A Complete Guide to the Poker Masters: The Players, Side Bets and More
14 September 2017
PokerBrave (3074 articles)

PokerGO is working hard to give its subscribers their money’s worth. With the reboot of Poker After Dark, the addition of World Poker Tour main event final tables, and the new high roller tournament sensation, Poker Masters, there is plenty of new live streaming poker content to keep the community happy.

It’s the Poker Masters that is garnering all the attention this week. Scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Sept. 13th, the five-event tournament series has been the topic of side bets and fantasy drafts with the who’s who of the poker world. And everyone’s wondering who’s going to show up to play and who’s going to leave wearing purple.

What You Need to Know

The Aria Resort and Casino will host the Poker Masters which includes four preliminary $50,000 buy-in events plus one $100,000 championship event, with the results of each contributing to the title of Poker Masters Champion.

Inspired by the Aria High Rollers, the tournament rules are designed to speed up play and are specifically catered to the regular high-stakes players, including:

  • Seven-handed tables
  • A single ante posted by the big blind
  • A 30-second shot clock, with three 60-second time extensions
  • Players may re-enter once per event through level nine (with no re-entry in the final event)
  • Headphones and sunglasses are not allowed

Players in the single re-entry preliminary events will begin with 125,000 in chips and play down to a final table of nine on Day 1. The final table will return on Day 2 to play to a winner. The levels are 30-minutes long, and there will be a ten-minute break every three levels. Registration is open through level nine.

Players in the championship event will begin with 200,000 in chips and will play ten 60-minute levels on Days 1 and 2 with a ten-minute break every two levels. A champion will be crowned on Day 3. This event will be played as a “freezeout” with no re-entry allowed.

Tournament Fees

The tournament fees are also being handled a bit differently than a typical tournament. For the preliminary events, tournament fees are waived as long you’ve registered or are in line to register by the start of the event. Late entries and re-entries are subject to fees.

Players who reach a final table of a preliminary event will have their fees waived if they register for the following event in the series that is starting the same day. Additionally, those who play in all four preliminary events will have their fees waived for the championship event.

The Purple Jacket

Besides a hefty payday or two, players in the Poker Masters will be playing for bragging rights and a new kind of poker trophy, The Poker Masters Purple Jacket™. The jacket will be awarded to the player with the highest total earnings across all five events.

Designed by world-renowned American designer, Waraire Boswell, poker’s first Purple Jacket will be custom-tailored for the winner by Boswell himself.

The Players

While we don’t yet have access to the registration lists, Twitter has been kind enough to give us some insight into who is likely to take a seat on Wednesday.

Daniel Negreanu

Negreanu is betting that he will win the Purple Jacket, and if he does, he stands to collect an additional $1 million from the field. Last week, Negreanu offered a bet of $50,000 that he would win against any one player. Players were quick to claim their own action and scoop up action on those players that weren’t paying attention. Nothing like an extra million to help you see purple.

Phil Hellmuth

Nobody likes bragging more than Phil Hellmuth. Coming to the series fresh from a second-place finish at the WPT Legends of Poker, Hellmuth lives to set records. You can bet he will show up to chase the Purple Jacket and fight to add Poker Masters Champion to his resume.

Fedor Holz

Holz is coming to Vegas with a film crew in hand. Holz will be filming a documentary that will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at his Poker Masters experience. “I’m excited about giving people an insight into a week packed with super high roller action, but more importantly my personal life and routine around it,” Holz told PokerNews on Friday. “I’m really looking forward to this intense week in Vegas!”

Rainer Kempe

Negreanu isn’t the only one seeking some side action to add a little extra excitement the high-roller series. Rainer Kempe went on Twitter to try and get a fantasy draft going. The draft won’t come close to rivalling the infamous WSOP player draft, but it is likely to include most of the German and some other European high-rollers.

Jason Koon

Fresh off his “Rumble with Jungle” win on Poker After Dark, you can look for Koon to parlay that win into some new threads. After his win, Koon tweeted, “Mad respect for those guys showing up and playing Poker After Dark. Giant stakes with no soft spots, just in there battling…” Let the battle continue.

Based on Negreanu’s side bet and Kempe’s draft, we can look forward to the usual suspects taking the felt to chase purple.

Other likely players include: Brian Rast, Isaac Haxton, Doug Polk, Dan Smith, Scott Seiver, Bryn Kenney, David Peters, Byron Kaverman, Ben Lamb, Justin Bonomo, Ben Tollerene, Stefan Schillhabel, Christoph Vogelsang, Koray Aldemir, Christian Christner, Dominik Nitsche, Adrian Mateos, Sergio Aido, Igor Kurganov and Charlie Carrel.

The Schedule

Date Event Start Time (ET) Broadcast Start Time (ET)
Sept. 13 Event #1 – Day 1 5:00 pm 8:00 pm
Sept. 14 Event #1 – Day 2 3:00 pm 3:30 pm
Event #2 – Day 1 5:00 pm
Sept. 15 Event #2 – Day 2 3:00 pm 3:30 pm
Event #3 – Day 1 5:00 pm
Sept. 16 Event #3 – Day 2 3:00 pm 3:30 pm
Event #4 – Day 1 5:00 pm
Sept. 17 Event #4 – Day 2 3:00 pm 3:30 pm
Sept. 18 Championship Event #5 – Day 1 5:00 pm 8:30 pm
Sept. 19 Championship Event #5 – Day 2 5:00 pm 5:30 pm
Sept. 20 Championship Event #5 – Day 3 TBD 5:30 pm

The Dress Code

The tournament rules include a paragraph discussing a dress code. It will be interesting to see if it is enforced and if the players cooperate. The dress code reads:

“The Poker Masters™ is a worldwide television event with major corporate sponsors. To put the highest quality product on the screen, players are required to dress business casual. White and striped shirts do not look good on camera, so players should wear dark or solid colors. ARIA reserves the right to decide what is or is not appropriate attire for this event. SUNGLASSES AND HEADPHONES ARE NOT ALLOWED. CELL PHONES ARE PROHIBITED AT THE FEATURED TABLE.”