice good health and safety measures as ARIA Resort & Casino have done since they reopened their poker room in the summer, if all goes well, we can see more of these events being put on and possibly recorded for posterity, with Poker Central’s streaming platform PokerGO having broadcast some great new shows since the initial lockdown period began.
Either way, it’ll be great to see some high roller tournament action back at its natural home of ARIA in Las Vegas.