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Erik Seidel Wins 2024 U.S. Poker Open Kickoff Event

Ten-Time Bracelet Winner Overcomes 116-Entry Field In $5,100 Buy-In No-Limit Hold'em Event To Earn $145,000

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The first title of the 2024 U.S. Poker Open was, fittingly, earned by an American poker legend. Ten-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Erik Seidel overcame a field of 116 entries in the $5,100 buy-in no-limit hold’em event to secure $145,000 and his 33rd career tournament title.

The 64-year-old Poker Hall of Fame member now has more than $47.4 million in lifetime earnings, good for tenth place on the all-time money list.

This was the second title and fourth final-table finish of the year for Seidel, who took down a $10,500 buy-in event at the Wynn Millions just shy of a month before this victory. With 1,270 Card Player Player of the Year points to his name, Seidel now sits in 65th place in the 2024 standings presented by Global Poker. He also secured 145 PokerGO Tour rankings points, giving him the lead in the USPO series-long points race and moving him into 16th place in the PGT’s seasonal standings.

The strong turnout to the PokerGO Studio inside ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas resulted in a prize pool of $580,000, with the top 17 finishers securing a share. Among those that ran deep were two-time bracelet winner John Riordan (17th), four-time bracelet winner Kristen Foxen (14th), two-time POY award winner Stephen Chidwick (11th), and 2020 WSOP Online main event champion Stoyan Madanzhiev (8th).

Bracelet winner and World Poker Tour champion Alex Foxen (7th) was knocked out at the end of day 1 before the final six bagged up for the night. Day 2 began with Seidel in the lead, but he lost several all-in confrontations in the early going to stall his momentum a bit.

Justin Zaki lost a coin flip against bracelet winner and WPT champion Dylan Linde to finish sixth ($29,000). Zaki was joined on the rail by William Lamar-Boone, whose K-7 suited ran into the pocket kings of three-time WPT winner Eric Afriat. Lamar-Boone made kings up, but it was still not enough to best Afriat’s kings full of fours. He took home $37,700 as the fifth-place finisher.

Afriat then won a massive three-way clash with his A-Q suited besting the pocket kings of Seidel and the pocket nines of John Khoury, who was all-in preflop. Afriat flopped trip queens and held from there to eliminate Khoury (4th – $49,300), taking a chunk out of Seidel’s stack with bets on the flop and river.

After falling to the bottom of the counts, Seidel doubled through Linde to move back into second chip position in time for the next key hand. Afriat min-raised to 400,000 on the button with KHeart Suit8Heart Suit and Seidel called in the big blind holding 9Spade Suit9Club Suit. The flop came down AHeart SuitKSpade Suit9Heart Suit and both players checked. The 4Club Suit drew another check from Seidel and his set of nines. Afriat bet 350,000 with his pair of kings and the nut flush draw, and then called Seidel’s check-raise to 1,100,000. The 4Heart Suit on the end improved Seidel to nines full. He bet 1,500,000 and Afriat called with his rivered flush to send the sizable pot to Seidel.

Linde was left on fumes after losing an all-in showdown with Afriat. In the final hand of the tournament, Afriat opened to 750,000 on the button with 9Spade Suit9Diamond Suit. Linde was forced all-in for the small blind of 125,000 with KSpade Suit8Club Suit and Seidel looked down at ASpade SuitADiamond Suit in the big blind. He moved all-in and Afriat called for 2,500,000 total. The board came down JDiamond Suit10Diamond Suit5Spade Suit5Club Suit3Diamond Suit and Seidel’s aces held to earn him the double knockout and the title. Linde cashed for $63,800 as the third-place finisher, while Afriat earned $89,900 as the runner-up.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Erik Seidel $145,000 480 145
2 Eric Afriat $89,900 400 90
3 Dylan Linde $63,800 320 64
4 John Khoury $49,300 240 49
5 William Lamar-Boone $37,700 200 38
6 Justin Zaki $29,000 160 29

Photo credit: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.