The second running of the PokerGO Cup is underway, and the first of three $10,000 No Limit Hold’em events has finished its Day 1 action. A decent field emerged for the battle, but it was Andrew Lichtenberger who had the most fun on Wednesday. After a day of poker action, it is Lichtenberger who will assume the mantle of “chip leader” for Thursday’s final table action, with a solid list of opponents looking to take him down.

Decent Numbers for Opening Event

It is a little odd to start a tournament in the middle of the work week, but the 2022 PokerGO Cup did not seem to be concerned by that. In the end, they were able to draw out a decent sized field for the first event on the schedule. The resulting numbers also created a decent prize pool, especially since no rake was taken out of the buy-ins.

By the time the late entry/reentry period closed for the tournament, 77 entries had been received for Event #1. This means that the final eleven players will take a piece of the $770,000 prize pool created, with a min-cash earning a player $23,100. The final three places will each earn a six-figure payday, with the eventual champion taking down a $200,200 payday.

Five tables were covered at the start of the action, with each seat presenting tremendous challenges. On one table was British superstar Stephen Chidwick, sitting right beside 2021 Poker Player of the Year Ali Imsirovic. Darren Elias and Lichtenberger held down a patch of felt on their battleground, while Alex Foxen and Sam Soverel squared off on another table. Arguably the toughest test was the quintet of Daniel Negreanu, Jeremy Ausmus, Chance Kornuth, Joseph Cheong and Justin Saliba, who had to be regretting the table draw.

Mitchell Halverson Unfortunate “Bubble Boy”

Of the players listed above, only Elias and Lichtenberger would survive the carnage to make any money. In fact, Elias was responsible for bringing the final eleven players to the money, knocking off Mitchell Halverson on the money bubble. It was a classic race situation, Elias’ pocket fives against Halverson’s Big Slick, and the Queen high board brought Halverson no help to end his tournament in twelfth place ($0).

Lichtenberger began to make his move at this point with a key double up that not only kept him in the tournament but also pushed him into the lead. After limping in on the button, Lichtenberger responded to a Wesam Abdallah raise with an all-in move of his own. Abdallah called with his pocket nines and was dismayed to see Lichtenberger turn up pocket Queens. A Queen in the window virtually ended the hand; an eight on turn officially did the trick, doubling up Lichtenberger to almost 1.8 million in chips as Abdallah would depart a few hands later in eleventh place.

After taking out Jesse Lonis in tenth place, Lichtenberger cracked the two million chip mark and kept the pressure up on his tablemates. Jake Schindler departed in eighth at the hands of Lichtenberger and, after Daniel Colpoys ended Shannon Shorr’s night in seventh place, the six-handed official final table was set:

1. Andrew Lichtenberger, 3.85 million
2. Darren Elias, 1.74 million
3. Daniel Colpoys, 1.71 million
4. Matthew Wantman, 980,000
5. Michael Lang, 735,000
6. Scott Ball, 615,000

The final table of Event #1 will start at noon (Pacific Time), with the action broadcast on the streaming PokerGO service. Event #2 will also start at the same time, another $10,000 buy-in tournament, which will crown a champion on Friday.

(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)

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