Stephen Chidwick Wins Inaugural U.S. Poker Open Title

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UK's Stephen Chidwick dominated the 2018 US Poker Open to become the inaugural Champion.

Well before the completion of the Main Event of the inaugural U.S. Poker Open, the trophy and title of U.S. Poker Open Champion were already claimed due to a dominating overall performance from the UK’s Stephen ‘stevie444’ Chidwick.

The U.S. Poker Open, Presented by Poker Central and streamed on the PokerGO platform, featured eight high-rolling events that invited some of the best players in the world to compete for both massive amounts of money and the bragging rights of hoisting the title trophy for the very first time. In a twist to the usual high roller series that take place from time to time at the Aria Hotel & Casino, the schedule included a Pot Limit Omaha event as well as a Mixed Game Championship.

Event #1  – $10,000 No Limit Hold’em

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The first event of the series was well attended with 68 players hoping to make an early score and take an early lead in the USPO standings. Ten players made their way into the money including World Poker Tour Season XIII Player of the Year Anthony Zinno ($20,400), high stakes crusher Jake Schindler ($20,400) and final table bubble boy, PokerCentral’s founder, Cary Katz ($34,000).

Chidwick would fall in fifth place, a result that would be just beginning a week long stretch of amazing results. Eventual winner Justin Bonomo would out duel Lebanon’s Boutros Naim in a head-up battle to take down Event #1. For Naim, the $136,000 score is currently a recorded career high. For Bonomo, who is a regular at the highest stakes, his $190,400 haul is his fifth best out six recorded cashes in 2018.

Final Table Results

  1. Justin Bonomo – $190,400
  2. Boutros Naim – $136,000
  3. David Peters – $88,400
  4. Justin Young – $68,000
  5. Stephen Chidwick – $54,400
  6. Sam Soverel – $40,800

Event #2 – $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha

The first of the non-NLHE events belonged to mixed-game specialist Mike Gorodinsky after he defeated a field of 64 players to capture the win and over $179,000.

Joining the 2015 WSOP Players Championship winner at the final table was Cary Katz, Anthony Zinno and former Super High Roller Bowl Champion Rainer Kempe.

Final Table Results

  1. Mike Gorodinsky – $179,200
  2. Richard Kirsch – $128,000
  3. Rainer Kempe – $83,200
  4. Anthony Zinno – $64,000
  5. Andjelko Andrejevic – $51,200
  6. Cary Katz – $38,400

Event #3 – $25,000 No Limit Hold’em

The first of the $25,000 events saw Stephen Chidwick take the USPO lead by besting the 44 player field for $374,000. Chidwick defeated Keith Tilston heads up for the win, Tilston would take home $242,000 in this event and begin a heater of his own resulting in over $1,000,000 in cashes over the course of the week.

Daniel Negreanu also made the final table of Event #3 along with Jake Schindler and PokerCentral podcast personality Brent Hanks.

Final Table Results

  1. Stephen Chidwick – $374,000
  2. Keith Tilston – $242,000
  3. Daniel Negreanu – $165,000
  4. Jake Schindler – $110,000
  5. Brent Hanks – $88,000
  6. Seth Davies – $66,000

Event #4 – $25,000 Mixed Game Championship

It was back-to-back victories for the UK pro as Stephen Chidwick once again posed for the winner’s photo but this time it was for the Mixed Game Championship. The format included Limit Hold’em, 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Hi-Lo 8 in addition to the previously played Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em.

Daniel Negreanu just missed out on being a part of the stacked final table as he busted in seventh place for his second cash of the series.

A short-stacked Phil Hellmuth finished in sixth for $67,500, his lone result of the entire series. Following Hellmuth to the rail was part-time high-roller Dan Shak and 2017 World Series of Poker Final Table participant Benjamin Pollak. Despite coming into the final table with the chip lead, new partypoker ambassador Isaac Haxton couldn’t hold on and finished in third.

Chidwick ended up closing out Christopher Vitch and putting a large gap between himself and the rest of the field on the USPO leaderboard. Vitch for his runner-up performance took home $247,500, is second largest career score on record.

Final Table Results

  1. Stephen Chidwick – $382,500
  2. Christopher Vitch – $247,500
  3. Isaac Haxton – $168,750
  4. Benjamin Pollak – $112,500
  5. Dan Shak – $90,000
  6. Phil Hellmuth Jr. – $67,500

Event #5 – $10,000 No Limit Hold’em

It was Ben Tollerene’s turn in the winner’s circle in Event #5 as the high stakes online cash game pro defeated Jake Schindler heads up for the $187,000 first place prize.

Schindler, Katz, Hanks, Tilston and David Peters all found their way into the cash yet again as did former World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Ryan Riess, who finished in third.

Final Table Results

  1. Ben Tollerene – $187,600
  2. Jake Schindler – $134,000
  3. Ryan Reiss – $87,100
  4. Cary Katz – $67,000
  5. Kristin Holst – $53,600
  6. Rodger Johnson – $40,200

Event #6 – $25,000 No Limit Hold’em

On the heels of his fourth-place finish in the Mixed Game Championship, Benjamin Pollak ended up on top in Event #6. Pollak won the heads-up battle with high roller specialist Jason Koon for $416,500. Chidwick once again found himself at a final table, finishing in third and practically putting the USPO trophy on his mantle in the process.

Isaac Haxton found himself at another final table as well and, for the second time in a matter of days, Daniel Negreanu found himself on the outside looking in, finishing as the bubble boy for $61,250.

Final Table Results

  1. Benjamin Pollak – $416,500
  2. Jason Koon – $269,500
  3. Stephen Chidwick – $183,750
  4. Isaac Haxton – $112,500
  5. Brian Green – $98,000
  6. Elijah Berg – $73,500

Event #7 – $25,000 No Limit Hold’em

Even though it was David Peters who took down Event #7, all the talk was about the fact that Stephen Chidwick, once again, made his way to a final table. Peters may have won the event for $400,000, besting the 50 total runners, but Chidwick virtually put the inaugural USPO title out of reach with his runner-up finish for $262,000.

Tilston, Tollerene and Negreanu all made the Event #7 final table, and all had incredible results throughout the series, but the run of Chidwick had become the focal point of the series. It was going to take a big win by one of Chidwick’s challengers in the final event to have a shot at catching him for the title.

Final Table Results

  1. David Peters – $400,000
  2. Stephen Chidwick – $262,000
  3. Sean Winter – $175,000
  4. Keith Tilston – $125,000
  5. Ben Tollerene – $100,000
  6. Daniel Negreanu – $75,000

Event #8 – $50,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event

With only 33 runnings posting the $50,000 buy-in, even though the eventual winner would take home $660,000 – there was no catching Chidwick. So by the end of registration for the event, everyone in the field knew they were playing for second place at best.

The winner of the Main Event was Keith Tilston who defeated Jake Schindler as the final two. Daniel Negreanu, Thomas Marchese and “Cowboy” Dan Smith rounded out the final five who made it into the money.

Final Table Results

  1. Keith Tilston – $660,000
  2. jake Schindler – $429,000
  3. Daniel Negreanu – $264,000
  4. Tomas Marchese – $165,000
  5. Dan Smith – $132,000

In the end, Chidwick found his way into the money in five out of the eight contests. He won two, back to back, and had a runner-up finish. The USPO Champion accumulated over $1.25 million in earnings during the course of the series, pushing him to over $11 million in career live earnings to go along with his over $5 million of career online winnings.