David Funkhouser came into the final table third in chips and, after weathering the storm early, defeated Paul Volpe heads-up to capture the $187,200 first-place prize and the trophy in Event #1: $10,200 H.O.R.S.E of PGT Mixed Games II.
"You kinda expect during Aria, PokerGo tournaments that it is gonna be tough at the end," Funkhouser said. "(Volpe) is the last person you want to be heads-up with for sure, but you only have to beat one player, so whoever makes the best hands wins."
After trading chips back and forth with Chino Rheem early in the day, Funkhouser found himself on the short stack six-handed, but after turning a straight against Rheem in Omaha Hi-Lo and scooping the pot on the river, Funkhouser found himself at the top of the chip counts for the rest of the day.
Rheem started his rollercoaster of a day by eliminating Dylan Linde in 7th place for $36,000 when his full house in Sud hi-lo scooped Linde's two pairs. Dylan Weisman would be the next to fall after Volpe rivered the nut flush and a wheel to scoop the pot in Omaha hi-lo, sending the PLO specialist home with $43,200 and the sixth place prize.
Rheem would drop to 400,000 shortly after that but would find a triple up through Anthony Zinno and Eli Elezra in hold'em with his queen-jack flopped trips against Zinno's kings. Rheem would finish off Zinno a few hands later in Omaha hi-lo when he would go runner-runner to make a wheel and scoop the flopped set of Zinno. Zinno collected $57,600 for his fifth-place finish.
Rheem's ride would come to an end an orbit later when his nine-seven was bested by the nine-six of Volpe in Razz as he took home $72,000 for the 4th place finish as his impressive run in the PokerGo studio continued.
Three-handed play was a quick affair, and Funkhouser would come out with the chip lead. Playing Stud Hi-Lo Funkhouser was the bring-in with the and saw Volpe completed with the to 400,000. Eli Elezra moved all in for 500,000 with the , and Funkhouser called. Volpe made it 700,000, and Funkhouser called.
After calling bets on fourth, fifth, and sixth streets against Volpe, the action checked through on the river. Volpe held kings and jacks for two pair, but Funkhouser held kings and queens to collect the side pot. Elezra had outs to both a low and a full house, but when he peeled the six of clubs, he was left with eights and treys for the worst two pair.
Elezra headed to the payout desk in 3rd place and collected his $93,600 while Funkhouser was suddenly looking at a 2.5 to one chip lead.
Volpe made things interesting during heads-up and would pull to within two big bets of Funkhouser for the chip lead, but an ill-timed bluff in hold'em left Volpe with just 1.5 million in chips, and he was out the door in two hands later when his ace-ten was out flopped by the king-ten of Funkhouser.
Volpe found himself all in on the turn, needing a jack or an ace to stay alive, but when the river landed the nine of spades, he had to settle for the $136,800 second-place prize.
With the win, Funkhouser finds himself in the early lead in the player of the series race, and he couldn't be happier.
"It's nice (to get the win early) cause then you just kinda get to fire away," Funkhouser said. "You don't really have to sweat it nearly as much because you have all the other buy-ins taken care of up front."
PGT Mixed Games II Event #1: $10,200 H.O.R.S.E. saw 72 entrants make their way through the PokerGo studio and created a prize pool of $720,000, battling it out for the trophy.
Notables in the field on day one included the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Nick Shulman, David Benyamine, Brian Rast, and Josh Arieh as they all hit the door short of the money, but it was David "ODB" Baker who would be the unluckiest of the bunch when his top set of aces ran into the broadway straight of Linde during Omaha hi-lo.
Baker had outs to the nut flush and a full house to stay alive, but when the river bricked, he was eliminated in 12th place to burst the money bubble for the final 11 players.
Ben Yu, Steve Zolotwo, and Joseph Ranciato would then all fall in quick succession as the trio survived into the money but could only walk away with a min-cash of $21,600.
Andrew Kelsall would be the first to find a pay jump when he got his last 125,000 in the middle, holding eight-six-duece against the six-six-five of Dylan Weisman in Stud hi-lo. Weisman made queens up by sixth street, but Kelsall had outs to a better two-pair and a low draw. Kelsall would catch a meaningless ten on the river to end his day in 8th place for $28,800 as the remaining seven players bagged and tagged for the final table,
|1||David Funkhouser||United States||$187,200||187|
|2||Paul Volpe||United States||$136,800||137|
|3||Eli Elezra||United States||$93,600||94|
|4||Chino Rheem||United States||$72,000||72|
|5||Anthony Zinno||United States||$57,600||58|
|6||Dylan Weisman||United States||$43,200||43|
|7||Dylan Linde||United States||$36,000||36|
|8||Andrew Kelsall||United States||$28,800||29|
|9||Joseph Ranciato||United States||$21,600||22|
|10||Steve Zolotow||United States||$21,600||22|
|11||Ben Yu||United States||$21,600||22|
Connect with PokerGO.com on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Watch daily poker clips on the PokerGO YouTube channel. Join the conversation on the PokerGO Discord server. You can save $20 off an annual subscription to PokerGO.com by using the code “PGT2023” at checkout.