Daniyal Iqbal Wins Record-Setting PGT PLO Kickoff Event

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The PokerGO Tour is hosting its first-ever series comprised entirely of pot-limit Omaha events this week at the PokerGO Studio inside the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The PGT PLO Series kicked off with a $5,000 buy-in event that attracted 200 entries by the time registration closed, setting the record for the most total entries in an owned-and-operated PGT event. The huge turnout resulted in a prize pool of $1,000,000 that was paid out among the top 29 finishers. After two days of action, Daniyal Iqbal came away with the title and the largest share of the prize money: $160,000.

Iqbal is an engineer from Rochester, NY who plays poker as a hobby. “I play PLO cash at home. Some home games. I’m an engineer, just here for a week to have some fun,” he told PGT reporters after coming out on top.

This victory conferred plenty of rankings points on Iqbal. With 720 Card Player Player of the Year points he is now among the top 200 in the 2023 POY race standings presented by Global Poker. He also earned 160 PGT points, enough to climb inside the top 40 on that leaderboard.

The field of 200 was narrowed down to just nine contenders by the end of the first day’s action, with Iqbal in the lead and several big names still in contention. Bracelet winner and World Poekr Tour champion David Williams was the first to fall (9th – $30,000) with his bottom pair and straight draw from the flop failing to improve against a higher pair for Finnish bracelet winner Eelis Parssinen.

Ethan ‘Rampage’ Yau, a bracelet winner and popular vlogger, was the next to hit the rail. Yau’s pocket aces were outrun by the double-suited pocket kings of Peng Zheng.

Four-time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen cracked the pocket aces of bracelet winner Sean Troha (7th – $40,000) before finding himself all-in and at risk with double-suited pocket kings facing yet another pocket pair of aces for an opponent. The larger pair held up for Parssinen and the field was narrowed to five, with Madsen earning $50,000 for his sixth-place showing.

Zheng’s run in this event ended when his flopped middle set clashed with the flush and wrap draws of Stanislav Halatenko. The flush came in on the turn and Zheng (5th – $60,000) was unable to fill up on the end.

Iqbal won a big pot against Parssinen to overtake the lead, leaving the Finn short. He soon was all-in with top pair and three live overcards facing an overpair for Iqbal. The turn gave Parssinen aces up, but the river improved Iqbal to a winning set of nines. Parssinen earned $70,000 for his efforts, while Iqbal expanded his lead heading into three-handed action.

Halatenko’s final hand saw him get all-in with QDiamond SuitJClub Suit8Heart Suit6Diamond Suit acing the KClub SuitQClub SuitQHeart Suit9Club Suit of Iqbal. The board came down 10Heart Suit6Spade Suit2Heart SuitKHeart Suit3Spade Suit and a pair of kings was enough to secure the pot for Iqbal.

Heads-up play began with Iqbal holding 17,700,000 to Roussos Koliakoudakis’ 6,500,000. An early double saw the tables turned briefly, but Iqbal was soon able to regain and then extend his lead. In the final hand, the chips went in on a board of 10Spade Suit6Diamond Suit5Spade Suit4Diamond Suit with Koliakoudakis holding JClub Suit4Spade Suit4Club Suit2Heart Suit for bottom set. Iqbal held AClub SuitQDiamond Suit8Spade Suit7Diamond Suit for the eight-high straight and a flush redraw. The 8Heart Suit completed the board to lock up the pot and the title for Iqbal. Koliakoudakis earned $120,000 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 Daniyal Iqbal $160,000 720 160
2 Roussos Koliakoudakis $120,000 600 120
3 Stanislav Halatenko $90,000 480 90
4 Eelis Parssinen $70,000 360 70
5 Peng Zheng $60,000 300 60
6 Jeff Madsen $50,000 240 50
7 Sean Troha $40,000 180 40

Photo credit: PokerGO Tour / Antonio Abrego.





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