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David Peters Wins 2019 U.S. Poker Open In Photo Finish

31-Year-Old Poker Pro Took Down The Final Event Of The Series To Narrowly Surpass Sean Winter For The USPO Championship Trophy


David Peters has won the 2019 U.S. Poker Open championship trophy in dramatic style. The 31-year-old American poker pro took down the final tournament of the ten-event series, defeating a field of 33 entries to win the $100,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event for $1,320,000. The 350 USPO ranking points he secured for the win, combined with the 200 he had earned with two prior final-table finishes at the series, were enough to see him surpass leader Sean Winter by just 10 points. As a result, he secured both the trophy and the $100,000 prize awarded to the series champion.

“This feels amazing,” said Peters after securing the trophy. “This is obviously a very prestigious tournament, a great series, and to come from behind and to pass Sean by 10 points at the very end, that’s a pretty-pretty crazy feeling.”

Peters is no stranger to last-second, come-from-behind victories. In 2016, Fedor Holz had held the lead in the Card Player Player of the Year standings for the majority of the race. With just 11 days left in the year, David Peters came through in the clutch with a third-place finish in the European Poker Tout Prague main event to surpass Holz and secure the Player of the Year award.

Peters cashed for a total of $1,584,000 during the 2019 USPO, which was $686,800 more than the next highest earner in Koray Aldemir ($897,200). Sean Winter made the most final-table finishes with five, while 2018 USPO champion Stephen Chidwick was the only player to win multiple titles during the series.

This was Peters’ ninth seven-figure score, and it brought his lifetime live tournament earnings to $31,696,012. He currently sits in fifth place on poker’s all-time money list, behind only Justin Bonomo ($44,027,047), Daniel Negreanu ($38,663,630), Erik Seidel ($34,842,743) and Fedor Holz ($32,992,603).

“I’m just always trying to get better. I put in an endless amount of hours away from the table and it feels great to see all the hard work pay off," said Peters. “I’m always very hungry, always wanting to get better and better and better and better and that’s not going to stop. I hope to keep that keep that going.”

Peters entered the final day of the $100,000 buy-in event in fourth chip position, with nine players remaining and only the top five set to make the money. All-time tournament earnings leader Justin Bonomo was knocked out on the bubble by Ryan Riess, who followed him out the door in fifth place ($264,000). Keith Tilston soared up the leaderboard after knocking out the 2013 World Series of Poker main event champ and grew his stack further by eliminating Martin Zamani in fourth place ($330,000).

Peters won a preflop race against Tilston with K-Q versus pocket eights to overtake the lead. He then sent Tiltson to the rail in third place ($528,000) to take a solid lead into heads-up play against Chris Hunichen.

In the final hand Hunichen limped in from the button for 80,000 and Peters raised to 320,000. Hunichen moved all-in for 2,650,000 and Peters called with the 9Diamond Suit9Club Suit. Hunichen held the AHeart Suit8Club Suit. The JHeart SuitJClub Suit10Spade Suit8Diamond Suit6Diamond Suit runout kept Petes in the lead, securing him the pot and the title. Hunichen earned $858,000 as the runner-up finisher.

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 David Peters $1,320,000 480
2 Christopher Hunichen $858,000 400
3 Keith Tilston $528,000 320
4 Martin Zamani $330,000 240
5 Ryan Riess $264,000 200

Below are the final USPO Championship Standings:

Place Player (Final Tables) Earnings (USD) USPO Ranking Points
1 David Peters (3) $1,584,000 550
2 Sean Winter (5) $747,900 540
3 Stephen Chidwick (4) $705,950 540
4 Nick Schulman (2) $390,000 410
5 Brandon Adams (3) $314,750 365
6 Koray Aldemir (2) $897,200 340
7 Cary Katz (3) $580,200 340
8 Bryn Kenney (2) $477,000 240
9 Lauren Roberts (2) $263,400 240
10 Jordan Cristos (2) $206,200 240
11 Ali Imsirovic $442,500 200
12 Ben Yu (3) $262,800 200

Photo provided by Poker Central / Drew Amato.