Meet the Final 13 Players in the WSOP $50K High Roller

UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer is still in the mix for a WSOP gold bracelet and a first-place prize of over $2 million in the $50,000 High Roller, as he competes against the likes of poker heavy hitters Adrian Mateos, Chance Kornuth, Jesse Lonis and defending champion Leon Sturm, among others.

Tim Fiorvanti
Jun 16, 2024
Legendary UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer is among the final 13 players vying for the WSOP $50,000 High Roller title and a top prize of over $2 million.

Thirteen players remain in the hunt for the biggest prize of the 2024 World Series of Poker thus far on Day 3 of Event 39, a $50,000 High Roller. After the field topped out at 177 entries at the close of late registration on Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas, the first place prize eclipsed $2 million.

As one might expect for a buy-in level of this magnitude, the final 13 players in contention for this bracelet include some true heavy hitters. Online poker legend Viktor ‘isildur1’ Blom holds the chip lead heading into Day 3, as he makes his second serious run at his first career WSOP gold bracelet. Blom and Sergio Aido, a Triton Super High Roller regular also looking for his first WSOP victory, are well out ahead of the rest of the pack.

There’s also defending WSOP $50K champ Leon Sturm, current GPI No. 1 Jesse Lonis, Adrian Mateos, Chance Kornuth, Jonathan Jaffe, and Artur Martirosian. But perhaps most notable of all among these final 13 are a couple of names that pop out for other reasons.

Bruce Buffer, the legendary voice of the UFC, bagged chips for the second consecutive night in the biggest buy-in tournament he’s ever cashed in. Buffer is no stranger to the poker world, and has a WPT final table on his resume, but he’s already locked up the biggest result of his career regardless of his finish. There’s also Robert Salaburu, who made waves during his time in the 2012 WSOP Main Event, where he ultimately finished in eighth place. Salburu doesn’t have any recorded tournament cashes since December 2019, and only two career live six-figure cashes.

Ahead of Sunday’s finale, which will be livestreamed on PokerGO once the field reaches eight players, let’s take a closer look at each of the players who could bring home the title.

Viktor Blom – 9,670,000
WSOP Bracelets:
0
Career Live Earnings:
$3,072,000

Viktor Blom built his legend battling the likes of Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, and a menagerie of other all-time poker greats in high stakes head-up online poker cash games in the heyday of Full Tilt Poker, with famous swings worth millions of dollars in both directions.

He’s periodically popped up in the live poker world over the last 15 years, accumulating just over $3 million in total. That includes a pair of wins worth over $1 million – the 2012 $100,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, and the 2018 partypoker Millions in Rozvadov. This has seemingly been Blom’s most active summer at the WSOP in recent memory, and he’s already had a close call for a first career gold bracelet in 2024 with a fourth-place finish in a $1,500 Dealer’s Choice event. Blom stands to bank the largest live tournament win of his career if he can carry the chip lead through to the end.

Sergio Aido

Sergio Aido – 8,800,000
WSOP Bracelets:
0
Career Live Earnings:
$19,186,552

Sergio Aido has maintained a regular presence on the live tournament trail for more than a decade, with a specialty in high roller events. His career-best came in a €100,000 Super High Roller at EPT Monte Carlo in 2019 – one of four career seven-figure live results. Aido also won the 2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open championship event.

When it comes to Triton, WSOP, and WPT events, however, Aido has had nothing but close calls. A Triton title has been closest of all, with three career runner-up finishes. Aido has twice bubbled a WPT Main Tour final table, taking seventh at WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star in 2017 and WPT Venetian in 2021. And when it comes to the WSOP, Aido has two final tables to his record – one live and one online. As he battles Blom and the rest, this could be Aido’s crowning moment as well.

Jonathan Jaffe

Jonathan Jaffe – 5,135,000
WSOP Bracelets:
0
Career Live Earnings:
$12,859,090

Jonathan Jaffe is a WPT Champions Club member, having won WPT Montreal in Season XIII back in 2014. His career-best score also came in a WPT-branded event, as he won WPT Alpha8 for One Drop in 2023 to record his first live seven-figure result. 

Jaffe has made four career WSOP final tables, but his best finish to date is a third-place finish in a $5,000 6-Max No Limit Hold’em event in 2021.

Martin Kabrhel

Martin Kabrhel – 4,380,000
WSOP Bracelets:
2
Career Live Earnings:
$12,647,929

Martin Kabrhel has enjoyed almost all of his best career results at the World Series of Poker, most notably winning the €100,000 Super High Roller at WSOP Europe in 2018 for just shy of $3 million and one of the two WSOP gold bracelets in his collection.

