Shen, a pot-limit Omaha specialist, earned $91,290 from the main prize pool as the champion, along with $36,000 in additional payouts thanks to 18 bounties cashed. This was the Toronto, Canada native’s largest recorded tournament score yet, topping his $20,000 cash for a 13th-place showing in the kickoff event of this same series and the $14,049 he earned for winning a WSOP Online Circuit pot-limit Omaha event last December.
In addition to the title and the money, Shen also earned 624 POY points and 91 PGT points for the win. Negreanu, Canada’s all-time money leader with more than $49.7 million in lifetime cashes, secured $69,810 and 70 PGT points as the runner-up. This was already his eighth cash in a PokerGO Tour event in 2023. With 396 points and more than half a million in earnings, he now sits in fourth place on this season’s PGT leaderboard.
Shen captured the majority of his bounties during day 1 action at the PokerGO Studio inside the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Of his 18 total bounties, 16 were secured on day 1.
“It’s interesting because it makes it so much more important for the bounties and it doesn’t matter much once you get later in the tournament,” Shen told PokerGO reporters. “I really gambled it up in the first few levels, just taking negative chip EV spots. Hunting bounties.”
His approach resulted in him holding a big lead by the end of the day with 9,495,000. Negreanu held the next-largest stack at 5,460,000. The knockouts began when Ky Nguyen busted Nathan Zimnik (6th – $26,850). Despite scoring that first elimination, Nguyen was the next to fall when he ran top set into the turned straight of Negreanu. Nguyen took home $32,220 for his fifth-place finish.
Negreanu continued to accumulate thanks to winning a big all-in with pocket queens against the pocket jacks of Isaac Kempton (4th – $37,590). He then got all-in with a turned straight facing the flush draw and straight chip outs of bracelet winner Joseph Cheong. The river brought a brick and Cheong was sent home with $53,700.
Heads-up play began with stacks relatively close. The lead changed hands a few times, with Shen taking the decisive advantage when his pocket aces improved to a set after the chips went in on the flop with Negreanu holding two pair. Negreanu found one double-up, but was soon all in and at risk again after a flop of J52. Shen held J543 for top two pair, a flush draw, and an open-ended straight draw. Negreanu held AA108 for an opverpair. The A turn gave Negreanu top set while also improving Shjen to a flush. The Q did not pair the board and Negreanu was eliminated in second place.
The 520 Card Player Player of the Year points Negreanu earned for his runner-up showing were enough to move him inside the top 50 in the 2023 POY race standings presented by Global Poker. Negreanu is off to a strong start in his campaign to win a third POY award, having secured the honor in both 2004 and 2013.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY Points||PGT Points|
Photo credit: PokerGO Tour / Antonio Abrego.