Max Silver Shares His Views on the World of (Super) High Rollers
Frank Op de Woerd
In 2018, Justin Bonomo cashed for a record-breaking $25.5 million. He wasn’t the only one doing well, a total of 44 players cashed for $3 million or more and 24 cashed for $5 million or more.
Some years ago, such a number would’ve guaranteed you a spot high up in the All-Time Money List, but poker has changed in recent years. With a Super High Roller on tap just about every week, one can cash for millions a year and still end up in the red.
Max Silver is a semi-regular in the high rollers, with any Super High Roller considered an outlier on his schedule. But he knows all the players, he’s the man behind the Snapshove app that many of them use, and as a semi-retired player has a refreshingly honest look on things.
We talked with Silver in the first break of the PCA’s closing $25,000 High Roller.
What makes you sign up for an event like this’https://twitter.com/max_silver/status/1084873326206554113′ target=’_blank’ rel=’nofollow noopener’>Twitter?
No, obviously I’m playing any event because I feel I have an edge. It will be nice to get unstuck for the trip, but poker is really one long trip so you can’t really think that way. I was kind of joking about that.
I think the field is a lot worse than everyone thought it would be right now. It’s all the guys from the Super High Rollers who I try my best to not play with whenever I can, but they’re all here with me.
When you’re the table fish
— Max Silver (@max_silver)
Max Silver was seated with Christopher Kruk, Adrian Mateos, Nick Petrangelo, Andras Nemeth, Joao Vieira, and David Peters.
These fields often look really tough.
They’re really tough in general. You have a lot of really really tough players; you really need to bring your A-game. It’s kind of cool, because everyone brings their A-game for these high rollers, and you play some really tough poker, which is really good for your poker ability in the future.
"Some of these guys put in $4 or $5 million in buy-ins a year, I think. There’s just so much high stakes stuff now, and there are so many reentries."
Edges are really small; the variance is pretty high. So you can easily go a year or more without doing well in one of these high rollers. It’s just a really sick form of high stakes poker that the best are playing.
Challenging yourself against the best, is that really a factor? Or is it really just about making money?
I’m always trying to make some money. That’s why I play poker. I think I have a small edge in this field but I don’t think I’m winning that much at all as the field stands, [but] it might improve later on in the day.
You’re playing these big-buy-in events, but I also saw a €220 tournament on your Hendonmob for 2018. How do you cope with playing $25K events and then also €220 tournaments?
It’s really tough playing a big range of buy-ins.
I think a lot of players are kind of guilty of not playing their A-game or anything close to it in the smaller events because they just don’t really care. I always try to play my best but I’m sure I’m more focused in the bigger stuff too.
I think, in the small events, it’s more of a minefield. The fields are bigger so you need to outlast more players, so there’s more luck involved as well. While in these smaller high rollers, you can do fairly well some more often.
The All-Time Money List and the GPI are things we talk about quite often on PokerNews. Do they matter to you?
For me, not at all. I would say I’m semi-retired now. I have a lot of other things going on; some stuff with the family.
For me, it’s not important because I know I’m never going to be playing enough to actually win. But there are a lot of these guys who are playing everything single tournament, every single high roller, every single stop. And for them, it’s obviously really important and it’s something they really care about. I think it’s really cool to see someone play for essentially points that don’t mean anything, but they still want to be that number one player at the end of the year. I know it’s not going to be me but I’m happy for them.
"I would like to see more public disclosure of who has what pieces at certain points in the tournament to the rest of the field. But I’m not sure that’s going to happen."
Looking at these Super High Roller regulars, what do you think they spend in buy-ins in a year? Just to put things in perspective for the general public.
Some of these guys put in $4 or $5 million in buy-ins a year, I think. There’s just so much high stakes stuff now, and there are so many reentries. There’s a $100,000 at least every single week of the year.
So I think, when you look at like the All-Time Money List, it’s becoming almost meaningless because obviously when you’re playing a $100K, most pros won’t gonna have all of themselves. So it just leads to Hendonmob inflation, as I like to call it, where you can’t be in the Top 50 when you’re not playing the Super High Roller anymore. It’s just the new world of poker, that’s just how it is. It has definitely changed.
What’s your view on the swapping, staking, and selling of action in these Super High Rollers? What do you think about this whole dynamic?
I think it’s mostly fine. If there wasn’t that, these events wouldn’t have half the players in the field and they might not even run.
There are obviously concerns over game-integrity. But I feel, for the most part, poker is quite self-policing. If there are any kind of bad actors, they’re going to be forced out.
It could lead to spots where people would have a choice between making the best play for the poker player and the best play for themselves financially, which is kind of a weird spot. I would like to see more public disclosure of who has what pieces at certain points in the tournament to the rest of the field. But I’m not sure that’s going to happen.
How has your trip to the PCA been thus far?
It’s been real bad. I had to find some more money today because I didn’t have enough in my Stars-account. But this could be the one!
Max Silver is currently playing the $25,000 High Roller at the PCA. You can follow live updates from this event in the . The event had a somewhat slow start but is up to over 80 entries now. Follow along with Max and his competition here.
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