Jesse Lonis

Jesse Lonis – 4,230,000
WSOP Bracelets:
2
Career Live Earnings:
$8,676,400

It might be easier to list off the things Jesse Lonis hasn’t done in poker over the last few years. After putting in some incredible volume through 2021 and 2022, Lonis broke out in a massive way in 2023. His victory in the WSOP $50,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller earned him over $2.3 million and his second career gold bracelet.

Lonis is just a few weeks removed from his second career WPT Main Tour final table as well, and his results over the last two years have pushed him up to the No. 1 spot on the Global Poker Index.

Leon Sturm

Leon Sturm – 3,895,000
WSOP Bracelets:
1
Career Live Earnings:
$6,533,879

2024 was a career year for Leon Sturm, especially when it comes to the World Series of Poker. He recorded his first career bracelet victory in this very event, and then went on to finish third in a $103,000 High Roller at WSOP Paradise in December. Sturm also has a WPT Main Tour final table on his resume, having finished 4th at WPT Venetian in 2022.

Going back-to-back in a field of this depth of quality would place Sturm among some of the most legendary performances in WSOP history.

Adrian Mateos

Adrian Mateos – 3,585,000
WSOP Bracelets:
4
Career Live Earnings:
$47,108,596

Adrian Mateos currently sits ninth on the all-time live tournament earnings list, and as you might imagine he’s done pretty much everything there is to do in poker. He’s a four-time WSOP bracelet winner, breaking through by winning the 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event.

Mateos hasn’t really slowed down since. He won EPT Monte Carlo in 2015, a $250,000 Super High Roller at the 2021 WSOP, and posted numerous seven-figure results on the Triton Super High Roller Series.

Chance Kornuth

Chance Kornuth – 3,385,000
WSOP Bracelets:
3
Career Live Earnings:
$16,070,024

Chance Kornuth is a three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and a WPT Champions Club member, having won WPT Choctaw in Season XX. Despite his four largest career live cashes coming in high roller events at the WSOP, one of the few things Kornuth hasn’t accomplished in his career to this point is finishing a high roller out. He recorded runner-up finishes in WSOP high rollers in both 2022 ($75K) and 2023 ($25K 6-Max).

Johannes Straver

Johannes Straver – 2,865,000
WSOP Bracelets:
0
Career Live Earnings:
$2,482,675

Johannes Straver has made three career WSOP final tables, with a career-best cash of $411,279 coming in 2022 when he finished second in a $5,000 No Limit Hold’em freezeout. He also has a handful of cashes on the Triton Super High Roller Series, with one final table appearance. A result of fifth place or better would give Straver a new career high.

Morten Klein – 2,210,000
WSOP Bracelets:
0
Career Live Earnings:
$1,917,953

Norway’s Morten Klein has knocked on the door to a major title on several occasions. He finished third at EPT Copenhagen in 2010, and back in Season XI of the World Poker Tour he was the runner-up at WPT Copenhagen. Klein’s also made a pair of Triton final tables, recording a career-best live cash of $309,000 back in May in Montenegro.

Robert Salaburu

Robert Salaburu – 1,920,000
WSOP Bracelets:
0
Career Live Earnings:
$1,750,749

Robert Salaburu burst into the poker consciousness back in 2012 during his run in the WSOP Main Event. He eventually finished eighth for $971,360, and with the exception of a Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza win for $360,398 in 2017, Salaburu has largely been quiet when it comes to live poker results in the ensuing 12 years. This will be his first recorded live tournament cash since December 2019, when he finished 28th at the WPT Five Diamond Poker Classic.

Artur Martirosian

Artur Martirosian – 1,660,000
WSOP Bracelets:
2
Career Live Earnings:
$15,225,012

Artur Martirosian enjoyed a breakout year in 2023. He showed off his High Roller chops with a runner-up finish in the $250,000 Super High Roller at the WSOP, took sixth at the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas, and won a pair of WSOP bracelets in online events.

Martirosian’s first cash of the 2024 WSOP was a run to the semifinals of the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship.

Bruce Buffer – 1,365,000
WSOP Bracelets:
0
Career Live Earnings:
$354,804

The player carrying the shortest stack into Day 3 of a major tournament rarely gets much attention, but Bruce Buffer is certainly a notable exception. The longtime ring announcer for the UFC has deep ties in the poker world. Buffer was a former ‘red pro’ on Full Tilt Poker, had a poker room named after him at Luxor and made the final table of the WPT Invitational back in Season III, finishing sixth. He also appeared on an episode of NBC’s Poker After Dark.

This will be the largest cash of Buffer’s career regardless of his finish, and the biggest buy-in event Buffer’s ever cashed in by far.