Two more events are in the books at the 2021 U. S. Poker Open. In Event #2, the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament, Sam Soverel finished what he started in leading wire-to-wire to win the championship. In Event #3, the second $10,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament on the schedule, Joe McKeehen made short work of the six handed final table en route to taking home the victory.
Soverel Dominates Event #2
It isn’t like Sam Soverel did not deserve the championship in Event #2, the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament. From the crack of the gun on Friday, Soverel was on top or near that point. At one segment of the tournament, he was the only player to have over a million in chips, making every other player have to chase him down. To put it bluntly, they were not able to catch him.
Soverel came to the six handed final table with 3.48 million in chips. In comparison, the other five men on the felt – Dylan Weisman (1.735 million), Marc Brody (1.185 million), Jordan Cristos (645,000), Matthew Ploof (640,000) and Maxx Coleman (440,000) – all together added up to 4.645 million. Suffice it to say, it was Soverel’s tournament to lose.
He did not allow that to happen. Cristos would clash with Ploof, with Cristos holding Aces in his four-card mix and Ploof Kings, and nothing came that helped Ploof to send him home in sixth. Soverel now got in the action, dismissing Coleman in fifth and Weisman in fourth before Cristos struck back with a knockout of Brody in third, but he was still behind Soverel by a 2:1 margin.
Soverel would never let Cristos get any breath of life in heads up play. On the final hand, Cristos moved with an A-J-4-2 and Soverel looked him up with a 10-9-7-4. An A-9-7 flop lit the fuse, with Soverel check-calling a 400K bet from Cristos. A second seven on the turn saw Cristos move all in for the remainder of his stack and, just as quickly, Soverel made the call with his winning boat, sevens over nines, that left Cristos drawing dead and earning Soverel the title.
1. Sam Soverel, $175,500
2. Jordan Cristos, $130,000
3. Marc Brody, $84,500
4. Dylan Weisman, $65,000
5. Maxx Coleman, $52,000
6. Matthew Ploof, $39,000
McKeehen Takes Event #3
77 entrants stepped to the fore on Saturday for the second No Limit Hold’em event of the USPO schedule, much fewer than the 95 that had come out for the opening event of the tournament on Thursday. The quality of the final table was evident, however, as two players from that Event #1 final table, Steve Zolotow and Barry Hutter, made repeat appearances at the final table of Event #3, alongside such luminaries as Joe McKeehen, Ray Quartomy, Ali Imsirovic, Justin Saliba, and Jake Schindler joining the fray.
Hutter led the way to start Sunday’s action, but McKeehen quickly put his stamp on the proceedings. McKeehen snatched the chip lead away from Hutter before unceremoniously knocking him out in seventh place. McKeehen continued his march to the title, taking out every player at the final table except for Schindler, who was eliminated by Imsirovic.
The final hand would actually provide a rather exciting double knockout. After a McKeehen raise, Quartomy moved all in and Imsirovic, with only a solo chip to his name, put it in the center. McKeehen wasted little time in making the call and the cards were turned up:
McKeehen (BB): pocket Jacks
Quartomy (BTN): pocket fives
Imsirovic (SB): needing a miracle
The flop ended the tournament. A Jack came on the flop and, by the river, an entirely unnecessary case Jack came on the river, giving McKeehen quads and earning him the title of Event #3 of the 2021 U. S. Poker Open.
1. Joe McKeehen, $200,200
2. Ray Quartomy, $146,300
3. Ali Imsirovic, $100,100
4. Steve Zolotow, $77,000
5. Jake Schindler, $61,600
6. Justin Saliba, $46,200
7. Barry Hutter, $38,500
Daniels Holds Championship Edge Over McKeehen
The victory in Event #3 nestles McKeehen into the second place slot in the overall rankings for the 2021 U. S. Poker Open Championship Standings. Jake Daniels, the winner of Event #1, earned 219 points for that win to eke out the edge over McKeehen, who earned 200. Soverel has cashed twice in the USPO to amass 195 points, good for the third place slot.
These are the current standings with three of the 12 events in for the 2021 U. S. Poker Open:
1. Jake Daniels, 219 points
2. Joe McKeehen, 200
3. Sam Soverel, 195
4. Steve Zolotow, 153
(tie) Barry Hutter, 153
The person who comes out on top in this race will receive an extra $50,000 prize and the “Golden Eagle” trophy, signifying the overall champion of the 2021 U. S. Poker Open.
(Photos courtesy of PokerGO.com)