Event no. 5 of the 2021 U.S. Poker Open attracted a field of 85 total entries, building a prize pool of $850,000 in the $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament. The top 13 finishers made the money in this event, with the largest cut going to eventual champion Joey Weissman. The Las Vegas resident earned $204,000 and his first live poker tournament title of the year as the champion of this event.
This was the fourth-largest score of Weissman’s career, and it increased his lifetime live tournament earnings to more than $3.7 million. His top cash came when he defeated field of 1,607 entrants in a 2012 World Series of Poker $2,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event to earn $694,609 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.
In addition to the title and the money, Weissman was also awarded 480 Card Player Player of the Year points for his victory in this event. This was his fourth POY-qualified final table finish of the year, including a runner-up showing in the Wynn Spring Classic $1,600 buy-in main event for $230,090 and 800 points. With 1,500 points and $501,990 in year-to-date earnings, Weissman now sits in 21st place in 2021 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.
This victory was Weissman’s first cash of the U.S. Poker Open, and his second high roller score of 2021 that saw him earn PokerGo Tour rankings points. The inaugural running of this high-stakes tour is tracking results in hundreds of events with buy-ins of $10,000 or higher. He earned 204 rankings points for this win, which was enough to move him into third in the USPO standings and 24th place in the PokerGo Tour leaderboard.
The final day of this event began with Cary Katz in the chip lead among the final seven, with Weissman among a trio of players who were all closely bunched together in the battle for second place, joining Alaskan poker pro Adam Hendrix and three-time WSOP bracelet winner and 2015 world champion Joe McKeehen.
Spanish poker pro Vicent Bosca was the first to fall, with Brock Wilson’s A-Q beating out his Q-J to send him packing in seventh place ($42,500). Despite Wilson’s win in that hand, he was also soon on the rail as the first of several players to be eliminated by a surging Hendrix. Wilson took home $51,000 for his sixth-place finish in this event.
Hendrix then knocked out Frank Funaro (5th – $68,000) and start-of-day leader Cary Katz (4th – $85,000) to take more than 70 percent of the chips in play into three-handed action with McKeehen and Weissman. McKeehen shoved his last 11 big blinds from the small blind holding Q3 and Hendrix called with K9. Neither player improved by the river and McKeehen was eliminated in third place, earning $102,000 and 102 USPO tour points. McKeehen overtook the lead in the series standings as a result, having won event no. 3 just a few days earlier for $200,200 and 200 rankings points. He now has 302 points for the series and $302,200 in earnings. His 526 PokerGO Tour points are enough to move him into 7th place on that leaderboard.
McKeehen also earned 320 Card Player POY points for his latest deep run. He has now made four POY-qualified final tables in 2021, including his USPO win, a runner-up finish in the World Poker Tour Venetian and a win in a high roller event at the Wynn Spring Classic. With 2,740 total points and $1,018,260 in year-to-date earnings, McKeehen now sits in 4th place in the POY race.
Hendrix took more than a 5:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Weissman after his elimination spree. Weissman began to quickly turn things around with a streak of his own, securing multiple double-ups, eventually winning a race with A-K against Hendrix’s pocket eights to overtake the lead. He extended that advantage even further by picking off a bluff from Hendrix, who was left with crumbs when his missed flush draw got looked up by Weissman’s second pair.
Hendrix managed a couple double-ups of his own, but in the final hand his AJ failed to hold up against the Q2 that Weissman shoved with from the button. The board ran out 85493 and Weissman made a flush to secure the pot and the title. Hendrix earned $144,500 as the runner-up finisher.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Payout||POY Points||PokerGO Tour|
Photos courtesy of PokerGO.