Pennsylvanian Jake Schindler will be hoping to add $6 million to his current lifetime live tournament cash stash of $9.25 million at the 2017 Aria Super High Roller Bowl today in Las Vegas. With only three left in the nosebleed $300,000 buyin event, today’s the day someone will walk home with the massive moolah.
Day Four’s action began on Wednesday afternoon with eight of the original 56 entries remaining. The first to bust was bubble boy Jason Koon, and it was a painful exit at that, as only seven players are paid.
The 8th place finish was good for exactly zero dollars, $600,000 less than had Koon moved up just one spot. That’s how stressful a tournament is of this magnitude. But he didn’t seem too angry afterwards.
“It’s poker,” he told Poker Central commentator Maria Ho in his post-game interview. “Honestly, I don’t feel any pain whatsoever.”
Pratyush Buddiga, the 2002 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, busted Koon. The hand catapulted him into the chip lead. The remaining players were able to relax more knowing they were guaranteed a solid cash. But it was hours before the next player busted.
Those Damn Pocket Rockets
Buddiga had momentum and a solid chip stack on his side. Things were going great for the Upswing Poker coach. And then poker happened.
Christoph Vogelsang opened UTG to 90,000 with an unknown hand. Schindler made the call on the button with 8♣8♦. Buddiga woke up with A♦A♠ in the big blind. He made a raise to 400,000. Vogelsang sent his hand into the muck, but Schindler made the call, and the two biggest stacks saw a flop that came out 8♥Q♥7♣.
Buddiga took a strange line and opted to check instead of going for value. Schindler, not wanting to slow play his set, fired out a 400,000 bet, and was called. The 3♠ flipped over on the turn, a complete blank. The spelling bee champ checked, and the button bet 750,000, again receiving a call.
The river was the 3♣, giving Jake a full house. Buddiga checked again and then Schindler went all-in for 2.5 million.
Pratyush found himself in quite a sticky situation. The board, other than the queen, was dry. He beats hands such as A-Q or a missed flush draw. After a minute of thought, he said, “I don’t think I can fold this.” That was music to Schindler’s ears. A minute later, Pratyush made the call and received the bad news.
Buddiga was crippled, but soon after, got lucky against Justin Bonomo and doubled up again. That hand left Bonomo with a small stack, and he ended up in 7th place ($600,000). Buddiga was eliminated shortly after in 6th place himself ($1,000,000). Byron Kaverman went out in 5th ($1,400,000). Leon Tsoukernik was the 4th place finisher ($1,800,000).
When the final day begins today (Thursday) at 1 pm PT, Schindler will rule the table with 10,670,000 chips over Christoph Vogelsang (5,245,000) and Stefan Schillhabel (885,000).
This is the second consecutive year that the Germans dominated in the SHRB final table. Vogelsand and Schillhabel will be representing for the motherland this time. Last year’s champion Rainer Kempe and 2016 runner-up Fedor Holz both hail from Germany as well.
Day Five can only be viewed on the PokerGO app. It costs $10 per month for a subscription. Ali Nejad and Nick Schulman will provide commentary.