Nothing quite like pushing things to the limit. On Monday, Sean Winter won the final event of the 2022 U.S. Poker Open – his second U.S. Poker Open victory in a row – to not only take home $756,000, but also win the points race for the series championship. And he did so after starting the final table as one of the short stacks.
“I’m kind of speechless right now,” Winter told PokerGO after the win. “I was just getting destroyed all series, obviously, and I was kind of grateful for that because it motivates me to do well and the buy-ins went up. I kind of just got lucky in that regard and good winning when I need to.”
Winter entered final table play on Monday sixth out of seven, with 845,000 chips. For reference, chip leader Zhuang Ruan had about 2 million more. His big move came when the tournament was down to four players and he doubled through Masashi Oya, who had become the chip leader. That gave Winter the ammunition he needed to make his run.
He then eliminated Vikenty Shegal in fourth place with A-6 versus Shegal’s Sevens. Oya, in turn, knocked out Ruan when Ruan picked the wrong time to bluff.
It was a near-tie going into heads-up play, Oya with a slight lead, 4.235 million to 4.170 million. As these things tend to work, players exchanged the chip lead, first Winter grabbing it quickly, then Oya hitting Broadway to take about a 3-to-1 lead.
Winter struck back, however, scooping a big pot with two pair over one pair, getting Oya to call a check-raise on the river. The chip lead was back to Winter and it was there it would stay. On the final hand, Oya had Queens and Winter had just A-6, but the flop was gorgeous for him: 6-6-3. After a Ten landed on the turn, both players got their money in and that was that. No Queen on the river and Winter had his second U.S. Poker Open tourney win in a row.
Tamon Nakamura was the series points leader going into Monday, with 588 points. Winter had 264 points, so the only way he could overtake Nakamura was to win the final event and nab the 454 points for first place. With no cashes until Event #11, Winter didn’t even have points until the second-to-last event.
Shannon Shorr also could have won the overall points title if he won the tournament or came in second, provided Winter did not finish first.
For winning the series championship, Winter received a $50,000 bonus plus the Golden Eagle trophy. He was the runner-up the previous two years.
2022 U.S. Poker Open Event #12: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Final Table Results
- Sean Winter – $756,000
- Masashi Oya – $504,000
- Zhuang Ruan – $336,000
- Vikenty Shegal – $231,000
- Shannon Shorr – $168,000
- Dan Smith – $105,000