Big Bang: Aria To Host Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout Tournament This Weekend

Posted By Steve Ruddock on June 27, 2015 - Last Updated on February 8, 2021

Poker Central, a new 24/7 TV network dedicated entirely to poker, is trying to make an early splash in the poker world by hosting the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout Tournament at Aria in Las Vegas.

The tournament will pit some of poker’s biggest names against several famous poker-playing celebrities over the course of two days (June 27 and 28) with a top winner-take-all prize of $1,000,000.

The tournament is part of Aria’s $500,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl. The Super High Roller Bowl is boasting a $25 million prize-pool with $8.25 million set aside for the winner.

But before the SHRB kicks off on July 2, Aria will play host to the Super High Roller Cash Game from June 29 through July 1, and before that the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout tournament.

What to expect

The Celebrity Shootout is a made for TV tournament – slated to begin airing on NBCSN in late July – that will pit five celebrities against one another at one table, and five top poker pros against one another at another table.

The winner of each table will then compete in a best-of-three heads up match for the $1,000,000 winner-take-all payday.

The poker pro lineup

Doyle Brunson

Even at 81 and in semi-retirement from tournament poker, Doyle is still one of the most recognizable people in the game. The Godfather of Poker brings instant credibility to the event.

  • Poker Hall of Famer
  • 10 WSOP bracelets
  • Back-to-back WSOP Main Event Champion (’76 and ’77)
  • Author of Super System

Antonio Esfandiari

One of the most popular players during the poker boom, Antonio has proven to be an excellent poker player, particularly in high-buy-in tournaments.

  • Big One for One Drop Champion ($18 million prize)
  • 3-time WSOP bracelet winner
  • 2-time WPT Champion
  • #2 on poker’s all-time money list with $26.4 million

Phil Hellmuth

Perhaps the most well-known poker player in the world, the 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner holds every major WSOP record.

  • 15-time WSOP bracelet winner
  • WSOP record holder for cashes, final tables, and titles
  • 1989 WSOP Main Event Champion
  • 2013 WSOPE Main Event Champion
  • #7 on poker’s all-time money list with $18.7 million

Daniel Negreanu

Negreanu is one of the most followed and most respected poker players.

Ahead of his time, “Kid Poker” proved young players could make it in the poker world before online casinos sprung into being, and he has managed to maintain a very high level of play during his 20 year career.

  • #1 on poker’s all-time money list with over $30 million
  • 6-time WSOP bracelet winner
  • 2-time WPT Champion
  • PokerStars sponsored pro and the face of the site

Vanessa Selbst

Selbst is the most successful female tournament player in poker history, and considered by many (including myself) to be the best tournament poker player in the game, male or female.

  • All-time female money winner (26th on the all-time list) with over $10.6 million
  • PokerStars sponsored pro
  • 3-time WSOP bracelet winner

The celebrity lineup

Hank Azaria

Azaria is a longtime actor, best known for his voiceover work on the Simpsons and his role in the Robin Williams movie The Birdcage. Azaria has been a regular in the poker world since the industry took off in the early 2000’s.

Don Cheadle

Cheadle, an Academy Award nominated actor who starred in several blockbuster films – Hotel Rwanda, Ocean’s Eleven, and the Iron Man serie – is another celebrity familiar with high-level poker. Cheadle is also one of the creators of the Ante Up For Africa poker charity tournament.

Brad Garrett

Garrett is a regular participant in the World Series of Poker Main Event.

In Hollywood he’s best known for playing the lovable brother on Everybody Loves Raymond, and in the poker world Garrett is best known for livening up any table he happens to be at with his outgoing personality.

Norm Macdonald

The longtime comedian and Saturday Night Live alum grew up playing cards and has been a poker enthusiast ever since.

Poker fans may remember MacDonald as the host of High Stakes Poker during its final season, after the comedian took over for Gabe Kaplan in Season 7.

Kevin Pollak

A versatile actor, Pollack has appeared in a wide variety of movies from A Few Good Men and The Usual Suspects, to Grumpy Old Men and the Whole Nine Yards.

Pollack is perhaps the most accomplished of the celebs, having finished 134th in 2012 WSOP Main Event for $52,718 – and it should be noted , it took a bad beat to end his run.

Who’s missing?

While it’s a good lineup, it’s interesting that the three best celebrity players aren’t part of the show.

No offense to the celebrities who will be playing, but not only are all three of these people better poker players, they are also better known celebrities.

  1. James Woods
  2. Gabe Kaplan
  3. Jennifer Tilly

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Steve Ruddock

Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.

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