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Jared Bleznick Wins Largest Buy-In Pot-Limit Omaha Tournament Ever

Sports Cards Enthusiast Takes Down Inaugural $100,000 PLO Super High Roller Bowl

by Erik Fast |  Published: Nov 29, 2023

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The highest buy-in pot-limit Omaha tournament in poker history wrapped up in the early morning hours of Thursday, Oct. 19. A total of 38 entries were made in the inaugural running of the $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl: Pot-Limit Omaha event, creating a prize pool of $3.8 million.

After three days of four-card action inside the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino, longtime PLO standout Jared Blezick emerged victorious from a stacked final table with the title, the SHRB ring, and the top prize of $1,292,000.

“I played so good,” Bleznick repeated to his rail as the realization of victory set in after a long, drawn-out final table that lasted 14 hours.

This was the largest tournament score yet for the man known as The Blez, who spent many years as a top online PLO specialist before turning his attention to his sports cards business in the mid-2010s.

His previous top payout was the $526,625 he earned as the runner-up in the 2013 World Series of Poker $10,000 PLO championship event. Four of his five top largest tournament cashes have now come playing PLO. With this latest victory, Bleznick now has nearly $4.1 million in tournament earnings to his name.

“Jared, for a few years now you’ve been asking me when we were going to run a big PLO event,” said Aria Tournament Director Paul Campbell. “And you [certainly] showed up for it.”

Down the stretch of this event, he had to contend with two of the highest-earning tournament players in the history of the game in Stephen Chidwick ($54.7 million in career earnings) and Isaac Haxton ($45.5 million in career earnings) during a three-handed clash that lasted roughly six hours. Those two high-stakes superstars were just a few weeks removed from podium finishes in the latest no-limit hold’em version of the SHRB, which ultimately saw Haxton win for $2,760,000 while Chidwick placed third for $960,000.

The third and final day of the tournament began with seven players and Haxton in the lead. Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu had been knocked out on the bubble late on day 2 with set-under-set against Bleznick, leaving everyone else in the money.

Bleznick was second in chips among the final seven when cards got in the air. He closed the gap on Haxton further by knocking out recent PGT Mixed Games II champion Chino Rheem in seventh place ($152,000).

This was Rheem’s 14th final table of the year, with 11 of those being recorded since mid-September. He now sits in 72nd place in the 2023 Card Player Player of the Year race standings presented by Global Poker, and 33rd in the PGT season-long ranks.

Isaac Kempton scored a pair of knockouts with pocket aces in his hand both times, busting Frank Crivello (6th – $228,000) and Aaron Katz (5th – $304,000) to enter four-handed play in a virtual three-way tie for the lead with Bleznick and Haxton.

The final four battled for several hours before the next elimination took place. Kempton had slid to the bottom of the counts by then. In one key hand, he was all-in awaiting a possible call when Bleznick decided to use his time bank cards to instead open some sports cards boxes on the broadcast.

Bleznick, who co-owns Legacy Sports Cards in Las Vegas with Tom Marchese and is a well-known live-streaming ‘breaker’ in the sports cards world, has become infamous in recent years for on-camera hijinks regarding his day job. In 2021 he won the $10,000 PLO event at the U.S. Poker Open and told interviewer Jeff Platt that his mind was elsewhere.

“All of this, it just doesn’t do anything for me,” Bleznick deadpanned. “Sports cards. That’s my life. Poker was something that I loved growing up in my twenties. Sports cards. It’s just the greatest business in the world. I’m going to play here and there, but I’d rather be opening cards.”

The next year at the WSOP, Bleznick kept the shtick going with Platt. “I’ve come on here before and I told the world, that these tournaments mean nothing to me. But this was a $50,000 buy-in, and I was playing for $1.4 million, and I was playing for a bracelet… and to be honest with you Jeff … this still does absolutely nothing for me. I’d rather be selling sports cards.”

Meanwhile, back at the final table, Bleznick eventually finished his cards unboxing and got out of the way, leading to a Kempton double up.

“For the record, I don’t care if I win this or I don’t, there’s no one better than me in this game,” Bleznick told his opponents during four-handed play. “And that’s factual. There’s no one better than me in pot-limit Omaha.”

Kempton’s actual final hand saw the last of his short stack get in preflop with double-suited jacks facing both Bleznick and Chidwick. Bleznick hit top pair and an open-ended straight draw on the flop and bet Chidwick’s unimproved hand out of contention. Kempton had picked up a flush draw to go with his overpair, but Bleznick improved to two pair on the turn and held from there to end Kempton’s run in fourth place ($418,000).

The high-stakes newcomer now has $4.5 million in career tournament earnings, and was not yet done at Aria. Read more about the subsequent PokerGO Tour PLO Series on pg. 22.

Three-handed action began at around 8 p.m. local time in Las Vegas and continued until a bit before 2 a.m. Chidwick had overtaken the chip lead at one point, but just over an hour later found himself all-in and at risk. He committed most of his stack preflop potting from the button with AHeart Suit 9Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit 7Heart Suit and then called a re-pot from Bleznick out of the big blind, who held AClub Suit KSpade Suit KClub Suit 8Heart Suit. The flop came out ADiamond Suit QDiamond Suit 10Diamond Suit and Chidwick’s last few big blinds went in. The JSpade Suit on the turn gave Bleznick Broadway, leaving Chidwick drawing dead heading into the river.

The 34-year-old British poker pro earned $570,000 for his third-place finish. This was his 24th final-table finish of the year, with five titles won and more than $8.7 million in POY earnings accrued along the way.

With 8,779 total POY points, he sits in third place in the 2023 standings as he looks to win his third career POY award. He first secured that honor in 2019 and is the defending POY from last year. Chidwick also climbed to fourth on the PGT leaderboard, which he also won in 2022.

Heads-up play began with Haxton holding 6,775,000 to Bleznick’s 4,625,000. He had a shot at closing out the win and earning his third career SHRB ring, having already won the SHRB V and the recent SHRB VIII.

The first hand began with Bleznick limping from the button with 10-9-8-7 double-suited and Haxton potting from the big blind with pocket aces that had one of Bleznick’s suits covered. Bleznick re-potted and Haxton shoved. Bleznick called and hit two pair on the turn to double into the lead.

Not too long after that, Haxton potted with QSpade Suit QClub Suit 10Heart Suit 6Heart Suit from the button and Bleznick called with 9Heart Suit 5Spade Suit 3Heart Suit 2Spade Suit from the big blind. The 9Spade Suit 7Club Suit 4Heart Suit flop saw Bleznick bet pot.

Haxton shoved for 2,280,000 and Bleznick called. The 9Diamond Suit turn gave Bleznick trips and a huge lead in the hand. Haxton needed a queen or eight on the river to keep the event running, but the ADiamond Suit rolled off instead to end his tournament in second place ($836,000).

This was Haxton’s 21st final-table finish of the year, with seven titles. His 8,532 POY points are good for fifth in the POY standings. In the high-stakes-centric PGT race, he sits alone at the top with 2,548 points.

Haxton’s big victories this year include his first WSOP bracelet in a $25,000 buy-in event and the previously mentioned SHRB win for more than $2.7 million just a few weeks before this event. He has earned $13.4 million in POY events this year alone, the most of any player on the circuit. ♠

Final Table Results

Place Player Payout (POY)
1 Jared Bleznick $1,292,000 (480)
2 Isaac Haxton $836,000 (400)
3 Stephen Chidwick $570,000 (320)
4 Isaac Kempton $418,000 (240)
5 Aaron Katz $304,000 (200)
6 Frank Crivello $228,000 (160)
7 Chino Rheem $152,000 (120)