Double Domination: Sean Winter Races to Massive Finish Winning Last Two Events in PokerGO US Poker Open; Seidel, Rheem, Foxen Scores Titles

March 30, 2022
Double Domination: Sean Winter Races to Massive Finish Winning Last Two Events in PokerGO US Poker Open; Seidel, Rheem, Foxen Scores Titles

The US Poker Open wrapped up on Monday with Sean Winter taking the series championship after the title came down to the wire. A late surge in the PokerGO Studio saw Winter capture the final two events, which vaulted him to the overall title.

“It means a lot,” Winter said in a PokerGO interview with Jeff Platt. “I’m kind of speechless right now. I was just getting destroyed all series, obviously, and I was kind of grateful for that because it motivates me to do well and the buy-ins went up. I kind of just got lucky in that regard and good winning when I need to.”

Winter scored an extra $50,000 and the Golden Eagle Trophy for his efforts. Some other big names scored big in the second half of the series including Erik Seidel, Chino Rheem, and Alex Foxen. Here’s a look at the action over the last week. To see the series’ first half winners, click here.

Event 12: $50,000 No Limit Hold’em

Winter needed a huge run late and certainly came through in this event to cap the series. The tournament produced a field of 42 entries for a $2.1 million prize pool.

At four-handed, Winter found a nice double-up against chip leader Masashi Oya that helped propel him through the final table. The two players eventually met heads-up with Winter completing the brilliant late run for back-to-back titles and a series championship.

He scored $756,000 for this event, making his series total more than $1.2 million. Oya took $504,000 for runner-up with Zhuang Ruan taking $336,000 for third.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Winter said of the series. “The whole atmosphere in here, it’s well run, Cary Katz does a great job here, and I just have the most fun of any form of poker playing these. I like to compete and it’s got a good mix of players.”

US Poker Open 2022 final standings

1Sean WinterUSA718
2Tamon NakamuraJapan588
3Alex FoxenUSA488
4Chino RheemUSA481
5Phil HellmuthUSA464
6Shannon ShorrUSA441
7Erik SeidelUSA428
8Dylan WeismanUSA414
9Masashi OyaJapan414
10Adam HendrixUSA356

Event 11: $25,000 NLHE

This event started the “Sean Winter Show” with the player from Jacksonville, Florida, kickstarting his late momentum. He topped a field of 55 entries that saw a $1.4 million prize pool.

Winter had his work cut out for him in heads-up play. He faced 2021 Global Poker Index player of the year Ali Imsirovic for the title. The entire final table was also tough and featured Jake Schindler, Nick Schulman, and David Peters.

The win brought Winter $440,000 and an outside chance at the overall championship. He had to win Event 12 and did just that. Winter now has more than $21 million in live tournament winnings.

Imsirovic scored $288,750 for runner-up with Schindler earning $192,500 for third.

Event 10: $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha

This four-card action brought in 49 entries for a $1.2 million prize pool. Dylan Weisman took the chip lead into the final table and never relinquished it.

This was his fourth final table appearance of the series and took $416,500 for the win. That total became the biggest score of his tournament career.

PokerGO founder Cary Katz finished runner-up for $269,500 with Imsirovic finding yet another deep run, finishing third for $183,750. Weisman was thrilled with his victory.

Event 9: $25,000 NLHE

Erik Seidel showing off his US Poker Open trophy after topping Phil Hellmuth in heads-up play. (photos courtesy PokerGO)

This tournament saw poker legends and Hall of Famers Erik Seidel and Phil Hellmuth heads up for the title. Seidel topped his fellow poker heavyweight for a $472,500 payday.

“It’s pretty wild that the two of us got heads up,” Seidel said. “That’s the third time we’ve been heads up, so it was fun.”

Seidel is now 3-0 in those heads-up battles against the Poker Brat. Hellmuth took $315,000 for second place and this became his fourth cash and second runner-up finish of the series.

Seidel’s win however, may have been overshadowed by a wild call from Hellmuth for all his chips at the final table. He held Q♦4♥ against Alex Foxen’s pocket nines and found Queens on the flop and river.

The hand brought a chorus of debate online with many calling Hellmuth’s call insane. For a complete breakdown of the hand, click here.

Foxen ultimately finished third for $220,500. The event attracted 63 entries for a $1.6 million prize pool. Hellmuth’s Q-4 call seems to have taken on a life of its own in the intervening days.

Event 8: $15,000 Pot Limit Omaha

Chino Rheem is a highly decorated poker player with three World PokerTour titles and a PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event championship. He now has a US Poker Open win as well to add to his resumé.

Rheem topped a field of 67 entries that brought a $1 million prize pool and $271,350 in prize money for the win. He defeated Scott Seiver heads up for the title with the runner-up taking $201,000. Isaac Kempton finished third for $130,650.

Alex Foxen shows off his trophy after winning Event 8.

Event 7: $15,000 NLHE

Poker superstar Alex Foxen found yet another big finish, winning this event for $283,500. The tournament brought in 70 entries for a $1 million prize pool. The win turned around some bad luck of late for Foxen in PokerGO events.

“I feel good,” Foxen said. “It’s actually been a bit of a rough stretch in the PokerGO Studio. I feel like I’ve had a lot of good opportunities and haven’t followed through on any of them, so it feels really good to get one closed out.”

The New York native now has more than $21 million in live tournament winnings. He credits the high stakes PokerGO action and tough opponents with keeping him motivated.

“I love it,” Foxen said. “That’s really what keeps me passionate about the game. I love having high-level competition. It’s what drew me to poker in the first place. I just feel really lucky to be able to play against the best all the time and do my best to try to beat them. It’s just a lot of fun. I wake up every day excited to play. It’s awesome.”

Rheem finished runner-up for $210,000, starting a massive two-event run that produced winnings of more than $481,000. Stephen Chidwick took third for $136,500.

Event 6: $15,000 Eight-Game Mix

Japan’s Tamon Nakamura secured his second title of the series, defeating Phil Hellmuth heads-up for $239,700. The series was a real breakout for Nakamura, who had only $372,317 in live tournament winnings prior to 2022.

The mixed-game specialist also won Event 4: $10,000 Big Bet Mix for $169,600. Hellmuth won what would be one of two runner-up finishes for $155,100 with Ben Yu taking third for $105,750. The 47-entrant field created a prize pool of $705,000.

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