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Sean Winter Is Crushing The 2019 U.S. Poker Open

The High-Stakes Poker Pro Has Made The Final Table In Each of The First Four Events At The USPO, Winning One Title Along The Way


Sean Winter has been a dominant force so far in the 2019 U.S. Poker Open. Four of the ten high stakes tournaments that make up the USPO have decided a champion, and Winter made the final table in each and every event so far. The high stakes poker pro from Jacksonville, Florida closed out his most recent final-table showing by winning the $10,500 buy-in short deck no-limit hold’em event for $151,200. He has cashed for $419,400 so far, and with 440 USPO ranking points, is the clear leader as the series moves into its second half.

The kickoff event of this year’s USPO was a $10,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em em tournament. A total of 90 entries were made in the event, building a prize pool of $900,000.

2019 USPO Event #1 Champion Stephen ChidwickIn the end, the last player standing was none other than the winner of inaugural USPO, Stephen Chidwick. Last year Chidwick cashed in five of the eight tournaments offered and won two titles, accumulating $1,256,600 in earnings throughout the series.

The British poker pro started off his run at winning the U.S. Poker Open Championship trophy for a second time by defeating Winter heads-up to secure the top prize of $216,000. Winter earned $157,000 as the runner-up, while Joseph Cheong took home $112,500.

“I kept running as I did last year, this is my favorite place to play in the world by far, and I came in focused and ready to play my best,” Chidwick said after the win.

Here is a look at the payouts and Card Player Player of the Year points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Stephen Chidwick $216,000 540
2 Sean Winter $157,000 450
3 Joseph Cheong $112,500 360
4 Joseph Cappello $90,000 270
5 Lazaro Hernandez $72,000 225
6 Joseph Orsino $54,000 180
7 Jerry Robinson $45,000 135
8 Maxx Coleman $36,000 90

2019 USPO Event #2 Champion Jordan CristosThe second event of the USPO was a $10,500 buy-in pot-limit Omaha event, which attracted 64 entries to build a $640,000 prize pool. 2013 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker main event champion Jordan Cristos emerged victorious with the title, earning $179,200 for the win.

“I feel like I didn’t out-skill anyone here,” Cristos offered after coming out on top. “There were 50 people in the field and I was probably the 44th best player, honestly. It feels good to come out on top though. I don’t think I made many mistakes but I can’t really gauge whether or not I did because I’m no pot-limit Omaha expert, but I won so that’s good.”

Cristos had cashed in kickoff event, finishing 11th for $27,000. With his two final table showings, he climbed into the top three on the USPO leaderboard.

Sean Winter finished sixth in this event for $38,400 to notch his second final-table finish of the series.

Here is a look at the payouts and Card Player POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Jordan Cristos $179,200 360
2 Manig Loeser $128,000 300
3 Martin Zamani $83,200 240
4 Adam Hendrix $64,000 180
5 Cary Katz $51,200 150
6 Sean Winter $38,400 120
7 Brent Roberts $32,000 90
8 Dan Shak $25,600 60

2019 USPO Event #3 Champion Lauren RobertsThe third tournament on the schedule was another $10,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event. When registration officially closed there had been 91 entries made, building a prize pool worth $910,000. Lauren Roberts walked away with the title, defeating German high-roller regular Koray Aldemir heads-up to become the first female champion of a USPO event.

“It’s huge for me… I mean I’ve never won anything before, and so especially for women or old people and for amateurs. I love this game, I played with some phenomenal players and I learn every time I play a tournament. I happened to run good in some of these coin flips and they can make or break a tournament.”

Roberts was awarded $218,400 for the win, the largest score of her tournament career.

Stephen Chidwick placed third for $113,750 and his second final-table score of the series. Sean Winter kept his impressive streak alive by finishing fifth for another $72,800.

Here is a look at the payouts and Card Player POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Lauren Roberts $218,400 540
2 Koray Aldemir $159,250 450
3 Stephen Chidwick $113,750 360
4 Brandon Adams $91,000 270
5 Sean Winter $72,800 225
6 Ralph Wong $54,600 180
7 Rodger Johnson $45,500 135
8 Jerry Robinson $36,400 90

2019 USPO Event #4 Champion Sean WinterThe $10,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em short deck no-limit hold’em event saw Sean Winter increase his final table count to four, as he finally broke through to capture his first USPO title. Winter overcame a field of 42 total entries to capture the $151,200 top prize. With 440 total USPO rankings points earned, he is now the player to beat heading into the second week of events.

“Everything is just flowing well. I’m focused, feeling mentally strong and I’m getting lucky in the right spots and getting away with things in others," said Winter. "Right now, I don’t really want to do anything else but play these events. When you’ve got a nice hot streak going you just want to keep it going. This is the most fun poker gets.”

While Winter is dominating this particular series, he is also among the top performers in the 2019 Card Player Player of the Year race. Winter has now made a total of six final tables so far this year, with two titles won including this event and a first-place finish in a $25,000 no-limit hold’em high roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. With 1,956 total POY points and $1,067,070 in year-to-date earnings, Winter now occupies the seventh-place spot on the overall POY leaderboard.

Stephen Chidwick made his third final table of the series, placing sixth for $25,200. He is Winter’s closest competition in the USPO rankings, sitting 100 points outside of the lead with 340.

Here is a look at the payouts and Card Player POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Sean Winter $151,200 300
2 David Peters $100,800 250
3 Seth Davies $67,200 200
4 Ben Lamb $42,000 150
5 Ben Yu $33,600 125
6 Stephen Chidwick $25,200 100

Below are the top ten in the USPO Championship Standings after four events:

Place Player (Final Tables) Earnings (USD) USPO Ranking Points
1 Sean Winter (4) $419,900 440
2 Stephen Chidwick (3) $354,950 340
3 Jordan Cristos (2) $206,200 240
4 Lauren Roberts $218,400 200
5 Manig Loeser (2) $146,200 180
6 Koray Aldemir $159,200 140
7 David Peters $100,800 140
8 Seth Davies (2) $94,500 140
9 Joseph Cheong $112,500 100
10 Martin Zamani $83,200 100

Photos provided by Poker Central / Drew Amato.