The 2024 U. S. Poker Open is now in the books, and the finale presented a bit of drama on the way to crowning champions. In the $25,000 Championship Event, Stephen Chidwick outlasted a tough final table to capture the title. Chidwick’s efforts would land him in second place in the overall race, however, as the brilliant performance of Aram Zobian during the eight-tournament series provided him with enough fuel to capture the Overall Championship and the Golden Eagle.

Chidwick Rides Massive Chip Lead to 10th PGT Title

Chidwick was in complete command of the Event #8 final table, the $25,000 Championship Event of the 2024 USPO. He held 40% of the chips (3.075 million) on the felt, with only Andrew Lichtenberger (1.75 million) within shooting distance. There was a bit of drama at the final table as Aram Zobian and Jesse Lonis both had a chance at taking the Overall Championship (more on this later), but this final table was all about Chidwick storming to his tenth overall PokerGO Tour championship.

The Brit started off the final table action by scoring the knockout of Lonis, then did the same to Zobian to bring the table quickly down to five players. Cary Katz was the next victim of the Chidwick Steamroller, going down in fifth place after Chidwick rivered a straight to top Katz’s flopped pair of Queens. Once Brandon Wittmeyer got into the game with the elimination of Dan Smith in fourth place, Chidwick held the edge three-handed over Wittmeyer and Lichtenberger.

The power game of Chidwick was not to be stopped on this day. He pushed out to nearly a four million chip lead over both his competitors and, once Chidwick dismissed Wittmeyer from the festivities in a classic race situation (Wittmeyer’s pocket tens run down by Chidwick’s A-K once a King flopped), it was down to him and Lichtenberger. Holding a 2:1 advantage, Chidwick looked to end the tournament quickly.

Lichtenberger was not so eager to end the card playing. He would grind his way into a slight lead before the penultimate hand that would decide the tournament. After Lichtenberger opened the betting, Chidwick would three-bet the action to 575K and Lichtenberger put him to the test all-in. Chidwick decided to dance, and the cards turned up:

Lichtenberger (button/small blind): pocket tens
Chidwick (big blind): A♠ K♠

The 9-6-6 flop did not help Chidwick at all, but the Ace on the turn brought him what he was looking for. Needing a ten, Lichtenberger instead saw a seven peel on the river and, after the chips were counted, it was Chidwick who had been at risk. He wasn’t anymore, however, as Chidwick left Lichtenberger with fumes and the tournament concluded on the next hand.

1. Stephen Chidwick (United Kingdom), $425,000 (257 points)
2. Andrew Lichtenberger (USA), $273,000 (164)
3. Brandon Wittmeyer (USA), $182,000 (109)
4. Dan Smith (USA), $130,000 (78)
5. Cary Katz (USA), $104,000 (62)
6. Aram Zobian (USA), $78,000 (47)
7. Jesse Lonis (USA), $52,000 (31)

Zobian Powers to Overall Championship

Other than determining the victor of the Championship Event, there was still the little matter of settling the Overall Championship. In the case of the 2024 USPO, two players still had a chance to take the title, although one was in a much better spot than the other. At stake was the Golden Eagle trophy, signifying the Overall Champion, and the $25,000 PGT Passport that could be used on any PGT event over the coming year.

Zobian came into the final table of the 2024 USPO Championship Event with a sizeable lead over Lonis. That lead was so large that Lonis had to win the Championship Event, while Zobian just had to not finish in seventh place to capture the title. When Lonis was eliminated in seventh place by Chidwick, that sealed the deal for Zobian as he captured the Overall Championship for the 2024 USPO.

1. Aram Zobian, 616 points
2. Stephen Chidwick, 427
3. Jesse Lonis, 400
4. Eric Afriat, 378
5. Joey Weissman, 344
6. David Coleman, 322
7. Sam Laskowitz, 320
8. Dan Smith, 313
9. Rodger Johnson, 301
10. Matthew Wantman, 269

Up next for the PokerGO Tour will be a journey to the Lone Star State. On Wednesday, the Texas Poker Open will be held at Champions Club in Houston, TX, with the $3000 Main Event held that should draw in some deep-pocketed players. In the days after that event, the PGT will offer High Roller tournaments that start at $5000 (two tournaments) and conclude on May 2 with the second of two $10,000 events. These tournaments will all pay out PGT points, critical for any player who is looking to make it to the PGT Championship in December.

(Photo courtesy of

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *