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Justin Zaki Scores $232,400 With PokerGO Cup Event No. 5 Victory

Florida Native Outlasts 83 Entries To Secure His Fourth-Largest Career Payday


Justin Zaki has more than $5 million in recorded poker tournament earnings, with 245 total career cashes to his name. On Wednesday, Jan. 31, he earned his third career live tournament title, topping a field of 83 entries to win the latest $10,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event at the 2024 PokerGO Cup.

Zaki was awarded $232,400 as the champion of event no. 5, the fourth-largest payday of his carer. He also took home 480 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win, moving him within reach of the top 100 in the 2024 POY standings presented by Global Poker.

With 232 PokerGO Tour points, Zaki now sits in fourth place in the race for the PokerGO Cup series championship. Card Player columnist Jonathan Little, who has one title and three cashes so far during the series, is in pole position with 277 points heading into the final few events of the festival.

This tournament took two days to complete, with the top 12 finishers cashing. Only the top six returned for day 2 action inside the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas, with Stephen Chidwick leading and Zaki in third chip position to start.

Chidwick added to his lead early by knocking out Joris Ruijs (6th – $41,500). Zaki scored a key double-up early through Sam Soverel and then knocked out two-time bracelet winner Justin Saliba with an overpair of jacks against top pair of nines on the flop. The jacks held through the river and Saliba settled for $58,100 as the fifth-place finisher.

Soverel was left on fumes when his trip tens ran into the tens full of aces held by bracelet winner Joey Weissman. Soverel soon hit the rail in fourth place, earning $78,850 to bring his career total to more than $22.9 million.

Zaki worked his way into the lead during three-handed play, and remained ahead even when Weissman knocked out Chidwick in third place. Chidwick secured $107,900 after his K-Q failed to come from behind against Weissman’s A-Q. Chidwick, a bracelet winner and two-time POY, now has nearly $55.2 million in career earnings, which is good for third on poker’s all-time money list.

Zaki entered heads-up play with better than a 2:1 lead. He relinquished the advantage for a bit, but was able to pull back in front in time for the preflop cooler that ended this tournament. He raised from the button with KSpade SuitKDiamond Suit and Weissman three-bet shoved from the big blind for 12 big blinds with ADiamond SuitQSpade Suit. Zaki quickly called and a 10Spade Suit7Club Suit3Spade Suit5Spade Suit10Heart Suit runout locked up the title. Weissman increased his lifetime earnings to more than $6.1 million with his runner-up finish for $149,400.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Justin Zaki $232,400 480 232
2 Joey Weissman $149,400 400 149
3 Stephen Chidwick $107,900 320 108
4 Sam Soverel $78,850 240 79
5 Justin Saliba $58,100 200 58
6 Joris Ruijs $41,500 160 42

Photo credit: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.