The rake-free — for those registering on time — tournaments took place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week and awarded $770,000 in prizes. Three different winners emerged in Dan Smith, Cary Katz and Christopher Brewer as the prize money was distributed across a pretty wide selection of players.
Dan Smith Wins $136,000
The first event of the series turned out to be the biggest of the bunch as 34 entries were logged on Thursday for a prize pool of $340,000.
After Jake Daniels busted for a min-cash in fifth, earning $27,200, it came to four players very familiar with each other from battling in pretty much all of the high-stakes tournaments around the globe: Smith, Alex Foxen, Sean Winter and Ali Imsirovic. The latter two would bust before heads-up play.
Foxen has been having his share of success locally in Vegas of late, but he’d have to settle for second this time when Smith outdueled him to grab the $136K.
|1||Dan Smith||Las Vegas, Nevada||$136,000|
|2||Alex Foxen||Huntington, New York||$88,400|
|3||Ali Imsirovic||Vancouver, Washington||$54,400|
|4||Sean Winter||Jacksonville, Florida||$34,000|
|5||Jake Daniels||The Woodlands, Texas||$27,200|
Cary Katz and Sean Winter Chop
Friday would see a drop to 22 entries for a $220,000 prize pool, and only the top four would share it this time.
A pair of repeat cashers followed up Thursday’s success with more of the same, one being Daniels, who followed Brock Wilson’s min-cash of $22,000 by nabbing $35,200 of his own for fourth place.
The other would be Winter, who found himself heads up with Katz. The Poker Central found and the traveling pro wound up striking a deal for the remaining $162,800, splitting that dough nearly evenly — $80,000 for Winter and $82,800 for Katz, the nominal champ.
|1||Cary Katz||Las Vegas, Nevada||$82,800|
|2||Sean Winter||Jacksonville, Florida||$80,000|
|3||Jake Daniels||The Woodlands, Texas||$35,200|
|4||Brock Wilson||Ardsley, New York||$22,000|
Christopher Brewer Earns $113K
The number of entries dropped ever so slightly to 21 for the Saturday finale, and the $210,000 would be split among three players this time.
Again, two of those were repeat winners as Wilson doubled up his min-cashing ways, but this one was for a more lucrative $33,600 thanks to the cut from four paid places.
Imsirovic also made it to payouts again, this time banking $63,000 for a runner-up finish.
That only left Brewer atop the mountain, and he got $113,400, the second-biggest payout of the series, to wrap things up.
|1||Christopher Brewer||Vista, California||$113,400|
|2||Ali Imsirovic||Vancouver, Washington||$63,000|
|3||Brock Wilson||Ardsley, New York||$33,600|
More High Rollers Likely to Come
The ARIA High Rollers were one a staple of the Vegas scene, giving high-stakes pros who live in the locale and those willing to fly in a chance for some higher buy-in action than typically takes place outside of major festivals.
They were last held in December of 2020, making their return after months on ice due to COVID-19.
Given the venue’s commitment to catering to high rollers and the fact that poker has been slowly returning to Las Vegas, it’s a good bet the high rollers will be back sometime in the near future. House tournament director Paul Campbell tweeted he hopes to see the high rollers back again “soon,” so PokerNews will bring more recaps and results when the time comes.
Photos courtesy of ARIA/Poker Central.