Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine


Poker Training

Newsletter and Magazine

Sign Up

Find Your Local

Card Room


Martin Zamani Wins U.S. Poker Open $50,000 Finale To Clinch Series Championship

The Two-time Bracelet Winner Overcame A Field of 37 Entries To Earn $666,000 and Lock Up The USPO Player of the Series Honors


Martin Zamani is the 2023 U.S. Poker Open champion, securing the top spot on the series points leaderboard with a win in the final event of the high-stakes tournament festival. The two-time bracelet winner topped a field of 37 entries in the $50,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em finale to earn $666,0000 and the coveted PokerGO Tour points to would see him lock up the USPO championship, along with the golden eagle trophy and the $50,000 in added money.

This was the second-largest payday of Zamani’s career, trailing only the $895,110 he earned as the winner of a $25,000 buy-in high roller at the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He now has nearly $5.2 million in recorded tournament cashes to his name.

Zamani cashed for more money than any other player during the 10-event USPO series, accruing $835,800 in total earnings across four in-the-money finishes. He eeked into the money twice during the early events for a pair of 14th-place finishes, but upped his game during the back half of the schedule with a third-place showing in event no. 6 for $130,200 and his win in the closing tournament. His 570 PGT points earned during this festival gave him a 105-point lead over the nearest contender Ren Lin in the final standings. Lin also cashed four times with one title won, and would have secured the USPO series championship had Zamani lost his heads-up match in this event.

The final USPO tournament, like the nine that preceded it, was a two-day affair held inside the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Day 1 came to a conclusion with the elimination of bracelet winner Andrew Lichtenberger on the money bubble.

The final table began with six players remaining. Justin Bonomo was in the lead while Zamani sat in second chip position to start. Chris Brewer was essentially tied with event no. 9 champion Dan Smith for the shortest stack at the table, and was the first player to find himself all-in and at risk on day 2.

Brewer had slid to 20 big blinds when he picked up A-3 in the small blind facing a button raise from Zamani. Brewer three-bet to 200,000 off of a stack of 300,000. Zamani moved all in with pocket aces and Brewer called. The board brought no help and Brewer was sent home in sixth place ($92,500). This was his ninth final-table finish of the year, with more than $2.5 million in cashes and two titles won along the way. Brewer now sits in fifth place in the POY standings as a result. With five cashes during the USPO, he ended up placing seventh in the series points race.

Dan SmithSmith was the next to fall, hitting the rail after a rollercoaster of a hand. Jeremy Ausmus raised with 8Heart Suit8Spade Suit from the cutoff and Smith three-bet shoved with JSpade SuitJDiamond Suit on the button. Zamani picked up QDiamond SuitQClub Suit in the big blind and re-shoved, pushing Ausmus out of the pot. The flop came down JClub Suit10Spade Suit2Heart Suit to give Smith top set and the lead. The turn was the KClub Suit, though, giving Zamani an open-ended straight draw to go with his outs for a higher set. The AClub Suit on the river completed Zamani’s draw, giving him the straight and the pot. Smith finished fifth for $148,000, increasing his career earnings to $41.6 million, the eighth most of any player in the game.

This was Smith’s third consecutive final table at the USPO, having finished third in event no. 8 and first in event no. 9. With this latest deep run, Smith increased his series earnings to $736,500, good for fourth in the final USPO points standings. He also climbed to 36th place on the POY leaderboard.

Four-handed play continued for roughly three hours. While Bonomo overtook the lead for a bit, Zamani picked up steam as the night wore on. Bonomo had slid to the second shortest stack in time for the next key all-in confrontation. Zamani opened on the button with ASpade Suit10Spade Suit and Bonomo three-bet shoved for just over 20 big blinds with 10Diamond Suit8Diamond Suit from the small blind. Zamani made the call when it got back to him and extended his already healthy lead in the hand when the flop came down AClub Suit9Spade Suit3Spade Suit to give Zamani top pair of aces and the nut flush draw. The 6Spade Suit on the turn left Bonomo drawing dead, and the QHeart Suit on the river officially ended his run in this event in fourth place ($203,500). The three-time bracelet winner and three-time Super High Roller Bowl champion now has more than $62.5 million in recorded tournament earnings to his name, adding to his lead on poker’s all-time money list.

Jeremy AusmusAusmus was left as the clear short stack following Bonomo’s exit. The five-time bracelet winner had 24 big blinds when Zamani open-shoved on him from the small blind with JHeart Suit7Spade Suit. Ausmus thought it over before making the call with AClub Suit6Spade Suit. The board ran out 10Club Suit7Diamond Suit6Diamond Suit4Club Suit5Diamond Suit and Zamani’s flopped pair of sevens earned him the pot. Ausmus earned $296,000 as the third-place finisher. This was his tenth final table of the year, with nearly $1.1 million in POY earnings accrued along the way. Ausmus now sits in 10th place in the POY standings and eighth in the PGT season-long points race thanks to his strong start to 2023.

Heads-up play began with Zamani holding 4,815,000 to two-tine bracelet winner Nick Petrangelo’s 2,585,000. Zamani picked off a bluff attempt to expand his lead even further just a few minutes into the showdown for the title. By the time the final hand was dealt, Zamani had increased his chip advantage to more than 8:1. Petrangelo shoved for just shy of 20 big blinds on the button with QSpade Suit10Heart Suit and Zamani called from the big blind with KClub Suit6Heart Suit. The KDiamond Suit10Diamond Suit3Club Suit4Diamond SuitJDiamond Suit runout gave Zamani a winning pair of kings to secure the title. Petrangelo took home $444,000 as the runner-up finisher.

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Martin Zamani $666,000 408 400
2 Nick Petrangelo $444,000 340 266
3 Jeremy Ausmus $296,000 272 178
4 Justin Bonomo $203,500 204 122
5 Dan Smith $148,000 170 89
6 Chris Brewer $92,500 136 56

Check out the final top ten in the USPO points race:

Rank Player Points Wins Cashes Winnings
1 Martin Zamani 570 1 4 $835,800
2 Ren Lin 465 1 4 $568,400
3 Sam Soverel 457 1 3 $456,750
4 Dan Smith 442 1 3 $736,500
5 Joey Weissman 429 1 3 $542,400
6 Darren Elias 399 1 3 $399,200
7 Chris Brewer 361 0 5 $424,300
8 Isaac Kempton 344 1 2 $344,250
9 Jeremy Ausmus 328 0 2 $445,600
10 Nacho Barbero 303 0 3 $302,550

Photo credits: PokerGO / Enrique Malfavon.