The newest series on the PokerGO Tour (PGT) for 2023 kicked off on Wednesday, November 1, from the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, with Event #1: $5,100 No-Limit Hold'em of PGT Sprint. PGT Sprint would be the first $5,000 buy-in on the PGT that was a No-Limit Hold'em event, and the series also introduces a 20-second shot clock combined with 30-minute levels.
The opening event of the inaugural PGT Sprint series attracted a 63-entrant field that created a prize pool of $315,000. The final nine players finished in the money, and it would be John Riordan emerging victorious to win his first PGT title of 2023 and the $94,500 first-place prize.
Riordan won two WSOP Online bracelets recently, but victories have eluded him on the PGT. Riordan has cashed a total of eight times on the PGT in 2023, which includes two final tables and, most recently, a seventh-place finish in the PGT PLO Series II Event #9: $25,200 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship. Riordan has amassed $419,730 in PGT winnings in 2023, while his PGT career winnings now total $1,526,320 from 26 cashes and two wins.
New faces stepped into the PokerGO Studio for the first time to make their PGT debut in Event #1 of PGT Sprint. They battled alongside PGT regulars, including Brian Rast, Maxx Coleman, Jesse Lonis, Anthony Zinno, Sam Soverel, Jim Collopy, and many more. The pace of play was quick with 30-minute levels and a 20-second shot clock as the tournament quickly progressed to hand-for-hand play on the money bubble. Isaac Kempton would be eliminated on the money bubble by Justin Young when his pocket tens lost to Young's ace-queen to leave the final nine assured of a visit to the payout cage.
Poker Hall of Famer John Hennigan was eliminated in ninth, and after the final eight players redrew to one table, Craig Mason exited in eighth place. Dan Shak exited in seventh place when his ace-queen couldn't improve against Aram Zobian's pocket jacks, before Matthew Wantman was all-in preflop but was outdrawn by Riordan's Broadway straight on the river in a multiway pot involving Zobian. South Korea's Sung Joo Hyun exited next in fifth place when his ace-three couldn't improve against the ace-queen of Riordan before Zobian exited in fourth.
The final three battled for over an hour before Alex Condon was outdrawn when his ace-king went down to Young's ace-deuce when he rivered a wheel. Young held a slight chip lead entering heads-up play, and after some back and forth, Riordan doubled into a massive seven-to-one advantage after hitting a four-card flush on Young's set. Young's tournament was over yet as he doubled three times to take back the lead. Riordan then grabbed a double back into the lead before the final hand would see Riordan outdraw Young on the turn with two pair to be crowned the Event #1 champion of PGT Sprint.
|1st||John Riordan||United States||$94,500||95|
|2nd||Justin Young||United States||$63,000||63|
|3rd||Alex Condon||United States||$44,100||44|
|4th||Aram Zobian||United States||$31,500||32|
|5th||Sung Joo Hyun||South Korea||$25,200||25|
|6th||Matthew Wantman||United States||$18,900||19|
|7th||Dan Shak||United States||$15,750||16|
|8th||Craig Mason||United States||$12,600||13|
|9th||John Hennigan||United States||$9,450||9|
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