Stephen Chidwick Wins U.S. Poker Open Championship

Matthew Clark February 12, 2018 250 Reads
Stephen Chidwick

All possible drama heading into the $50,000 U.S. Poker Open Main Event was sucked out by the force of Stephen Chidwick’s week-long performance. The British superstar beat the best players in the world for a week straight and earned $1.256 for his consistent excellence. The USPO streamed exclusively on PokerGO and viewers were treated to five final table appearances from Chidwick out of the eight events played in Las Vegas, Nevada. Outside of Chidwick’s run, other storylines peripherally developed.

Brilliance at the top of the leaderboard

Chidwick dominated the USPO standings and plenty of talent behind him that showed well during the series. Jake Schindler followed up his Super High Roller Bowl runner-up finish last year and a strong Poker Masters showing with a third-place result on the overall leaderboard. Schindler never made it into the winner’s circle but had his chances.

Event #5 and the USPO Main Event saw Schindler place second both times. Ben Tollerene defeated Schindler heads up in the $10,000 Event #3 and USPO series silver medalist Keith Tilston bested Schindler in the Main Event. In total, Schindler cashed four times and made three final tables to win $693,400.

Daniel Negreanu showed off his new game to the rest of the poker world but did not live up to his own lofty expectations despite a fourth-place leaderboard finish. Negreanu cashed on five occasions in the USPO but only had a highest-placing finish of third.

The best score for Negreanu came in the Main Event where he fell behind Tilston and Schindler. Negreanu bubbled two final tables: once in a $25,000 No Limit tournament and also in the $25,000 Mixed Game Championship, an event won by Chidwick.

Newcomer Tilston steals the show

Outside of winning a Bellagio $25,000 High Roller in December, Keith Tilston was a relative unknown to the poker community until the U.S. Poker Open. The Texas equities trader showed off his poker chops on a repeated basis during USPO and was rewarded with a Main Event win along with a second-place finish on the overall leaderboard.

Tilston’s USPO journey started with a heads up loss to Chidwick in the Event #3 $25,000 High Roller. Two more in the money finishes followed for Tilston, who saved his best performance for the end of the series. In one of the toughest fields ever assembled at ARIA, Tilston bested 33 entrants to win the USPO Main Event. Tilston defeated Schindler and collected the $660,000 first-place prize.

In total, Tilston cashed for $1.047 million in the series and established himself as a force for future high roller events.

Other top pros perform well

Chidwick stands out for his epic week and if weren’t for his performance, other elites would have had their ample time to shine.

2017 WSOP Main Event finalist Benjamin Pollak lived up to his recent string of results during the USPO. Pollak was a force near the top of the standing for most of the series. The Frenchman’s USPO account hit a peak with his win in the Event #6 $25,000 High Roller for $416,500. Pollak also made the final table of the Mixed Game Championship and cashed in the Pot Limit Omaha event.

David Peters added to his lengthy tournament resume by winning Event #7 $25,000 High Roller. The championship performance was one of three cashes for Peters in the USPO.

Outside of his win in Event #5, Ben Tollerene made another final table in a $25,000 tournament.

Finally, Justin Bonomo continued his strong 2018 with a win in the $10,000 opener. Bonomo’s triumph follows-up his $25,000 High Roller win in the Lucky Hearts Poker Open in Hollywood, FL. Six weeks into the 2018 schedule, Bonomo is over the $2.3 million mark in tournament earnings.

What’s next for American High Rollers?

The majority of upcoming High Roller events are overseas until April. Seminole Hard Rock’s Seminole Poker Showdown in April features a $25,000 $1 million guaranteed High Roller. Dates are yet to be announced for the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl and it will be interesting to see if Chidwick attends the most prestigious high roller event of the year.

Lead image c/o Poker Central