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PGT PLO II: Matthew Wantman, Eelis Parssinen, and Stephen Hubbard Secure Early Titles

A Look At The First Three Events From The 10-Tournament PLO Festival In Las Vegas

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The action seemingly never stops inside the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas. The venue has essentially hosted back-to-back-to-back festivals over the past six weeks. The PokerMasters was quickly followed by the PGT Mixed Games II, with the Super High Roller Bowl VIII and the Super High Roller Bowl: Pot Limit Omaha bookending that second series. Now, the PGT PLO Series II is hosting ten PLO events from Oct. 19-30. The four-card festival has already seen a winner determined in its first three events, with 424 entries made and $3,007,500 in prize money paid out thus far.

Below is a look at what went down in that first trio of PLO tournaments.

PGT PLO #1 – $5,100 Pot-Limit Omaha

The series started with a $5,100 buy-in event, of just three four-figure offerings in a festival dominated by $10,100 tournaments and capped off with a $25,200 finale. The opening event attracted 172 entries, building a prize pool of $860,000 that was ultimately paid out among the top 25 finishers.

It was World Poker Tour champion Matthew Wantman who ultimately walked away with the largest share of the prize money. He took home $150,500 and his sixth recorded tournament title for the win.

This was Wantman’s fifth final-table finish of the year. The 624 Card Player Player of the Year points he earned as the victor were enough to move him into 364th place in the 2023 POY race standings presented by Global Poker.

Four of Wantman’s scores this year have also qualified for PGT rankings points. With 512, he is the 84th-ranked player on that high-stakes centric leaderboard.

Three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Jim Collopy finished second for $111,800. With two titles and nine final tables in 2023, Collopy climbed to 40th in the POY standings. He’s 71st in the PGT rankings, with eight qualifying cashes for nearly $676,000 in to-date earnings.

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Matthew Wantman $150,500 624 151
2 Jim Collopy $111,800 520 112
3 Eugeni Turevski $86,000 416 86
4 Quan Tran $64,500 312 65
5 Benjamin Juhasz $51,600 260 52
6 Mathyeu Provost $43,000 208 43
7 Zachary Schwartz $34,400 156 34

PGT PLO #2 – $7,600 Pot-Limit Omaha Bounty

Eelis Parssinen scored the final knockout in the $7,600 buy-in bounty event, outlasting 149 entries. The Finnish poker pro came into the final table with the chip lead and converted that advantage into the title and the $149,000 top payout from the main prize pool. He also collected 12 bounties along the way, good for $30,000 in additional earnings.

The bracelet winner now has nearly $3.5 million in recorded tournament earnings, with his largest payday being the $545,616 he secured for taking down a $5,000 PLO and no-limit hold’em mix event at the 2021 WSOP.

Parssinen squared off for this title against a fellow bracelet winner in Allan Le. The two started on nearly even footing after Le busted Dustin Goldklang(3rd – $74,500), but Parssinen took control of the match early and was able to close out the victory when his flush and straight draws overcame the top pair of Le. He took home $104,300 and $27,500 in bounty payouts for his runner-up showing.

Parssinen had also cashed in the kickoff event and later went on to make the final table in event 3. After the opening weekend, he sits in second place in the series-long points race. The PGT PLO Series II leaderboard winner will be awarded a $25,000 championship bonus.

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Eelis Parssinen $149,000 576 149
2 Allan Le $104,300 480 104
3 Dustin Goldklang $74,500 384 75
4 Sean Winter $59,600 288 60
5 Dylan Weisman $44,700 240 45
6 Brian Rast $37,250 192 37
7 Stephen Hubbard $29,800 144 30

PGT PLO #3 – $10,100 Pot-Limit Omaha

The first $10,100 event on the agenda drew 103 entries to create a $1,030,000 prize pool. Stephen Hubbard, who was fresh off of a seventh-place finish in event no. 2, emerged victorious with the title and the top prize of $231,750.

This was the first six-figure tournament score secured by Hubbard, who hails from Sandy, Utah. This was also his first live tournament title, with just 11 previously recorded in-the-money finishes to his name.

His pair of cashes during this festival are the the two largest of his career. After his recent win, his earnings have grown to $405,402.

On the way to victory, Hubbard made a royal flush against bracelet winner Dylan Weisman, who continued to fire with his flopped set of jacks. Weisman went on to finish fifth for $77,250. He also placed fifth in the bounty event and is now among the top contenders in the series-long points race.

Parssinen (7th – $51,500), two-time bracelet winner Cliff Josephy (6th – $61,800), and bracelet winner Richard Gryko (3rd – $123,600) also cashed in this event. Bulgaria’s Vasil Medarov earned $164,800 as the runner-up.

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Stephen Hubbard $231,750 600 232
2 Vasil Medarov $164,800 500 165
3 Richard Gryko $123,600 400 124
4 Karel Mokry $97,850 300 98
5 Dylan Weisman $77,250 250 77
6 Cliff Josephy $61,800 200 62
7 Eelis Parssinen $51,500 150 52

Here is a look at the current top ten in the series points race after three events:

1st: Stephen Hubbard – 262 points
2nd: Eelis Parssinen – 218 points
3rd: Vasil Medarov – 200 points
4th: Matthew Wantman – 151 points
5th: Richard Gryko – 137 points
6th: Allan Le – 135 points
7th: Dylan Weisman – 122 points
8th: Karel Mokry – 115 points
9th: Jim Collopy – 112 points
10th: Evgeni Tourevski – 86 points

Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.