Justin Zaki hadn't tasted a tournament victory in over four years. Still, after navigating a stacked final table in Event #5: $10,100 No-Limit Hold'em, he took home the title and $232,400 first-place prize, his first major tournament title.

The play got underway with a bang to start the day. On the second hand of the day, Joris Ruijs's three-bet jam for 1,190,000 from the big blind with king-six of diamonds ran square into the start of the day chip leader Stephen Chidwick's ace-king. The board ran out king-high, and Ruijs's day was done in sixth place for $41,500 before it could really begin. 

Zaki would score a double through Sam Soverel late in level 16 and would move to second a short while later when, early in level 17, his pocket jacks sent start-of-day short stack Justin Saliba to the rail. Saliba held ace-nine and flopped top pair but could improve no further and headed to the payout desk in fifth place for $58,100. 

 Soverel would be the next to fall, as he lost the majority of his stack when his turned trips with queen-ten were undone by Joey Weissman's turned full house of ace-ten. After the hand, Soverel was left with just two big blinds. Shortly after that, he was out the door and already standing at the payout desk to collect his $78,850 fourth-place prize before the board sealed his fate. 

Weissman took a slight chip lead into three-handed play, but that quickly vanished when Zaki found a double with ace-queen against Weissman's ace-jack to pull nearly even at three million apiece with Chidwick and Weissman.

Weissman appeared to be on the verge of taking a nearly four-to-one chip lead into a heads-up battle for the trophy with Chidwick when his pocket tens put Zaki's pocket sixes in rough shape in a six million chip pot. 

Fate had other plans, however, as a six on the river moved Zaki from the edge of a cliff to the top of the mountain and the chip lead. Weissman would get some chips back when his ace-queen bested Chidwick's king-queen to send England's all-time money leader out the door in third place for $107,900 but still faced a nearly two-and-a-half to one chip deficit as heads-up play began. 

The heads-up battle was nearly a two-hour affair as both players punched and counter-punched, with chips flying across the felt as Weissman wrestled the chip lead away from Zaki, only for Zaki to wrestle it right back. 

Zaki would finally take the chip lead for good on the last hand of level 21 when he picked off Weissman's river bluff with his turned set of tens to amass over 70% of the chips in play. 

On the first hand of level 22, with the blinds at 125,000/200,000, Weissman got his last ten big blinds into the middle with ace-queen, only for Zaki to wake up with pocket kings. A ten-high board left Weissman unimproved, and he headed to the cage to collect his $149,400 second-place prize. 

Event #5: $10,100 No-Limit Hold'em Final Table Payouts

Place Name Country PGT Points $830,000
1st Justin Zaki United States 232 $232,400
2nd Joey Weissman United States 149 $149,400
3rd Stephen Chidwick United Kingdom 108 $107,900
4th Sam Soverel United States 79 $78,850
5th Justin Saliba United States 58 $58,100
6th Joris Ruijs Netherlands 42 $41,500

Jonathan Little Extends His Lead for the 2024 PokerGO Cup 

The final $10,100 buy-in event of the 2024 PokerGO Cup saw 83 entrants and created a prize pool of $830,000, with the top twelve finishers securing a min-cash of at least $20,750. Event #4 fourth-place finisher Chino Rheem was the unfortunate bubble in Event #5 when his ace-seven ran into Chidwick's ace-queen. 

Lewis Spencer (12th), Daniel Negreanu (11th), and Ariel Mantel (7th) all picked up their first cash of the 2024 Series and now make it on the board with three events to play in the chase for the cup. 

Event #4 winner Cary Katz made another deep run as he looks for back-to-back PokerGO Cups, picking up 25 points with a tenth-place finish in Event #5 and now vaults Dylan Weisman into second place on the leaderboard with 252 points. 

However, event #3 winner Jonathan Little picked up his third cash of the series and 25 points for his ninth-place finish. He still sits atop the leaderboard with 277 points. Event #5 winner Zaki picked up his first cash of the series and now sits in fourth place with 232 points. 

 2024 PokerGO Cup Series Leaderboard - Top Ten

Rank Player Points Wins Cashes Winnings
1 Jonathan Little 277 1 3 $276,600
2 Cary Katz 252 1 2 $251,700
3 Dylan Weisman 240 1 1 $240,300
4 Justin Zaki 232 1 1 $232,400
5 Alex Foxen 185 0 2 $184,350
6 Stoyan Madanzhiev 184 0 3 $183,700
7 Joey Weissman 175 0 2 $174,900
8 Daniel Smiljkovic 156 0 1 $155,750
9 David Peters 142 1 1 $141,525
10 Dan Shak 139 0 2 $139,450

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 “PGT2024” at checkout.

PokerGO, Stephen Chidwick, Joey Weissman, PGT, Sam Soverel, PokerGO Cup, Justin Saliba, Joris Ruijs, Justin Zaki