The last time Sean Winter was victorious inside the PokerGO Studio was at the 2021 U.S. Poker Open, when he won the final event of the series. That was in June of last year. Winter found his way back into the winner’s circle with a victory in Event #11: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em at the 2022 U.S. Poker Open, picking up a $440,000 payday.

“It feels good to close one out,” Winter said. “There were several final tables in a row when I got third or fifth after coming in in reasonable spots. So yeah, it definitely feels good to get the monkey off the back and close one out.”

Winter topped a field of 55 entries to take top honors. He defeated Ali Imsirovic in heads-up play, with Imsirovic taking home $288,750. The victory also moved Winter to 12th place on the 2022 U.S. Poker Open leaderboard with 264 points. Imsirovic improved to 349 points and is now eighth.

Winter has finished second on the U.S. Poker Open leaderboard on two previous occasions, both times when David Peters won. With his result in the penultimate event, Winter has an outside shot of winning the 2022 U.S. Poker Open series title, and it’ll likely take him winning Event #12: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em and other players in contention falling short.

“I think I need a lot of luck to win,” Winter said. “Even if I win the , I need to fade a lot of people, I’d imagine. I’m just excited to have the opportunity to play it and whatever happens, happens. I wasn’t really thinking that I had a sweat because this is the most tournaments I’ve bricked in a row live ever this week. I’m not really expecting to win the trophy but glad to have won an event and not bricked everything.”

2022 U.S. Poker Open Event #11 Results

Place Player Country Prize
1 Sean Winter United States $440,000
2 Ali Imsirovic Bosnia and Herzegovina $288,750
3 Jake Schindler United States $192,500
4 Nick Schulman United States $137,500
5 David Peters United Kingdom $110,000
6 Tamon Nakamura Japan $82,500

Event #11: $25,000 NL Hold’em attracted a field of 55 entries and created a prize pool of $1,375,000. The top eight spots reached the money. Sunday’s final table consisted of the final six players after Cary Katz (seventh place) and Dan Smith (eighth place) busted late on Day 1. All players to cash earned both U.S. Poker Open and PGT leaderboard points.

Winter’s Road To Victory In Event #11

Sean Winter entered Sunday’s final table second in chips, with Ali Imsirovic out in front. At the final table, Winter was involved plenty early on. He took the chip lead from Imsirovic before the two sat nearly tied atop the leaderboard. Then, Imsirovic doubled up Jake Schindler and saw his stack cut down quite a bit as Schindler moved to the top of the leaderboard.

Schindler then added more chips when he knocked out U.S. Poker Open leaderboard frontrunner Tamon Nakamura in sixth place. At the 20,000-40,000 level, Nick Schulman opened with a raise from under the gun to 80,000. He had pocket jacks. From the cutoff seat, Nakamura reraised all in for 470,000, then Schindler jammed all in over the top from the big blind. Nakamura had king-queen and Schindler had ace-king. Those actions sent Schulman into the tank, and he used up several time extensions before folding his hand. The board ran out clean for Schindler to leave Nakamura with a sixth-place result for $82,500. Nakamura also picked up 50 points for the U.S. Poker Open leaderboard to extend his lead at the top to 100 points.

David Peters was next to go. The two-time U.S. Poker Open series champion was eliminated by Imsirovic in fifth place. Then, Schulman busted to Winter when his ace-queen couldn’t win against Winter’s pocket fours.

Three-handed play began with Winter out in front, Imsirovic in second, and Schindler in third. The trio battled for a bit before Schindler and Imsirovic clashed in a preflop all-in hand. Imsirovic’s ace-two beat Schindler’s ace-king and the tournament was down to heads-up play.

Imirovic began heads-up play with the chip lead, but the race was a close one. Imsirovic had 4,240,000 to Winter’s 4,015,000.

Winter quickly moved into the lead and began to extend his superior position from there. He got up to more than 7,000,000 in chips before Imsirovic found a double in an effort to fight back a bit.

On the final hand, Winter raised from the button to 250,000 with the blinds at 50,000-100,000. He had queen-jack of hearts. Imsirovic called with ten-eight. The flop was three-three-two with two hearts and Imsirovic checked-raised Winter’s bet of 150,000 to 375,000. Winter called. The turn was an eight, putting Imsirovic in the lead with two pair. He moved all in for 1,280,000 and Winter made the call. The river was the five of hearts to give Winter a winning flush and crown him champion of Event #11 for $440,000.

Nakamura Maintains First On USPO Leaderboard

Eleven tournaments are in the books and only the finale remains. With his sixth-place finish in Event #11: $25,000 NL Hold’em, Tamon Nakamura added 50 points to his total and is now 100 points clear of anyone else. 

Ali Imsirovic improved to 349 points and sits eighth with one event to go. Sean Winter added 264 points and is now 12th.

The player with the most leaderboard points at the end of the 2022 U.S. Poker Open will be crowned U.S. Poker Open Champion and take home the $50,000 Championship Bonus.

2022 U.S. Poker Open Leaderboard Top 10

Rank Player Country Points
1 Tamon Nakamura Japan 588
2 Alex Foxen United States 488
3 Chino Rheem United States 481
4 Phil Hellmuth United States 464
5 Erik Seidel United States 428
6 Dylan Weisman United States 414
7 Adam Hendrix United States 356
8 Ali Imsirovic Bosnia and Herzegovina 349
9 Shannon Shorr United States 340
10 Jeremy Ausmus United States 333

Imsirovic Now Second on the PGT Leaderboard

On the 2022 PGT leaderboard, it remains Isaac Kempton out in front but his lead is down to just six points after Ali Imsirovic finished second in Event #11: #25,000 No-Limit Hold’em at the 2022 U.S. Poker Open. Kempton has 1,375 points at the top, and Imsirovic has 1,369 points right behind him.

Winning Event #11 vaulted Sean Winter into 10th place on the season leaderboard with 763 points.

The top 21 point earners on the PGT leaderboard will be invited to a winner-take-all freezeout tournament at the end of the season, with the winner taking home $500,000.

Click here to view the complete PGT leaderboard.

2022 PGT Leaderboard Top 10

Rank Player Country Points
1 Isaac Kempton United States 1.375
2 Ali Imsirovic Bosnia and Herzegovina 1,369
3 Tony Sinishtaj United States 1,250
4 Sean Perry United States 1,147
5 Nick Petrangelo United States 1,119
6 Jeremy Ausmus United States 1,049
7 Alex Foxen United States 986
8 Alex Livingston Canada 886
9 Cary Katz United States 845
10 Sean Winter United States 763

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PGT, Sean Winter, David Peters, Tamon Nakamura, Jake Schindler, Nick Schulman, Ali Imsirovic, U.S. Poker Open, USPO