The PokerGO Tour is taking little – if any – breaks in the tournament poker schedule. Days after closing down their first-ever Pot Limit Omaha series, the circuit is back in action again at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas. This time around, it is the 2023 U. S. Poker Open and already an event is in the books.
Joey Weissman Comes With Big Stack, Leaves With Event #1 Championship
Perhaps the PLO guys showed the rest of poker’s “High Rollers” how to do it. Over the course of the nine-event PLO Series, none of the tournaments had less than 80 entries and their Main Event broke the $2 million prize pool mark. Perhaps this first event of the 2023 U. S. Poker Open will draw like the PLO Series did, as 105 entries were received in Event #1 on Thursday’s opening day.
The competition was fierce on Day One of Event #1, with the final six topped at the end of Thursday’s action by Justin Young. Young would power his way to the final eight players and, in working down to the final six, would be responsible for sending Brazil’s Joao Simao to the rail in eighth place. Weissman was the only serious challenger to Young, knocking out Ren Lin in seventh place to finish off Day One about a million chips behind Young.
Young and Weissman were in the prime spots at the start of Day Two play, but they did have some challenges. Nacho Barbero, coming off an outstanding run at the PLO Series, was in third, while Andrew Moreno was near the two million mark in chips. Only Jonathan Little and Matthew McEwan were in desperate straits.
As the short stack, Little was the first departure, but he was surprisingly followed by Barbero in fifth. McEwan leveled up a couple of spots on the ladder, and Weissman was able to take down Moreno in third to go to heads-up play against Young on the short end of the stick. He was able to quickly reverse that situation, however, and took the battle to Young. In the end, Weissman would be the player to draw first blood at the 2023 U. S. Poker Open in defeating Young for the title.
1. Joey Weissman (USA), $231,000
2. Justin Young (USA), $168,000
3. Andrew Moreno (USA), $126,000
4. Matthew McEwan (USA), $99,750
5. Nacho Barbero (Argentina), $78,750
6. Jonathan Little (USA), $63,000
Nine More Events on Tap for 2023 USPO
This opening salvo of the 2023 USPO is but the first of ten events in the series. The USPO, now in its fifth year (it did not run in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic), has become one of the linchpins of the PokerGO Tour’s schedule, drawing some of the deepest-pocketed pros out for battle. The series of $10,000 buy-in tournaments is capped with a couple of $25,000 preliminaries and concludes with its $50,000 Main Event.
The inaugural champion in 2018 was the United Kingdom’s Stephen Chidwick, who has been a staple of the USPO since its inception. Believe it or not, the USPO has had a repeat overall champion (who receives a $50,000 bonus for their performance) in David Peters, who captured the overall title in 2019 and 2021. The defending champion of the USPO is Sean Winter, who was the runner-up to Peters in both 2019 and 2021 before breaking through last year.
Can the numbers match up with the performance of the PLO players? The USPO is hoping so, as Event #2 has at least matched Event #1’s benchmark of 105 entries. Over the next week, we’ll have some poker entertainment streaming across the lines of PokerGO as the 2023 U. S. Poker Open celebrates its fifth anniversary.
(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)