The 2023 U.S. Poker Open series features 10 high-stakes tournaments being held at the PokerGO Studio inside ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The first three tournaments have already been completed, with the most recent being the third and final $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event. A field of 93 entries was narrowed down to just one champion over the course of two days, with Sam Soverel ultimately capturing the title and the top prize of $213,900.
This was the 28th recorded tournament title for Soverel, a World Series of Poker bracelet winner from Florida. He now has nearly $20.5 million in lifetime earnings to his name.
This latest victory also saw Soverel earn 540 Card Player Player of the Year points. With six final table finishes, one title, 1,425 total points and $545,235 in POY earnings, Soverel is now just outside the top 50 in the 2023 POY race standings presented by Global Poker.
Soverel came into day 2 of this event in second chip position behind leader Brandon Wilson with six players remaining. Current POY race leader Nacho Barbero was the first to fall. He was involved in a three-way all-in, getting his stack in preflop with pocket sevens only to have Wilson shove with pocket nines and Kristen Foxen call all-in with pocket queens. The largest pair held up through an ace-high runout to see Foxen triple up, while Barbero was eliminated in sixth place ($55,800).
This was already Barbero’s eighth final-table finish of 2023, with two titles won and nearly $3.3 million in POY earnings accrued along the way. With 5,130 POY points, he now has a 1,500-point lead over second-ranked Aliaksandr Shylko. He also moved into the lead in the USPO series points race, having made the final table of each of the three events held so far.
Dan Colpoys was the next to hit the rail. He got all-in with A-J trailing the A-K of Soverel. Both players paired their aces, but Soverel’s superior kicker earned him the pot. Colpoys left the final table with $74,400 for his efforts.
Foxen, a three-time bracelet winner, held the lead for much of the four-handed action at this final table. She lost a big pot attempting a multi-street bluff that was picked off by the bottom pair of Soverel. She further slid down the chip counts when her pocket sevens clashed with the pocket queens of Soverel, which held to leave her on fumes. Her final hand was pocket aces, which was unable to hold up in a three-way all-in. Soverel’s Q-2 suited rivered a flush to eliminate Foxen in fourth place ($93,000). She now has more than $6.3 million in career tournament earnings.
Wilson fell to the shortest stack early in three-handed play. A battle of the blinds ended his run in third place. Chris Brewer shoved from the small blind with pocket deuces and Wilson called all-in for just shy of four big blinds with A-8 suited out of the big blind. Neither player improved and Wilson was sent packing with $111,600.
Even with that knockout, Brewer still found himself at a large chip disadvantage when heads-up play began. Soverel started out with a 3:1 lead, and it took him just one hand to close out the win. Brewer limped in with pocket deuces from the button and Soverel raised big with K-Q. Brewer moved all in and Soverel called. The board came down A1055Q to give Soverel a straight on the end to lock up the pot and the title.
Brewer earned $148,800 as the runner-up finisher. This was his fifth final-table finish of the year, with two titles won and more than $2.2 million cashed for already in 2023. He is now a top-ten contender in the POY race heading into April.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded on day 2:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY Points||PGT Points|
Photo credit: PokerGO / Enrique Malfavon.