There’s still some work to do in the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas this Saturday. The $25,000 10-Game Championship has worked its way down to the final eighteen players. Dan Zack will lead those players to action on Saturday, with several of the players potentially able to make a run toward the PGT Mixed Game Series overall championship.

Strong Field for Difficult Tournament

For one of the finales of a PGT tournament, the 10-Game Championship (and its $25,000 price tag) brought out a sizeable field. 57 entries were in the books by the end of the Day One action, which saw a real test for the players. The 10-Game Championship featured the following games:

No Limit Hold’em
Omaha Hi-Lo
Pot Limit Omaha
Limit Hold’em
No Limit Deuce to Seven Single Draw
Stud Hi-Lo
Limit Deuce to Seven Triple Draw

Going beyond even the World Series of Poker’s multi-event test in the Players’ Championship.

Twenty-four players were on the felt for the early action and they wasted little time getting their chips into business. The day’s first elimination was earned by Event #5 champion Nick Guagenti when he knocked out Yuval Bronshtein in a hand of Pot Limit Omaha. However, there were plenty of players to take Bronshtein’s place, including PokerGO Cup champion Cary Katz, Mike Gorodinsky, and Nacho Barbero, as the late registration period wore on.

Zack would make his move in a hand where he took down one player and devastated the stack of a second. In No Limit Deuce to Seven Single Draw, Deeb pumped the pot to 5500 and Lamb three-bet to 16K. Zack, in the big blind, was happy to see this action and popped 50K chips in the center. This brought the biggest action of the tournament to this point as Deeb moved all in.

Lamb, with about 80K more than Deeb, made the call and Zack called for less and had the first action. He stood pat, taking no cards, while Deeb also stood pat, and Lamb took one card. With all the chips in the center, Zack showed first his 8-7-5-3-2. A disgruntled Deeb fanned out a 9-8-7-3-2 to fall first, while Lamb brought some drama by turning up 7-5-4-2. Needing a trey or a six to top Zack’s offering, Lamb instead squeezed out an eight for the second-best hand and Zack had tripled up while Lamb was out and Deeb was down to scraps.

Prize Pool of Nearly $1.5 Million

The 57-entry field (Bronshtein and Lamb reentered the fray, at the minimum) generated a $1,425,000 prize pool. The final nine men would receive some of the largess of the tournament, with a ninth-place minimum payday earning $42,750 to that player. The eventual champion of the 10-Game Championship takes the Mixed Game Series trophy, a sizeable $427,500 payday, and 257 points toward the overall championship.

Zack was able to earn more chips through Deeb, eventually assuming the lead in the tournament. He would move over the million chip mark in topping Craig Chait in Limit Hold’em, but he would need every chip he could garner to maintain the lead. Both Jeremy Ausmus (1,070,000 chips) and Jason Mercier (1,020,000) will be on Zack’s back (1,150,000) when the action resumes on Saturday.

1. Dan Zack, 1,150,000
2. Jeremy Ausmus, 1,070,000
3. Jason Mercier, 1,020,000
4. Matthew Ashton, 980,000
5. Mike Wattel, 920,000
6. Maxx Coleman, 766,000
7. Daniel Alaei, 725,000
8. Nacho Barbero, 720,000
9. Cary Katz, 625,000

Daniel Negreanu (580,000) and Andrew Kelsall (550,000) lurk just off the payout positions, while Billy O’Neil and David ‘ODB’ Baker (both with 250,000) will have to find some fortune to move up for a shot at the 10-Game Championship at the PGT Mixed Game Series.

(Photo courtesy of

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