It has been a wonderful week for Japan’s Tamon Nakamura, who on Tuesday won his second tournament of the 2022 U.S. Poker Open. In taking the title in Event #6: $15,000 8-Game, he claimed the $239,700 first prize, beating the legendary Phil Hellmuth heads-up.
As is common on the PokerGO Tour and its high roller events, the field for the event was small, just 47 players, with the top seven getting paid. Nakamura entered Tuesday’s final table seventh out of seven, with only 405,000 chips. For comparison, chip leader Ben Yu had 2.4 million, though to be fair to Nakamura, he wasn’t the only one looking at a steep climb. The second and third stacks had barely over a million chips.
As it turned out, it was the bottom two stacks who ended up playing for the title. Hellmuth started heads-up with the chip lead, but Nakamura took over in short order after two big razz hands and building a 2-to-1 lead.
Hellmuth recovered slightly after a double-up, but when the game switched to Hold’em, it was all Nakamura (ironically, considering Hellmuth is one of the best, if not the best, tournament Hold’em player of all time).
On the final hand, Nakamura raised pre-flop with A-3 of clubs. Hellmuth re-raised all-in with K-7, and Nakamura called. The board offered no help for Hellmuth and Nakamura had his second crown of the 2022 U.S. Poker Open.
Tamon Nakamura is now the leader in the U.S. Poker Open points race, with 462 points. After him it is Jeremy Ausmus with 333 and Shannon Shorr with 302. While Nakamura has a big lead, the Golden Eagle Trophy and $50,000 Championship Bonus are not out of reach for his competition. As a reference, Nakamura earned 240 points for the win, while second place awarded 155 points and third place got 106. There are still a few events remaining, so players will have a chance to catch up.
This win, his previous victory in Event #4: $10,000 Big Bet Mix, plus two other U.S. Poker Open cashes, make up more than half of Nakamura’s lifetime tournament earnings of $833,217. He also jumped from 14th to 10th on Japan’s all-time money list.
Tony Sinishtag is still the overall leader on the PokerGO Tour leaderboard with 1,250 points, but Isaac Kempton is right behind with 1,200 points. As none of the top ten players made the money in this tournament, the top ten spots on the Tour leaderboard did not change. Nakamura moved up to 17th place.
2022 U.S. Poker Open Event #6: $15,000 8-Game – Final Table Results
- Tamon Nakamura – $239,700
- Phil Hellmuth – $155,100
- Ben Yu – $105,750
- Bryan Micon – $77,550
- Damjan Radanov – $56,400
- Scott Seiver – $42,300
- Jeremy Ausmus – $28,200