Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments U.S. Poker Markets Sports Betting Poker Strategy

2018 US Poker Open -- Stephen Chidwick Wins Back-To-Back Titles

Justin Bonomo and Mike Gorodinsky Also Took Down Titles During The First Half Of The High-Stakes Series


The first-ever US Poker Open kicked off on February 1, 2018 at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The unique tournament series is playing host to eight high stakes events in a number of disciplines including no-limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha and mixed games. At the end of the series, the player who has cashed for the most money will be awarded the US Poker Open Championship trophy. In this article, we will bring you a look at the first four events of the series, which in its entirety will span from Feb. 1 – 11.

US Poker Open Event 1 – $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em

The series kicked off with the US Poker Open $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament. A total of 68 entries were made in the event, building a prize pool of $680,000. In the end it was American poker pro Justin Bonomo that emerged victorious with the title and the first-place prize of $190,400. This was the 32-year-old’s second title and fifth final table finish of the year, and it brought his total earnings in 2018 to $2,332,423. The 360 Card Player Player of the Year points he earned for this latest win were enough to see him climb into second place in the overall POY standings behind only Aussie Millions main event champion Toby Lewis.

Bonomo overcame a stacked final six on the live-streamed final day of action. His opponents included the likes of 2016 Player of the Year winner David Peters (3rd – $88,400), 2016 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown main event champion Justin Young (4th – $68,000), British high stakes tournament regular Stephen Chidwick (5th – $54,400) and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Sam Soverel (6th – $40,800).

Event 1 champion Justin Bonomo

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Justin Bonomo $190,400 360
2 Pierre Nadim $136,000 300
3 David Peters $88,400 240
4 Justin Young $68,000 180
5 Stephen Chidwick $54,400 150
6 Sam Soverel $40,800 120
7 Cary Katz $34,000 90
8 Andy Park $27,200 60
9 Jake Schindler $20,400 30

US Poker Open Event 2 – $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha

Next up on the schedule was the US Poker Open $10,000 pot-limit Omaha event, which attracted 64 total entries to create a $640,000 prize pool. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Mike Gorodinsky was the last player standing in the end, capturing his the title and the top prize of $179,200.

Cary Katz became the first player of the series to record two cashes. He finished in sixth place for $38,400 in this tournament just a day after placing seventh in the kickoff event for $34,000.

Event 2 champion Mike Gorodinsky

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Mike Gorodinsky $179,200 360
2 Richard Kirsch $128,000 300
3 Rainer Kempe $83,200 240
4 Anthony Zinno $64,000 180
5 Andjelko Andrejevic $51,200 150
6 Cary Katz $38,400 120
7 Dan Shak $32,000 90
8 Benjamin Pollak $25,600 60
9 Joshua Ladines $19,200 30

US Poker Open Event 3 – $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em

The third event of the series saw the stakes raised. The US Poker Open $25,000 no-limit hold’em tournament ended up with 44 total entries, which resulted in a prize pool of $1,100,000. The lion’s share of that money was awarded to Britain’s Stephen Chidwick, who came out on top with the title and the $374,000 top prize. The 28-year-old had already made one cash this series, finishing fifth in event #1 for $54,400.

Chidwick knocked out Brent Hanks (5th – $88,000) and Jake Schindler (4th – $110,000) to take the chip lead into three-handed play. Keith Tilston then sent Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu to the rail in third place ($165,000) to set up the final heads-up showdown.

Event 3 champion Stephen ChidwickIn the end Chidwick prevailed, securing the final pot when his ADiamond Suit3Club Suit beat Tilston’s KSpade Suit9Club Suit after all the chips went in preflop. Tilston failed to improve and was eliminated in second place, earning $242,000.

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Stephen Chidwick $374,000 420
2 Keith Tilston $242,000 350
3 Daniel Negreanu $165,000 280
4 Jake Schindler $110,000 210
5 Brent Hanks $88,000 175
6 Seth Davies $66,000 140
7 Nick Schulman $55,000 105

US Poker Open Event 4 – $25,000 Mixed Game Championship:

Just two days after taking down the third event of the series, Stephen Chidwick once again found himself in the winner’s circle. This time around he outlasted 45 total entries to win event 4, the US Poker Open $25,000 buy-in mixed-game championship, adding $382,500 to his haul for his third final table score and second win of the series. With $810,900 in total scores through the first half of the series, Chidwick is currently running away with the lead in the battle for the USPO championship trophy.

Chidwick has also earned a total of 990 Player of the Year points, enough to move him into 21st place in the 2018 Card Player POY standings.

This mixed-game tournament featured eight different poker disciplines including deuce-to-seven triple draw lowball, limit hold’em, no-Limit hold’em, Omaha eight-or-better, pot-limit Omaha, razz, seven card stud and seven card stud eight-or-better.

Two living legends of the poker world made the money in Daniel Negreanu (7th – $56,250) and Phil Hellmuth (6th – $67,500). Chidwick knocked out Isaac Haxton in third place ($168,750) to enter heads-up play against two-time WSOP bracelet winner Christopher Vitch essentially even in chips.

The two quickly got involved in several massive pots in pot-limit Omaha, trading the lead a few times before Chidwick took a decisive lead by making a higher flush than Vitch and getting paid off on the river. Vitch was able to tread water for a bit after the game switched to triple draw deuce-to-seven lowball, but eventually he failed to make better than a pair while all-in and Chidwick’s lowly K-J-7-5-3 was enough to earn him the pot and the title. Vitch took home $247,500 as the runner-up finisher.

Event 4 champion Stephen Chidwick

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Stephen Chidwick $382,500 420
2 Christopher Vitch $247,500 350
3 Isaac Haxton $168,750 280
4 Benjamin Pollak $112,500 210
5 Dan Shak $90,000 175
6 Phil Hellmuth $67,500 140
7 Daniel Negreanu $56,250 105

Each and every final table from the US Poker Open is being live streamed on PokerGO, the poker digital video subscription service. You can find a full schedule of those broadcasts listed below.

Winner photo credits: PokerGO / Drew Amato.



3 years ago