The inaugural US Poker Open tournament series has come to a close with Keith Tilston taking down Event #8: $50,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event. Tilston took down a rival in Jake Schindler to pocket $660,000 and finish the overall series in second place.
A bit of an unknown player coming into the US Poker Open, Tilston will now walk away with a bit more respect from his peers. When asked what the respect of top pros means to him, Tilston said, “It means a ton. All these guys are pretty much the best players in the world. I feel I played pretty well but you have to get lucky to beat these guys.”
He cashed in four different events and tallied a total of $1,047,100 over the course of the week. That nearly matched his career earnings prior and you will likely see a bit more of this American poker player.
The same can't be said for the high-stakes tournament regular, Schindler, who has earned over $16.6 million in his career. He is well known by the poker community and also put together an impressive week, reaching three final tables and earning a total of $693,400.
Final Table Results
|1st||Keith Tilston||United States||$660,000|
|2nd||Jake Schindler||United States||$429,000|
|4th||Tom Marchese||United States||$165,000|
|5th||Dan Smith||United States||$132,000|
The final table kicked off with just five players returning to the felt and they were all guaranteed to be in the money. Tilston came into the day as the chip leader and showed no signs of relinquishing that label. He collided with Dan Smith on just the second hand of the day where Smith was all in with two pair against Tilston's one pair and straight draw. The river completed the straight for Tilston and Smith was awarded a min-cash.
Tom Marchese was left on the short stack but failed to get anything going his way. A key moment came when Marchese went for a three-barrel bluff against Daniel Negreanu for the majority of his chips. Negreanu picked him off and would go on to bust Marchese in the next hand.
When three-handed play began, Tilston held a three-to-one chip lead over both Schindler and Negreanu, but it would be the shorter-stacks that would clash. Not long after the first break of the day, Negreanu picked up pocket nines on the button against the pocket tens of Schindler in the small blind. The two players got all of their chips in the middle preflop and Negreanu was unable to find any help on the board of .
Negreanu wished his two competitors good luck and hinted it could be a long battle. "You guys might be here for a while." That left Tilston and Schindler to battle heads-up with $660,000 going to the winner. They would enter heads-up play with over 350 big blinds in play.
Tilston took a three-to-two chip lead into heads-up play but it was Schindler who started off by narrowing the gap. Both players were extremely deep and poised to have a long battle. Small pots were exchanged in the opening hands until Tilston started to gather some momentum.
It was a series of semi-bluffs and made hands that started to increase Tilston's lead which resulted in a dramatic finish. In the last hand of the day, Tilston flopped the nut flush draw with on an board. Schindler inflated the pot with his open-ended straight draw holding but was unable to connect when the and completed the board. Schindler made an all in bluff on the river and Tilston picked him off to claim the first-place prize.
US Poker Open Champion
It was another successful tournament series at the Aria Resort and Casino with eight tournaments held over the course of 11 days. The US Poker Open had a unique texture to it with a couple of different tournament formats. The buy-ins ranged from $10,000 - $50,000 and introduced a Pot Limit Omaha tournament and a Mixed Game Championship. The player who accumulated the most amount of earnings throughout the series would be crowned the champion and take home the coveted trophy.
The week belonged to one player by the name of Stephen Chidwick. With a total of four final tables, Chidwick amassed a whopping $1,256,650 to become the first ever US Poker Open Champion. Along the way, Chidwick was victorious in two of the $25,000 events and put a lock on the title after Day 1 of the final event.
That puts a wrap on another event here at the Aria Resort and Casino. The PokerNews live reporting team was pleased to bring you all of the coverage throughout the entire series.