Dan Smith found redemption at the U.S. Poker Open with a win in Event #9: $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em. Just two days prior, Smith took the chip lead into U.S. Poker Open Event #8: $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em where he finished 3rd for $189,000. He returned to the final table of Event #9 seated second in chips, but was able to close it out this time finding a win for $399,500. 

The win prompts Smith to go on quest to find the source of his good fortune. 

"Before the tournament, I don't know if you know, but Sean Winter is famous for his deck reads," Smith explained about his luck. "I was taking my seat and I had Winter draw me in. So first time he draws me in is first time I win here. Also, Darren Elias gave me what someone told him is a magical rock. And he gave it to me. I don't know which of the two it is, but I'm going to find out."

Smith kicked off the final day of play by quickly eliminating Nick Schulman in one of the first hands. Schulman jammed over a raise from Smith holding queen-ten and Smith quickly called to put him at risk with ace-king. Schulman found some help on the flop in the form of a queen, but an ace on the river would end Schulman's day early. He took home $70,500 for his run.

Next to go would be Punnat Punsri in 5th place. With several players sitting at relatively even stacks, Punsri jammed with ace-jack over a raise from Dan Smith, and a call from Cary Katz. Smith called holding ace-queen and would flop a queen and river the nut flush to bring the field down to four players. 

Cary Katz grabbed the chip lead for a moment, but it wouldn't last long as he was eliminated next in 4th place. Smith reclaimed the chip lead over several pots and used it to apply pressure on Cary Katz's big blind. Smith moved all in from the small blind holding king-jack suited, but when Katz woke up in the big blind with king-queen suited he quickly called. It looked good for a Katz double up, but Smith went runner-runner clubs for the knock out. Katz earned $129,250 for his run, but would have to settle for 4th.

Brian Kim started the day as the chip leader, but it would only carry him to 3rd place as he never seemed to gain any traction over the course of the day. In his final hand, both Kim and Ren Lin made straights, but Lin made the better one. Lin would lead out with a bet and find a raise from Kim. Lin then moved all in. Kim burned through several time extension before calling only to see the bad news. He earned $176,250 for his run and 3rd place finish. 

There was no relief for Smith though upon reaching heads-up play and topping his third place finish though. A win and only a win would do for him.

"I mean, second is better than third," Smith said. 

Heads-up play only lasted one hand as Dan Smith quickly dispatched of Ren Lin. In the final hand of play, Lin raised holding ace-nine and Dan Smith moved all in with jack-seven suited. Lin thought for nearly a minute before making the buzzer beater call to put himself at risk. Though he made the correct call, getting it in ahead, Smith found a jack on the flop and held to earn the win in the tournament. 

Lin did however earn $258,000 and 155 PGT points for his run in the event.  That was good enough to put him back on top of the U.S. Poker Open series leaderboard, at least for the moment. He'll hold the pole position and sits with the best chance of claiming the U.S. Poker Open Golden Eagle trophy as well $50,000 championship bonus that comes along with it with just one event remaining in the series. 

Smith earned $399,500 for the win and with two cashes in the series, now sits 5th on that leaderboard.

"I think it would be a cool thing to win," Smith said about the series championship title. "That trophy is unbelievable. It's 54 pounds. I would love to win it. But we'll see how it goes. I've gotten third, first. A second seems like a nice casual round out, but I don't wanna be greedy." 

In total, Smith has earned $588,5000 over the series and will look to improve on that in Event #10: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em. Smith also moves past $41,000,000 in live tournament earnings according to TheHendonMob.com with the win.

"I think these tournaments are run better than anywhere else," Smith said about the U.S. Poker Open. "Paul does an incredible job. The studio is beautiful. Shot clocks are a great touch. Really, I love playing here. I did Bahamas and Vietnam, and while the tournaments were great, there's something wonderful about playing and going home to sleep in your own bed."

2023 U.S. Poker Open Event #9 Results

Place Player Country Prize Points
1st Dan Smith United States $399,500 240
2nd Ren Lin United States $258,500 155
3rd Brian Kim United States $176,250 106
4th Cary Katz United States $129,250 78
5th Punnat Punsri Thailand $94,000 56
6th Nick Schulman United States $70,500 42
7th Daniel Negreanu Canada $47,000 28

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Dan Smith, PokerGO, PGT, Punnat Punsri, Nick Schulman, Cary Katz, US Poker Open, Ren Lin, Brian Kim