The records continue to tumble on the PGT in 2023 following huge turnouts at the recent PGT Mixed Games and PGT PLO Series; the opening event of the 2023 U.S. Poker Open broke another record. The 105-entrant field surpassed the previous best in a $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event of 99 entrants as the appetite for high-roller action continues in Las Vegas.
The record-breaking opening event attracted a mix of old and new faces as the prize pool swelled into the seven figures. With the final 15 players in the money, Dylan Linde would be eliminated on the money bubble following a cruel beat from Ren Lin. Linde was all-in with ace-king against Lin's pocket queens. Linde improved by catching a king on the flop and as Lin begged for a queen on the river, the dealer delivered the fateful blow to Linde to eliminate him on the bubble.
Three players positioned in the top ten of the PGT leaderboard all picked up PGT points as Daniel Negreanu (15th), Aram Zobian (12th), and Alex Foxen (10th) all fell short of the final table as Eric Baldwin (13th), "Boston Rob" Mariano (11th), and Darren Elias (9th) all exited before play was down to the final table.
Joao Simao would follow some impressive PGT PLO Series results with an eighth-place finish when he lost a race to Justin Young before Lin would lose a race to Joey Weissman to exit in seventh place as play would conclude for the day.
Young holds the chip lead heading into the Event #1 final table with 4,075,000 in chips ahead of Weissman who went on a late rush to bag 3,025,000 in chips. Rounding out the final table is Nacho Barbero (2,625,000), Andrew Moreno (1,960,000), Matthew McEwan (790,000), and Jonathan Little (650,000). Barbero has coined the phrase, "The Year of Nacho", and that continued in Event #1 as he held the chip lead for several levels. Barbero is fresh off a PGT PLO Series victory and a final table in the $25,000 PLO Championship as his 2023 includes seven cashes for $3,049,000 in earnings.
When play resumes, the button will be on Nacho Barbero and the big blind will be on Jonathan Little. There will be no small blind. There is 2:49 remaining in level 15 with blinds at 20,000 / 40,000 and a 40,000-big blind ante.
The final six players have all locked up $63,000 in prize money, but all eyes remain on the grand prize of $231,000 in prize money, 231 PGT points, and the mini Golden Eagle trophy which will put them into the early lead on the U.S. Poker Open leaderboard.
Play resumes at 12 p.m. PT for the Event #1: 10,000 No-Limit Hold’em final table from the 2023 U.S. Poker Open. The entire final table will be streamed exclusively on PokerGO.com starting at 1 p.m. PT with the series' first champion to be crowned.
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