Joe McKeehen Among Early 2021 US Poker Open Winners
After a year’s hiatus, the US Poker Open has returned to live play. The series kicked off last week and thus far, five of 12 scheduled events have concluded. Some big names have taken down titles, including a past WSOP Main Event champion.
Jake Daniels Wins Opening Event for $218k
The first event of the 2021 US Poker Open was a $10k NL Hold’em Event. The tournament drew a field of 95 entries, making it the largest USPO event in history. The top seven players were paid and some big names made the final.
Old school poker Steve Zolotow played surprisingly well in the event and managed a final table run. He ultimately finished 5th. The UK’s Steven Chidwick managed a 4th place run while Barry Hutter finished 3rd.
This left Dan Shak and Jake Daniels to battle for the title. Shak started heads-up play with the chip lead but lost it right away when he was on the sucker end of a straight-over-straight confrontation. This game Daniels the chip lead and Shak was never able to recover. Shak finished runner-up, good for $152,000. Daniel won the opening event and $218,500.
Sam Soverel Wins Event #2
Event #2 of this series was the $10k PLO event. This final table played out pretty much as we expected it. Sam Soverel came into the six-person final table with a 2 to 1 chip lead over the rest of the field and he would eventually take the title.
Soverel dominated the final table and he still held a 2:1 chip lead when heads-up play was reached with Jordan Cristos. Cristos couldn’t make a comeback and finished runner-up. Soverel won his first title in just his second USPO cash, earning $175,500 for the victory.
Joe McKeehen Wins Event #3 for $200,200
Event #3 was another $10k NL Hold’em event, and this one was taken down by a familiar face. 2015 WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen came into the final table as chip leader and went on to dominate en route to victory.
Other notable players at the final table included Andrew Lichtenberger, Jake Schindler, Steve Zolotow, and Ali Imsirovic. Ray Qartomy made it heads-up in the event but was quickly knocked out in just two hands. This gave McKeehen his first USPO title and a $200,200 payday.
John Riordan Wins Big Bet Mix Title
Event #4 was the $10k Big Bet Mix event. This tournament consisted of NL Hold’em, PL Omaha, and NL 2-7 Single Draw. Alex Foxen and Sean Perry were the big names at the final table but it was John Riordan that ended up winning it all.
Riordan made it heads-up against Perry but could not pull it out. He finished second, earning $105k. Riordan won his first USPO title and $163,200.
Joey Weissman Wins Event #5 After Tremendous Comeback
Event #5 was yet another $10k NL Hold’em event and going into the final table, Poker Central founder Cary Katz was the chip leader. However, he would fall short, finishing 4th. Joe McKeehen made his second final table of the series but fell in third place.
Heads-up in this match was between Adam Hendrix and Joey Weissman. Weissman logically should not have been in this position as he was constantly the short stack. He was even a 6:1 underdog at the start of heads-up play.
However, Weissman found a pair of double-ups to get back into contention. The momentum switched fully into Weisman’s favor and he eventually pulled off the comeback to take the title and $204,000.
Joe McKeehen Leads USPO Championship Standings
The player of the series will win the USPO Championship. The top player will get the Golden Eagle Trophy along with a $50,000 prize. Through five events Joe McKeehen is the overall leader with 302 points. He has two cashes along with one victory and $302,000 in prize money. Jake Daniels is right behind him with 210 points. Event #5 winner Joey Weissman is third with 204 points.
There are seven events left in this series and the events will run through June 15th. Most of the events are $10k events with the final two events featuring $25k and $50k NL Hold’em events.