Joey Weissman Wins 2023 U.S. Poker Open Kickoff Event For $231,000

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Joey Weissman is now a two-time U.S. Poker Open event champion. The bracelet winner from Boca Raton, Florida took down the kickoff event of the 2023 USPO, defeating a field of 105 entries in the $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament to earn the second-largest payday of his career: $231,000.

Weisman now has more than $5 million in recorded tournament earnings to his name. His previous USPO win saw him earn $204,000 for taking down a $10,000 NLH event at the 2021 running of this festival.

In addition to the title and the money, Weissman also earned plenty of rankings points for this victory. The 600 Card Player Player of the Year points Weissman was awarded after coming out on top in this event were enough to move him into 39th place in the 2023 POY race standings presented by Global Poker. He secured two titles so far this year, having won a $2,500 buy-in event at Venetian’s DeepStack Showdown earlier this month for $180,774 and 1,080 points.

Weissman also took home 231 PokerGO Tour points. This was his first qualified PGT score of the year, but it alone was enough to move him into 35th place on that leaderboard.

This tournament played out over the course of two days. By the end of day 1, the field had been narrowed from 105 entries down to just six contenders, with World Poker Tour champion “Justin Young “: the lead and Weissman in second chip position.

Nacho BarberoTwo-time WPT champion and Card Player columnist Jonathan Little was the first to fall on day 2. He got the last of his stack in preflop with pocket sevens racing against the A-J of 2021 Wynn Millions main event champion Andrew Moreno. A jack-high flop saw Moreno take the lead, which he maintained through the river to send Little to the rail with $63,000.

Current POY race leader Jose ‘Nacho’ Barbero soon followed. The bracelet winner from Argentina got into a raising war with Young, ending with him five-bet shoving from the small blind. Young, who had raised and then four-bet from the button with A-K suited called. Barbero’s K-J was in rough shape and things only got worse for him when an ace hit the flop. He was drawing dead after the turn and was eliminated in fifth place ($78,750). This was already Barbero’s sixth final table of the year, with two titles won and more than $3,048,550 in POY earnings accrued along the way. The 250 POY points he added with this latest deep run increased his point total to 4,450, giving him an 820-point lead over second-ranked Aliaksandr Shylko.

Young scored his second knockout of the day when his flopped second pair held up against the bottom pair of short stack Matthew McEwan (4th – $99,750). Not long after that, Moreno got all-in with pocket sevens facing the A-K of Weissman. The coin flip went Weissman’s way, with a king on the flop giving him the lead and blanks on the turn and river keeping him ahead. Moreno earned $126,000 as the third-place finisher, increasing his career earnings to $3,908,360.

Heads-up play began with Young holding roughly a 3:2 chip lead over Weissman. The final battle for the trophy lasted over 90 minutes. In that span, Weissman managed to overtake the lead and then extend his advantage. By the time the final hand was dealt, he had roughly a 4:1 chip lead of his own. Young picked up AClub Suit7Diamond Suit on the button and raised. Weissman three-bet with ASpade SuitQClub Suit and Young four-bet shoved for just over 26 big blinds total. Weissman called and the board came down KHeart Suit4Spade Suit2Heart SuitKDiamond SuitAHeart Suit. Both players made aces and kings, but Weissman’s queen kicker played to earn him the pot and the title. Young cashed out for $168,000, increasing his career tournament earnings to more than $6.3 million in the process.

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded on day 2:

Place Player Earnings POY Points PGT Points
1 Joey Weissman $231,000 600 231
2 Justin Young $168,000 500 168
3 Andrew Moreno $126,000 400 126
4 Matthew Mcewan $99,750 300 100
5 Jose Barbero $78,750 250 79
6 Jonathan Little $63,000 200 63

Winner photo credit: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.





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