The 2021 U. S. Poker Open is fully into its action for its first Saturday of play, crowning a champion and setting the final table for the highly competitive $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha final table. Up next for those not involved in the PLO tournament will be another $10,000 No Limit Hold’em event on Saturday, while the “Big Bet” $10K event comes on Sunday.

Jake Daniels Wins Largest Ever USPO Event

The 95 entrants who comprised the field for Event #1 also made history for the USPO. It was the largest event ever in the short (two year) history of the series, but it was certainly a quality field. Starting the day’s play, high roller regular Dan Shak was atop the standings with his 2.57 million stack. That was a tenuous position, however, as Shak was pursued by Daniels (2.12 million) and a “where are they now” subject in Steve Zolotow (2.1 million) rounding out the podium positions to start the action.

With the array of talent and chips against him, the short stack of Tim McDermott did not stand much of a chance. Coming to the final table as the only player with less than a million chips, McDermott had to double up or go home fairly quickly. On a 5-5-2 flop, McDermott found that spot with a 4 3 for the open-ended straight draw, but Sergi Reixach had paired the deuce to hold the lead. Once the board failed to deliver either end for him, McDermott was done in seventh place.

Even with the influx of chips from McDermott, Reixach was not long for the event. He would get his chips in the center next, holding 9♠ 5♠, but Barry Hutter was not going anywhere with his pocket sevens. Although he would flop a five and, on the turn, catch a straight draw, Reixach could not complete his comeback and departed in sixth place.

Hutter was also responsible for the next knockout. Zolotow, one of the veterans of the world of poker, made his move with Big Slick, but he lacked the chips to make it impactful. Hutter made a “pot odds” call with his 9♣ 7♣ and struck gold in pairing his seven, enough to send Zolotow to the rail in fifth place. It was Zolotow’s first cash in an open event since the 2019 World Series of Poker Championship Event.

Shak, meanwhile, was cruising with his lead. He dispatched Hutter in third place after Daniels had ended the run of 2018 USPO champion Stephen Chidwick in fourth. Going to heads up play, Shak’s 7.2 million chips held a sizeable advantage over Daniels’ 4.6 million stack, but he was unable to overcome two things – sheer luck and Daniels. After making a better straight than what Shak held, Daniels took over the lead in the tournament and wouldn’t let go, taking home the title and the $218,500 first place payday.

1. Jake Daniels, $218,500
2. Dan Shak, $152,000
3. Barry Hutter, $114,000
4. Stephen Chidwick, $95,000
5. Steve Zolotow, $76,000
6. Sergi Reixach, $57,000
7. Tim McDermott, $47,500

Soverel Dominates En Route to PLO Final Table Lead

To say Sam Soveral dominated on his way to the chip lead in Event #2, the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, would be an extreme understatement. At one point in the run-up to that table, Soverel was the only player who was in seven figures for a chip stack. Even though he would give some back after the money bubble popped at 10 players, Soverel will still hold a dominant lead as one of the six survivors from the 65-entry field.

1. Sam Soverel, 3.48 million
2. Dylan Wilkerson, 1.735 million
3. Marc Brody, 1.185 million
4. Jordan Cristos, 645,000
5. Matthew Ploof, 640,000
6. Maxx Coleman, 440,000

The final table for this event will begin at noon (Pacific) in the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas, with the live stream of the event to start on PokerGO beginning at 1PM (Pacific).

(Photos courtesy of

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