The 2023 poker tournament season is still in its infancy, but major tournaments have already taken place. Last weekend’s triumph at The Borgata’s “The Return” in Atlantic City made Bin Weng the first million-dollar winner of 2023. Now, the PokerGO Tour fills the void with the PokerGO Cup 2023, where Sean Winter has already won the first championship.
Strong Competition Begins the First Action
Event #1 of the 2023 PokerGO Cup, a $10,000 No Limit Hold’em event, began on Wednesday with the participation of 90 players. The last thirteen players split the prize fund of $900,000, which was created by the influx of participants. On Tuesday, Dylan Linde ($18,000), Daniel Negreanu ($18,000), Martin Stausholm ($27,000), Cary Katz ($27,000), Dorian Pavon ($36,000), and Justin Young ($36,000) each received a portion of the prize pool for finishing thirteenth through eighth, respectively, before the night was called.
Seven men returned to the felt on Thursday with hopes of winning the PGT. David Peters was in the lead with 3.865 million in chips, followed by Alex Foxen (2.01 million) and Orpen Kisacikoglu (1.765 million). Adrian Mateos was the only other player with more than one million chips (1.39 million), as Anthony Hu (960K), Joseph Cheong (915K), and Winter (360K) attempted to stage a comeback.
Winter instantly began working at the last table. After Foxen had eliminated Hu in seventh place (a great race, Foxen’s pocket Kings vs Hu’s A-Q on a blank board), Winter had amassed sufficient chips to eliminate Kisacikoglu in sixth place and remain in the tournament. Winter was able to establish himself as a formidable competitor during the lengthy five-handed play that followed Kisacikoglu’s elimination.
However, it would not be without obstacles. Foxen called a bluff from Mateos to destroy the stack of the Spaniard; Mateos was eliminated in fifth place by Winter shortly after this bluff catch. Foxen would remain in contention by eliminating Peters, who had been plagued by terrible luck throughout the final table, but Winter’s elimination of Cheong in third earned him over two million chips and advanced him and Foxen to heads-up play.
Winter’s efforts gained him 7.9 million chips, a more than 2:1 advantage over Foxen’s (3.35 million), and Winter would never allow Foxen to reenter the game. Foxen was able to locate a double on the short stack, but he made a poor decision that ultimately lost him the tournament.
Winter initiated the betting from the big blind on the last hand, and Foxen just called from the small. The flop was K-10-4, and after a couple of checks, the turn brought another King. Foxen choose to fire for 450K at this point, and following Winter’s calm call, a Queen finished the board. Foxen examined his low stack, and Winter moved all-in to put him to the test. After deliberation, Foxen made the decision and realized that Winter had tricked him — Winter’s K-3 was always ahead of Foxen’s 10-8, giving Winter the first PokerGO Cup title in 2023.
1. Sean Winter, 216,000
2. Alex Foxen, $153,000
3. Joseph Cheong, $108,000
4. David Peters, $90,000
5. Adrian Mateos, 72,000
6. Orpen Kisacikoglu, $54,000
7. Anthony Hu, $45,000
Event #2 Has Reached the Final Table; Aram Zobian Is Leading the Final Six
Event #2’s final table is scheduled for Friday at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas, wasting no time whatsoever. Players like as Calvin Lee ($16,600), Michael Rossitto ($24,900), Masashi Oya ($24,900), Benjamin Miner ($33,200), Ben Yu ($33,200), and Ethan Yau ($41,500) have already cashed in on the $830,000 prize pool, leaving just six players remaining. Obviously, the lion’s portion will be divided among these six players:
1. Aram Zobian, 3.495 million
2. Kristen (Bicknell) Foxen, 2.16 million
3. Punnat Punsri, 1.9 million
4. Seth Davies, 1.28 million
5. Andrew Moreno, 950,000
6. Cary Katz, 590,000
Event #2 will resume at noon from the PokerGO Studios until the final winner is determined. This player will earn $207,500 and points towards the PokerGO Cup, which will be given to the Player of the Series for this tournament.
(image provided by PokerGO.com)