Dan Smith Wins U.S. Poker Open $25,000 Buy-In Event For $399,500

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Dan Smith has won the penultimate event of the 2023 U.S. Poker Open, defeating a field of 47 entries in the $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event to earn $399,500 and his first PokerGO Tour major victory. The 34-year-old poker pro now nearly $41.5 million in career tournament earnings to his name, including a World Series of Poker bracelet and a World Poker Tour main event title.

Smith now sits in eighth place on poker’s all-time money list, having surpassed Mikita Badziakouski ($41.2 million in earnings) with this latest win.

Smith has made four final tables so far in 2023, with this being his first win of the year. With 1,652 total Card Player Player of the Year points and nearly $1.6 million in POY earnings so far, Smith now sits inside the top 50 in the 2023 POY standings presented by Global Poker.

Smith’s victory also saw him climb to fifth place in the USPO player of the series standings, with this win and a third-place finish in the previous $25,000 buy-in on the schedule for another $189,000.

“I think it would be a cool thing to win,” Smith told PokerGO reporters when asked about the USPO series championship and the giant golden eagle that comes with it. “That trophy is unbelievable. It is 54 pounds. I would love to win it. But we’ll see how it goes. I’ve gotten third, first. A second seems like a nice casual round out, but I don’t wanna be greedy.”

Smith has also climbed inside the top 25 on the PGT’s season-long leaderboard thanks to this recent run to the winner’s circle.

This event played out over the course of two days at the PokerGO Studio inside ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The money bubble burst late on day 1 with the elimination of Johan Schultz-Pedersen in eighth place. Six-time bracelet winner and reigning Super High Roller Bowl champion Daniel Negreanu was then knocked out in seventh place ($47,000) to bring the session to a close.

Day 2 began with bracelet winner Brian Kim in the lead and Smith in second chip position. Three-time bracelet winner and World Poker Tour champion Nick Schulman was the first to fall, with his Q-10 suited unable to outrun the A-K of Smith. Schulman flopped a queen to take the lead, but an ace on the river gave Smith the winning hand and enough chips to leapfrog Kim for the lead. Schulman earned $70,500 for his sixth-place showing.

Five-handed action lasted roughly an hour and forty-five minutes. The stalemate was finally broken when Punnat Punsri’s A-J ran into the A-Q of Smith. A queen high flop extended Smith’s lead in the hand, and running hearts gave him an ace-high flush to officially eliminate Punsri in fifth place ($94,000).

Cary KatzA battle of the blinds spelled the end of Cary Katz run in this event. Smith open-shoved from the small blind with KClub SuitJClub Suit and Katz called all-in from the big blind for just shy of 17 big blinds with KSpade SuitQSpade Suit. The board ran out 8Heart Suit8Diamond Suit4Club Suit2Club SuitAClub Suit to give Smith a backdoor flush for the win. Katz took home $129,250 as the fourth-place finisher. This was his 10th PGT cash of the year, with one title won and $1,036,382 in earnings accumulated along the way. As a result, he now sits in third place in the season-long PGT points race.

Smith took a sizable lead into three-handed action with nearly 68 percent of the total chips in play sitting in his stack. The two shorter stacks got involved in the next big clash, with all of the chips going in on a AClub Suit8Diamond Suit6Diamond Suit10Club Suit9Heart Suit river. Lin lead out on the end for 80,000. Kim raised to 260,000 with 7Spade Suit3Heart Suit, leaving 795,000 behind. Ren Lin moved all-in and Kim went into the tank with his ten-high straight, knowing that he could be losing to two possible higher straights. He eventually called and Lin rolled over JHeart Suit7Club Suit for a jack-high straight. Kim earned $176,250 as the third-place finisher. This was his fifth final-table finish of the year, with $986,650 in POY earnings accrued thus far in 2023. He now sits inside the top 50 on the POY leaderboard as a result.

Lin chipped up to 2,475,000 after that hand, while Smith remained ahead with 4,580,000. It took only one for Smith to convert his lead into the title. Lin raised from the button with ASpade Suit9Diamond Suit and Smith three-bet shoved for just shy of 31 big blinds effective with JClub Suit7Club Suit. Lin went into the tank before eventually making the call. The board ran out JHeart Suit10Diamond Suit2Heart Suit10Heart Suit3Heart Suit and Smith’s jacks and tens were enough to lock up the title.

Lin was awarded $258,500 as the runner-up finisher. This was his fourth cash of the series, and his second six-figure score, having won a $10,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event earlier in the festival for $231,000. With 465 PGT points and $568,400 in earnings so far at the USPO, Lin now sits atop the standings in the race for the series championship. Lin also climbed into second place in the 2023 POY race standings, with nine total final tables and nearly $1.9 million in cashes so far this year. His 3,905 points trail only the 5,130 of current POY leader Nacho Barbero.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Dan Smith $399,500 420 240
2 Ren Lin $258,500 350 155
3 Brian Kim $176,250 280 106
4 Cary Katz $129,250 210 78
5 Punnat Punsri $94,000 175 56
6 Nick Schulman $70,500 140 42
7 Daniel Negreanu $47,000 105 28

Check out the current top ten in the USPO points race heading into the final event of the series:

Rank Player Points Wins Cashes Winnings
1 Ren Lin 465 1 4 $568,400
2 Sam Soverel 457 1 3 $456,750
3 Joey Weissman 429 1 3 $542,400
4 Darren Elias 399 1 3 $399,200
5 Dan Smith 353 1 2 $588,500
6 Isaac Kempton 344 1 2 $344,250
7 Chris Brewer 305 0 4 $331,800
8 Nacho Barbero 303 0 3 $302,550
9 Phil Hellmuth 295 1 3 $337,800
10 Brandon Wilson 269 0 2 $268,200

Photo credits: PokerGO / Enrique Malfavon.





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