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Chino Rheem Crowned PGT Mixed Games II Series Champion

by Erik Fast |  Published: Nov 15, 2023

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The 2023 PGT Mixed Games II series is now officially in the books, with nearly $4.5 million in prize money awarded across its nine events held from Oct. 5-14 at PokerGO Studio inside ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Chino Rheem captured the largest share of that total purse, securing $433,600 during the festival. Rheem made the money in five of the nine tournaments held, including coming out on top in the $10,200 buy-in big bet mix event.

With 388 PGT points, Rheem was the clear victor in the series-long points race. The 43-year-old poker pro was also awarded a $25,000 championship bonus on top of his haul.

“I’m obviously trying to play much better, and I’m running really good here. I love playing in the studio. Things are going really well. I love playing with all these guys, you feel like a family here,” Rheem told PokerGO reporters. “In my entire career, this is the sickest heater that I’ve been on in 20 years of playing poker. I’m just riding it trying to stay humble, stay present, appreciate everything, and stay grateful.”

In addition to securing PGT Mixed Games champion honors, Rheem is also a three-time World Poker Tour main event winner and a European Poker Tour champion, having won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on that tour for more than $1.5 million back in 2019. He also made the World Series of Poker main event final table back in 2008, finishing seventh for $1.7 million. With nearly $13.9 million in career tournament earnings, Rheem has built one of the strongest résumés in the game.

This mixed-games festival came on the heels of the Poker Masters series, which also saw Rheem record five cashes and a win to finish third in that series-long points race. He has cashed for $1,036,250 in PGT events since taking down the fourth event of the Poker Masters for $218,400 back on Sept. 19.

Rheem has accumulated 983 total PGT points, good for 31st in the year-long points race. With 2,943 Card Player Player of the Year points, he is now sitting in 67th place in the overall 2023 POY standings presented by Global Poker.

Rheem kicked off his PGT Mixed Games II campaign with a fourth-place finish in the $10,200 H.O.R.S.E. opener for $72,000. The very next day he took down the $10,200 big bet mix for $171,000.

After a few days without a deep run, Rheem got back on track with a fourth-place showing in the $10,200 triple stud event for $44,000. He then closed out the series with back-to-back final tables, placing sixth in the $10,200 triple draw mix for $30,600 and third in the $25,300 ten-game mix championship for $116,000.

Rheem was the only player to record more than three cashes during the series. A trio of players managed that many in-the-money finishes along with a title won, including David Funkhouser (275 points), Nick Schulman (274 points), and Dylan Weisman (240 points). They finished second through fourth, respectively, in the final points race standings. Maxx Coleman, who took down the ten-game championship on the final day of the festival, rounded out the top five with 188 points for that win and another cash.

Rheem Jumps Out To An Early Lead

The kickoff event was the $10,200 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament. A total of 72 entries were made by the time that registration concluded, building a prize pool of $720,000 that was ultimately paid out among the top 11 finishers.

In the end, it was David Funkhouser who emerged victorious with the first trophy of the festival. The Long Beach, California resident earned $187,200 for the win. This was the second-largest tournament score of his career, trailing only the $200,356 he took home as the runner-up in the 2022 WSOP $10,000 stud eight-or-better championship.

Funkhouser had to contend with Rheem (4th) and several other big names down the stretch, including four-time bracelet winner Anthony Zinno (5th), five-time bracelet winner Eli Elezra (3rd), and three-time bracelet winner Paul Volpe (2nd).

Rheem followed up his strong showing in event no. 1 with his title run in event no. 2, the $10,200 buy-in big bet mix. Rheem bested a field of 57 entries to earn $171,000.

Two-time Card Player POY award winner Stephen Chidwick held the chip lead among the final six, but ultimately finished third for $79,800. This was his 23rd final-table finish of the year, with five titles won and more than $8.1 million in to-date POY earnings. The recent Poker Masters Purple Jacket winner remains in second place on the POY leaderboard with 8,459 points, trailing only Bin Weng and his 9,268 points.

Other big names from the final table included five-time bracelet winner Adam Friedman (6th), four-time bracelet winner Ben Yu (5th), six-time bracelet winner John Hennigan (4th), and eventual runner-up Andres Korn, who won a no-limit hold’em bracelet back in 2017.

While the buy-in went down, the amount of games in the mix went up for the third tournament of the series. The $5,100 ten-game mix drew 72 entries, creating a prize pool of $360,000 to be spread out among 11 in-the-money finishers. The largest share was awarded to David Prociak, who earned $93,600 for the win. This victory fell just outside of Prociak’s top five largest tournament paydays. The bracelet winner now has more than $2.1 million in career earnings to his name.

