The PokerGO Tour’s PLO Series II is down to its final events, but not until some dominant performances were capped on Saturday and Sunday. In both Event #7, a $10,000 PLO tournament, and Event #8, the $10,000 PLO Hi/Lo tournament, the player who entered the final table with the chip lead was able to win the event. It also pushed Benjamin Juhasz, the champion of Event #7, and Zhen Cai, the victor in Event #8, deep into the battle for the Player of the Series trophy and the $25,000 bonus.
Finish What You Started…
Benjamin Juhasz had already cashed twice in the PLO Series II schedule, but he had not tasted the nectar of victory. He set himself up well to do just that in Event #7, holding a slight lead over Finland’s Joni Jounkimainen at the start of the final table on Saturday. Juhasz came out on a mission from the start and, after picking up some ammunition, was able to trounce the other members of the final table.
Juhasz got it started by knocking out Matthew Wantman in sixth place after Wantman failed to catch a flush against Juhasz’s flopped two pair. From there, Juhasz eliminated Zhen Cai in fifth, PLO Series II champion Joao Simao in fourth, and Jounkimainen in third to move to heads-up play against Jim Collopy with a nearly 10:1 lead. With such a massive lead, it wasn’t going to take long for Juhasz to finish the job – and it took all of one hand.
Immediately following the departure of Jounkimainen, Collopy put out 300K and Juhasz made the call to see a 10-7-5 flop. Juhasz immediately put the pressure on with a pot bet, requiring an all-in call from Collopy, and the cards were turned up:
Collopy: K-J-9-8 (open-ended straight draw with two over cards)
Juhasz: Q-10-2-2 (flopped pair)
There was a slew of cards that Juhasz had to fade, and he did just that. A trey on the turn and an Ace on the river did nothing to improve Collopy’s holdings, earning Juhasz the checkmark and the championship:
1. Benjamin Juhasz (Hungary), $206,400 (206 points)
2. Jim Collopy (USA), $141,900 (142)
3. Joni Jounkimainen (Finland), $107,500 (108)
4. Joao Simao (Brazil), $86,000 (86)
5. Zhen Cai (USA), $68,800 (69)
6. Matthew Wantman (USA), $51,600 (52)
In Event #8, the $10,000 PLO Hi/Lo tournament, Cai utilized his observation of Juhasz’s efforts in their final table run and put it to work for himself. Cai was the player who carried the chip lead into the final table, and it was a dominant one. Cai’s four opponents – Ryan Rapaski (1.325 million), Jesse Lonis (1.24 million), Nick Schulman (1.16 million), and Adam Hendrix (1.02 million) – were arranged behind Cai’s 2.135 million stack. Just like Juhasz, Cai was a one-man wrecking crew on his way to the title.
Cai would bump off Hendrix in fifth and Lonis in third, letting Rapaski take down Schulman in fourth, to enter heads-up play with a 5.425 million to 1.45 million chip lead. From there, Cai took all of TWO hands to knock off Rapaski, making a full house with his 8-8-5-3 against Rapaski’s A-10-9-2 on a Q-9-3-3-5 board, earning the championship of Event #8:
1. Zhen Cai (USA), $176,000 (176 points)
2. Ryan Rapaski (USA), $115,500 (116)
3. Jesse Lonis (USA), $77,000 (77)
4. Nick Schulman (USA), $55,000 (55)
5. Adam Hendrix (USA), 44,000 (44)
Simao Holds Edge on Overall Championship Going to Championship Event
In the race for the Overall Championship of the PGT PLO Series II, Joao Simao has used a championship win and several cashes to build a nice stack of points in the race. Heading to the Event #9 $25,000 Championship Event, Simao has put together 341 points, but he isn’t running away with the race. Yockey’s cash in Event #8, just ahead of Simao, allowed him to book another 33 points, moving him to 283 points and right behind Jim Collopy’s 287 points in second place. Here’s how the Top Five line up as the Championship Event begins:
1. Joao Simao, 341 points
2. Jim Collopy, 287
3. Bryce Yockey, 283
4. Benjamin Juhasz, 275
5. Adam Hendrix, 270
Currently Day One of the $25,000 PLO Championship Event is underway, and it is going to be a massive event. There are 72 entries in the books as of press time and late registration is still ongoing. It is going to depend on how many players earn a payday from the Event #9 bounty – and what players earn that cash – before we learn who will be the overall champion of the PGT PLO Series II.
(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)