One thing you have to say about the PokerGO Tour is that they don’t waste any time. Just as soon as Daniel Smiljkovic finished off the 2023 PokerGO Tour season by winning the PGT Championship, the circuit almost immediately named Isaac Haxton as the PGT Player of the Year. Just as soon as the ink was dry on that announcement, the PGT kicked off action for its 2024 season with the 2024 PGT Kickoff, which is now going in the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas.

Haxton Dominates in 2023 to Win POY

It was a tough battle throughout the year but, in the end, Haxton exerted his dominance in taking down the PGT POY. Haxton would open 2023 with a win at the Main Event of the 2023 PokerGO Cup, earning more than a half-million dollars that would set him up for the year. From there, Haxton would add three more PGT-qualified tournament victories, including a victory in the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl in September (for a $2.7 million win), that solidified his position at the top of the standings.

Chris Brewer would make a late charge to try to get to the top of the leaderboard, but he fell short of Haxton by 357 points. Brewer was arguably the most prolific player on the PGT circuit in 2023, racking up 24 cashes throughout the season (second only to Daniel Negreanu and Sam Soverel’s 25 cashes each). Brewer even made more money on the season than Haxton ($7.4 million to $7.2 million for Haxton), but it is the points that matter and Haxton took that honor.

Taking the bronze medal in 2023 for the PGT POY was Stephen Chidwick. It might seem like it was a “down” year for the British pro, but he racked up eighteen cashes throughout the PGT season. In only the PGT tournaments, Chidwick picked up nearly four million dollars in prize money from PGT-qualified events, but in the end, his points total wasn’t enough to catch the duo at the top.

Here are the final standings for the 2023 PokerGO Tour Player of the Year honors:

1. Isaac Haxton, 2847 points ($7.24 million earnings, four wins, 14 cashes)
2. Chris Brewer, 2490 ($7.41 million, two wins, 24 cashes)
3. Stephen Chidwick, 2402 ($3.93 million, two wins, 18 cashes)
4. Daniel Weinman, 2300 ($12.18 million, one win, two cashes)
5. Alex Foxen, 2103 ($2.75 million, one win, 23 cashes)
6. Ren Lin, 1987 ($2.93 million, one win, 23 cashes)
7. Sam Soverel, 1954 ($2.28 million, two wins, 25 cashes)
8. Nick Schulman, 1709 ($2.53 million, three wins, 22 cashes)
9. Steven Jones, 1700 ($6.5 million, zero wins, one cash)
10. Jeremy Ausmus, 1695 ($2.47 million, zero wins, 20 cashes)

Something that the PGT may want to work on is the participation of women on the circuit. The highest-ranking female was GPI Ladies’ Player of the Year Kristen Foxen, but she barely eked into the Top 100 at #98.

2024 PGT Season Already Underway

Just as soon as Haxton was crowned the 2023 PGT Player of the Year, the PGT fired the gun for the start of the 2024 PokerGO Tour season. The 2024 PGT Kickoff is underway at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas, with one tournament in the books and a second one that has reached its second day of action.

On Thursday, David Coleman emerged from an 89-entrant field in Event #1, a $5000 No Limit Hold’em tournament, to capture the first PGT win of 2024. Coleman came to the final table with the lead in the event, but it was a slim one over Chidwick – only 30K in chips. That situation was righted by Coleman early in the action, knocking off Viktor Ustimov, to firmly grab the top rung.

Coleman would maintain this lead until three-handed play, when Aram Zobian was able to knock out Chidwick in third place to take a momentary edge over Coleman. Over slightly more than an hour, Coleman would gradually pull away before ending Zobian’s run in second place and taking down the first 2024 PGT tournament.

1. David Coleman, $120,150 (240 points)
2. Aram Zobian, $77,875 (156)
3. Stephen Chidwick, $55,625 (111)
4. Jeremy Ausmus, $40,050 (80)
5. Nikita Kallnin, $31,150 (62)
6. Clemen Deng, $22,250 (45)
7. Viktor Ustimov, $17,800 (36)

Ninety entries came out for Event #2, another $5000 No Limit soiree, and they have played down to the final table of seven in that tournament. Sergei Kislinskii is atop the leaderboard, with Dylan Weisman close behind (only 60K back). Coleman didn’t waste any time celebrating his Event #1 win and it paid off, with him sitting in third place for the final table action on Saturday. These are the standings for Event #2’s final table action later this afternoon.

1. Sergei Kislinskii, 2.645 million
2. Dylan Weisman, 2.585 million
3. David Coleman, 1.685 million
4. Matthew McEwan, 1.62 million
5. Jeremy Becker, 1.265 million
6. Jesse Lonis, 795,000
7. Victoria Livschitz, 660,000

This tournament, as well as Event #3 on the 2024 PGT Kickoff schedule, will resume at noon on Saturday. The live stream from PokerGO will open for business on a one-hour delay, meaning 1 PM (Pacific Time) is when viewers will want to tune in.

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