Much of North America is in the grasp of a winter storm, but the action has been hot at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas. The five-tournament 2024 PGT Kickoff has been the focus of attention this weekend, with two tournaments wrapping up their action. On Saturday, Dylan Weisman broke through with a big win in Event #2, while Event #3 saw a surprise winner in Justin Young, who came off the short stack to pull off the feat.

Weisman Tops Start-of-Day Chip Leader Sergei Kislinskii to Take Title

Sergii Kislinskii was the chip leader when the cards went in the air on Saturday, but Weisman was right behind him, 2.645 million chips to 2.585 million. Three of the other players behind them – Event #1 winner David Coleman, Matthew McEwan, and Jeremy Becker – looked to have a puncher’s chance of climbing the leaderboard. Two players, Jesse Lonis and Victoria Livschitz, were on shorter stacks with work to do.

Livschitz took her shot first, moving all in against Becker with an A-10 against Becker’s pocket nines, but the board came down King high and didn’t help her at all as she hit the rail in seventh place. The story was different for Lonis, however, as he doubled through McEwan and called down Becker to move into contention. Lonis’ run towards the title would end at the hands of Weisman, who seized control after their battle.

Weisman limped in to see Lonis pop the bet up to 320K off the big blind. Weisman didn’t hesitate in moving all in for his leading stack and Lonis made the call for less to put himself at risk. Lonis’ A-10 was ahead of Weisman’s K-Q, and the A-K-6 flop hit both but kept Lonis in the lead. A blank came on the turn, but the Queen on the river gave Weisman two pair and sent Lonis out of the tournament in sixth place.

Now holding more than half the chips in play, Weisman decimated the remainder of the table. Coleman, McEwan, and Becker all fell in quick succession to lead to heads-up play with Weisman (10.05 million) crushing Kislinskii (1.2 million). Two hands are all it would take to determine the title, with Weisman topping Kislinskii, K-4 to K-3, on the final hand when the flop gave him trips with 4-4-2.

1. Dylan Weisman, $121,500 (243 points)
2. Sergei Kislinskii, $78,750 (158)
3. Jeremy Becker, $56,250 (113)
4. Matthew McEwan, $40,500 (81)
5. David Coleman, $31,500 (63)
6. Jesse Lonis, $22,500 (45)
7. Victoria Livschitz, $18,000 (36)

Young Comes Off the Felt for Event #3 Title

Sunday saw the combatants for this $5000 No Limit Hold’em tournament, Event #3 of the five scheduled, with David Coleman back again at the final table. This time around, however, he wasn’t the story, as Kristen Foxen was sitting at the head of the table as the septet gathered on Sunday afternoon. Foxen would prove to be a formidable foe for all the men at the table, including Young, who started with only 405K in chips (compared to Foxen’s 2.2 million).

Foxen didn’t waste any time getting to business, knocking out former World Champion Ryan Riess when her pocket tens stood up to Riess’ A-J. But Coleman’s hot run would continue as he took over the lead when he eliminated Viktor Ustimov in sixth place. It seemed that the duo was on a collision course, and it eventually would happen.

Foxen’s stack had dropped dangerously low when she decided to move all-in for 1.895 million against Coleman, and the cards didn’t look like they would go Foxen’s way. Her pocket sevens had run smack into Coleman’s pocket Kings, but the “poker gods” would have a bit of a twist of fate at Coleman’s expense in giving a J-7-5 flop. Now looking for another cowboy, Coleman would instead see two blanks to give the lead up to Foxen.

Young had quietly sat in the shadows watching the carnage, but he suddenly sprang to life against Dylan DeStefano. DeStefano, with fewer chips than Young, pushed all in and Young didn’t blink in making the call. Young’s A-Q was in very good shape against the A-8 of DeStefano, and the Queen on the flop furthered his edge. Once there was a blank on the turn, DeStefano was drawing dead, and Young shot to the lead.

Three-handed play brought about another rarity in poker – the three-way all-in to end the poker tournament. On the final hand, Foxen opened up the action for 300K and Young responded by moving all in. Coleman examined the stacks of his opponents and perhaps thought this was the moment, putting HIS stack in the center. Foxen didn’t back down either and three players turned up their cards:

Foxen (button): pocket Queens
Young (small blind): pocket eights
Coleman (big blind): pocket Kings

The unlikely three pocket pairs hitting was stunning, almost as much as the 10-6-8 flop that thrust Young into the lead in the hand. Both Foxen and Coleman were looking for paint, but none would come on the trey turn and the seven river. Coleman, by starting the hand with more chips than Foxen, earned the second place prize while Young earned the PGT trophy.

1. Justin Young, $105,850 (212 points)
2. David Coleman, $69,350 (139)
3. Kristen Foxen, $49,275 (99)
4. Dylan DeStefano, $34,675 (69)
5. Adekunle Olonoh, $25,550 (51)
6. Viktor Ustimov, $18,250 (37)
7. Ryan Riess, $14,600 (29)

Two events are left on the schedule for the 2024 PGT Kickoff Series. Currently underway is Event #4, another $5000 No Limit event, while Monday marks the start of the $10,000 Main Event. All events are being streamed on PokerGO for those who are subscribed to the service.

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