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David Peters Wins U.S. Poker Open $25,000 Buy-In High Roller For His Third Title of the Series

The Victory Propelled Peters Into The Lead In The USPO Points Race With Just One Event Remaining

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David Peters did not cash through the first six tournaments of the 12-event 2021 U.S. Poker Open series. Despite a slow first half, the reigning USPO champion has managed to surge into the lead heading into the final event of the series with four final-tables finishes and three titles won in a five-day span, with $832,950 in earnings accumulated along the way.

Peters’ incredible run began when he took down event no. 7, a $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament, on June 9 and then finished eighth in the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha event the very next day. He did not cash in event no. 9, but emerged victorious in the $10,000 short deck event for his second title of the series. Just one day removed from that win, Peters managed to defeat a field of 69 entries to complete the hat trick by winning the $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event. The 34-year-old poker pro earned $465,750 for his latest title run.

Peters now has more than $36 million in career tournament earnings to his name, which puts him in sixth place on poker’s all-time money list.

Peters earned 279 USPO rankings points for the win. He is the only player with more than one victory through the first 11 events, and his 646 points are good for a 163-point lead over second-ranked Ali Imsirovic with just one tournament remaining in the series. Whoever ends up with the most points at the conclusion of this high-roller festival will be awarded $50,000 in added prize money and the new Golden Eagle trophy.

Peters also earned 279 points towards the PokerGo Tour standings. He climbed into sixth place on that leaderboard as a result.

The victory saw Peters take home 504 Card Player Player of the Year points as well. The 2016 POY award winner has been one of the most consistent players on the tournament circuit over the past decade. He finished inside the top 50 in the year-end standings seven times from 2010-20, with five finishes of 13th or higher and three top-four showings. Peters’s trio of victories at the USPO were enough to move him into 37th place in the 2021 POY race rankings, sponsored by Global Poker.

Vanessa KadePeters hopped directly into this $25,000 buy-in event after winning the short deck event and survived to the final table of six, sitting in fifth chip position when cards got back in the air for the second and final day of action. Frank Funaro was the short stack to start the day, and soon found himself all-in with middle pair and a low kicker against the same pair, a king kicker and a flush draw for chip leader Ivan Zufic. The flush came on the river to send Funaro to the rail in sixth place ($103,500).

Vanessa Kade overtook the chip lead during five-handed play, but lost a huge preflop flip with pocket tens against the AHeart SuitQHeart Suit of Peters to fall towards the bottom of the leaderboard. She clashed with Peters again in her final hand, raising all-in from the big blind for around 25 big blinds with ASpade Suit8Diamond Suit after Peters raised from the small blind with AHeart SuitKDiamond Suit. Peters made the call, flopped a pair of kings, and held from there to eliminate Kade in fifth place ($138,000). The recent 15th Anniversary Sunday Million champion backed up her $1.5 million score in that event with her second final-table finish of this series, bringing her earnings in this high-stakes festival to $232,050.

Like Kade, Jake Daniels was also at his second final table of the series. His run in this event came to an end when his ADiamond Suit5Club Suit was unable to hold up against the QSpade Suit10Club Suit of Peters, who flopped a pair of queens to take the lead. Daniels picked up a pair and a flush draw to have plenty of outs heading into the river, but a blank on the end sent the pot to Peters, who took more than half of the chips in play into three-handed action. Daniels earned $172,500 for his fourth-place showing.

Ivan ZuficDan Shak was at his fourth final table of the series, with a runner-up finish in the kickoff tournament. He started out as the shortest stack among the final three, but each of the remaining players took a turn as the chip leader before the next elimination took place. Shak lost his hold of the lead when his ASpade SuitKDiamond Suit failed to outrun the 10Heart Suit10Diamond Suit of Peters. Shak fell to the bottom of the counts when he failed to improve, and was eliminated not too long after than when Peters shoved from the small blind with JClub Suit6Club Suit and Shak called with KClub Suit5Club Suit. Peters rivered an eight-high straight to send Shak home in third place ($224,250).

Peters took nearly a 4:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Zufic. The final showdown didn’t last long, though. In the first hand of the heads-up match, Peters picked up pocket tens and limped in from the button. Zufic looked down at pocket nines and raised to 475,000. Peters called and the flop came down QSpade Suit8Spade Suit3Heart Suit. Zufic bet 375,000 and Peters called. The 10Club Suit on the turn prompted Zufic to check. Peters checked back with his set and the 4Heart Suit completed the board. Zufic checked Peters bet enough to put Zufic all-in. Zufic thought it over before committing his last 1,230,000. Zufic earned $345,000 for his second final-table finish of the series.

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Payout POY Points PokerGO Tour
1 David Peters $465,750 504 279
2 Ivan Zufic $345,000 420 207
3 Dan Shak $224,250 336 135
4 Jake Daniels $172,500 252 104
5 Vanessa Kade $138,000 210 83
6 Frank Funaro $103,500 168 62
7 Christopher Brewer $86,250 126 52
8 Randy Kaas $69,000 84 41

Here are the current top ten in the USPO points race:

Place Player Points Wins Cashes Earnings
1 David Peters 646 3 4 $832,950
2 Ali Imsirovic 483 1 5 $482,000
3 Dan Shak 371 0 4 $459,750
4 Jake Daniels 323 1 2 $391,000
5 Andrew Lichtenberger 308 0 3 $308,000
6 Joe McKeehen 302 1 2 $302,200
7 Steve Zolotow 289 0 3 $289,000
8 Cary Katz 270 0 4 $270,100
9 Ivan Zufic 266 0 2 $404,400
10 John Riordan 253 1 4 $273,550

Winner photo credit: PokerGO.