It came down to a clash between EPT Dublin champion Dzmitry Urbanovich and six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu in the $10,200 eight-game mixed event. After an hour-long battle, it was Urbanovich who came away with the title and the top prize of $179,200. This was the ninth-largest recorded score of Urbanovich’s career and increased his earnings to nearly $7.4 million.

The Polish poker pro also earned 300 POY points for what was his fourth final-table showing of 2023. This was his first cash of the series, but the 179 PGT points he secured were sufficient to move him into third place in the festival-long points race.

Negreanu took home $117,600 as the runner-up. He also climbed to 29th in the year-long PGT standings, with 22 qualified cashes for nearly $1.2 million in the high-stakes centric race. The Poker Hall of Fame member and two-time WPT champion grew his career earnings to $50,487,491 with this most recent deep run. He currently occupies the fifth-place spot on poker’s all-time money list as one of only a handful of players to have surpassed the $50 million mark.

Schulman, Weisman, and Rotholz Join The Top Five

Nick Schulman captured his third title of 2023 by coming out on top in the $10,200 buy-in triple stud event. The WPT champion and four-time bracelet winner bested a field of 40 entries and took home $144,000.

This victory saw Schulman increase his career tournament earnings to nearly $16.8 million. The 39-year-old poker pro and frequent PokerGO commentator has now recorded 190 live tournament scores since first exploding on the scene with a $2.1 million win in the 2005 WPT World Poker Finals, accumulating 13 titles along the way. He was not yet done making deep runs at this series, though.

Rheem recorded his fourth final-table finish of the series in this event, placing fourth for $44,000.

Dylan Weisman won the next event, which was the $10,200 buy-in dealer’s choice. He overcame a field of 49 entries to earn his third live tournament title and the top prize of $156,400.

This was the third-largest score yet for Weisman, trailing only the $416,500 he earned as the 2022 U.S. Poker Open $25,000 pot-limit Omaha champion and the $166,461 he pocketed after winning his WSOP bracelet in the 2021 $1,000 PLO event. Weisman now has more than $2.1 million in earnings.

This was his fifth final-table finish of the year, and second of this festival. He kicked off the series with a sixth-place showing in the $10,200 H.O.R.S.E. event. Funkhouser, who won the kickoff H.O.R.S.E. tournament, finished fourth in this event for $53,900.

The $10,200 triple draw mix event attracted a total of 51 entries. The resulting prize pool of $510,000 was ultimately split up amongst the top eight finishers in the tournament contended over a mix of three games, namely: badugi, triple draw deuce-to-seven lowball, and triple draw ace-to-five lowball.

After two days of draw action, the field was narrowed down to a single champion in Hal Rotholz. The New York resident earned $163,200, the third-largest score on his quickly expanding tournament résumé with nearly $1.4 million in earnings.

Schulman, just a few days removed from his win in the triple stud, made it down to heads-up against Rotholz, earning $107,100 as the runner-up. This was his third cash of the series, with $273,900 in total earnings up to this point. As a result, he claimed the second-place spot on the series leaderboard with 274 points.

Schulman has now made 11 final tables and won three total titles in 2023, good for 66th place in the POY standings. He also moved to 35th in the year-long PGT standings, with only the top 30 getting into the season-ending championship freeroll.

This summer Schulman nabbed his fourth WSOP title in the $1,500 stud event for $110,800. In September he won the $25,000 no-limit hold’em event at the Poker Masters festival for another $374,000.

Coleman Wins $25,300 Ten-Game Championship

The marquee tournament of this whole festival was the $25,300 ten-game championship. A total of 29 entries turned out for the high-stakes affair, creating a prize pool of $725,000. The top five finishers ultimately made the money, with the lion’s share of that prize money going to eventual winner Maxx Coleman. He took home $235,630 as the champion, his fourth-largest score to date.

This victory increased Coleman’s career tournament earnings to more than $4 million. This was his ninth recorded title, including his two bracelet wins at the series.

This was his second cash of the series, having also placed ninth in the $5,100 ten-game event earlier in the festival. With 188 total points, Coleman finished fifth in the final series-long points race.

Weisman finished fifth for $50,750, recording his third cash of the series. His 240 points were good for fourth in the final standings.

Six-time bracelet winner John Hennigan’s run in this event came to an end in fourth place ($79,750).

Rheem had already locked up the series championship by making it this far, ultimately getting knocked out in third place ($116,000).

Heads-up play began with Alex Livingston holding a 3:2 lead over Coleman. The final two struck a deal to restructure the payouts, locking up $220,630 for Coleman and $232,870 for Livingston while leaving $25,000 and the title to play for.

