The PokerGO Tour is back in action at ARIA in Las Vegas, but this time around it isn’t for anything remotely related to Texas Hold’em. This time around it is all about the Omaha version of the game, as the 2024 PGT Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) Series kicks off a festival of tournaments (and the third running of the tournament). The first final table is in the books, featuring Omaha experts, while the eventual victor Allan Le scored his second championship in a PGT tournament.

Strong Field for Event #1

It may come as a surprise to some, but Omaha Hold’em is an extremely popular variant of poker. In Europe, it is one of the predominant forms of poker played, and it is growing in popularity here in the States. Event #1 of the 2024 PGT PLO Series was a $5000 Pot Limit Omaha affair, and 132 entries were eventually tabulated to build a $660,000 prize pool that featured a $161,700 first place prize for the victor.

While the “usual suspects” for these High Roller tournaments were there – including David Coleman, David ‘Chino’ Rheem, and Jesse Lonis – there were also the Omaha specialists arranged around the room. Such players as Fernando Habegger, Ian Matakis, and Joao Simao, all accomplished Omaha experts, assumed their chairs at the start of action on Wednesday. The action was frenetic around the PokerGO Studios as these Omaholics went to work.

How frenetic? On one of the first hands of play, Curtis Muller found himself all-in on a 4x Q 5 Qx flop and turn against Rheem. Once the cards were up, Rheem was pushing a bit with his A 7 6x 6x (pair of sixes, straight and flush draws) against Muller’s Q-10-8-7 (trip Queens, gutter ball straight draw). Needing to fade a diamond, a six (full house to best Muller’s gutter straight), an eight, or a trey, Muller dodged them all on the nine river to score the double and leave Rheem on fumes.

This was the type of action on the Omaha felt throughout Wednesday. Adam Hendrix would take out Bradley Ruben on the money bubble (20th place), sending the final nineteen men into the money (and PGT points). Jim Collopy (sixteenth place, $9900), Simao (fifteenth, $9900), and Hendrix (eighth, $26,400) all would find a reward, but it was Steve Zolotow’s elimination in seventh place ($26,400) by final table chip leader Bryce Yockey that would bring about the final table.

Yockey’s Lead Doesn’t Last Long

On Thursday, Event #1 of the 2024 PGT PLO Series headed to the felt, with Yockey’s 6.055 million in chips ruling the roost. There were several Omaha experts on the table, including Joao Pedro de Almeida (3.06 million), Frederick Hoban (2.675 million), Sean Troha (1.855 million), and Habegger (1.31 million). Allan Le, who steps up on occasion to dip his toes in the High Roller waters, rounded out the final table with his 1.55 million stack.

Yockey’s stay atop the leaderboard did not last long, unfortunately. He doubled up Habegger on the opening hand, then shipped a stack of chips Hoban to fall from the pinnacle of the leaderboard. Demonstrating the “swingy” nature of Omaha, and his own tenacity, Yockey would gain a measure of revenge in doubling back through Hoban to reassume the lead.

While Yockey was yo-yoing, Le was marching steadily up the ladder. He doubled through Troha (leading to Troha’s elimination in sixth place), then took out Hoban in fifth place to take over the top slot on the leaderboard. After Le dispatched Habegger in fourth place, using an A-K-K-10 to quash Habegger’s A-K-J-J on a 5-6-6-5-4 board, Le was the dominant chip leader three-handed.

Neither Yockey nor de Almeida were able to mount a challenge against Le. Le took down de Almeida in third, flopping a set with his A-7-4-4 against de Almeida’s superior A-J-J-9 on a 4-3-2-6-7 board, and went to heads-up against Yockey with nearly a 4:1 lead. The end came on the next hand as Le, holding an A-A-4-2 against Yockey’s double-suited K-K-8-4, forced Yockey to commit his final chips pre-flop and the J-8-5-9-9 board brought no rescue for Yockey.

1. Allan Le (USA), $161,700 (162 points)
2. Bryce Yockey (USA), $99,000 (99)
3. Joao Pedro de Almeida (Portugal), $72,600 (73)
4. Fernando Habegger (Switzerland), $52,800 (53)
5. Frederick Hoban (USA), $39,600 (40)
6. Sean Troha (USA), $33,000 (33)

The 2024 PGT PLO Series has just gotten started. Today’s final table in the $7500 Pot Limit Omaha Bounty tournament has drawn out 103 entries, with $2500 from each entry as a bounty on the player. The final six men are tightly packed together, with Finland’s Eelis Parssinen holding the chip lead over Josh Arieh and Isaac Kempton, among others.

After the conclusion of Event #2, there are still eight more tournaments to go. The 2024 PGT PLO Series will conclude on March 29 with the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship. That will also be the point where the Player of the Series is crowned, who will earn the PGT Cup signifying a Series champion and the $10,000 PGT Passport that will guarantee entry into any PGT-sanctioned events over the coming year.

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