Eventually, Coleman won a big pot making the nut straight in limit hold’em to take roughly a 5:1 chip lead. Not long after that, with limit hold’em still the game, the last remaining bit of Livingston’s stack went in on a 10Diamond Suit 5Heart Suit 2Diamond Suit flop with Coleman holding JHeart Suit 10Heart Suit against Livingston’s ASpade Suit 7Club Suit. The QDiamond Suit turn and 4Diamond Suit river were no help to Livingston and he was eliminated in second place, earning the $232,870 that he negotiated for.

The 2019 WSOP main event third-place finisher now has nearly $8 million in career tournament earnings after this latest deep run.

The final event of the series was a single-day affair. The $5,100 no-limit single-draw deuce-to-seven lowball event attracted 24 entries by the time registration closed, resulting in a $120,000 prize pool that was paid out among the top four finishers.

Arthur Morris emerged victorious, earning $49,902 and the title. Morris managed three total cashes including this win, accumulating 150 points to finish eighth in the standings.

Funkhouser also secured his third cash, placing second for $33,600. His $274,700 in cashes across that trio of deep runs was the second-most of any player during the festival, trailing only Rheem. As a result, he finished second on the final player of the series leaderboard, with his 275 points edging out Schulman’s 274 by a single PGT point.

PGT Mixed Games – Aria – Las Vegas, NV

$10,200 HORSE
Oct. 5-6
Entries: 72
Prizepool: $720,000 1 David Funkhouser $187,200 (420)
2 Paul Volpe $136,800 (350)
3 Eli Elezra $93,600 (280)
4 Chino Rheem $72,000 (210)
5 Anthony Zinno $57,600 (175)
6 Dylan Weisman $43,200 (140)
7 Dylan Linde $36,000 (105)

$10,200 Big Bet Mix
Oct. 6-7
Entries: 57
Prizepool: $570,000
1 Chino Rheem $171,000 (300)
2 Andres Korn $114,000 (250)
3 Stephen Chidwick $79,800 (200)
4 John Hennigan $57,000 (150)
5 Ben Yu $45,600 (125)
6 Adam Friedman $34,200 (100)
7 Dan Shak $28,500 (75)

$5,100 Ten-Game
Mix
Oct. 7-9
Entries: 72
Prizepool: $360,000
1 David Prociak $93,600 (336)
2 Philip Sternheimer $64,800 (280)
3 Bradley Ruben $46,800 (224)
4 Seth Perlman $36,000 (168)
5 Jeremy Ausmus $28,800 (140)
6 Alexander Livingston $21,600 (112)
7 Hal Rotholz $18,000 (84)

$10,200 Eight-Game Mix
Oct. 9-10
Entries: 56
Prizepool: $560,000 1 Dzmitry Urbanovich $179,200 (300)
2 Daniel Negreanu $117,600 (250)
3 Arthur Morris $78,400 (200)
4 Max Hoffman $56,000 (150)
5 Anthony Zinno $44,800 (125)
6 John Hennigan $33,600 (100)
7 Andrew Kelsall $28,000 (75)

$10,200 Triple Stud Mix
Oct. 10-11
Entries: 40
Prizepool: $400,000 1 Nick Schulman $144,000 (300)
2 John Racener $96,000 (250)
3 Adam Friedman $64,000 (200)
4 Chino Rheem $44,000 (150)
5 Damjan Radanov $32,000 (125)
6 Ryan Miller $20,000 (100)

$10,200 Dealers
Choice
Oct. 11-12
Entries: 49
Prizepool: $490,000 1 Dylan Weisman $156,400 (300)
2 Craig Chait $118,000 (250)
3 Walter Chambers $73,500 (200)
4 David Funkhouser $53,900 (150)
5 John Monnette $39,200 (125)
6 Dan Shak $29,400 (100)
7 Andrew Kelsall $19,600 (75)

$10,200 Triple Draw Mix
Oct. 12-13
Entries: 51
Prizepool: $510,000 1 Hal Rotholz $163,200 (300)
2 Nick Schulman $107,100 (250)
3 Jeremy Ausmus $71,400 (200)
4 Andrew Yeh $51,000 (150)
5 David Baker $40,800 (125)
6 Chino Rheem $30,600 (100)
7 Julio Belluscio $25,500 (75)

$25,300 Ten-Game Mix
Oct. 13-14
Entries: 29
Prizepool: $725,000 1 Maxx Coleman $245,630 (252)
2 Alexander Livingston $232,870 (210)
3 Chino Rheem $116,000 (168)
4 John Hennigan $79,750 (126)
5 Dylan Weisman $50,750 (105

$5,100 NL 2-7
Oct. 14
Entries: 24
Prizepool: $120,000 1 Arthur Morris $49,902
2 David Funkhouser $38,898
3 Philip Sternheimer $19,200
4 Andres Korn $12,000