Matthew Wantman came into the final table of Event #5: $10,100 No-Limit Hold'em of the 2024 U.S. Poker Open as the proverbial short stack but managed to maneuver his way into the chip lead by the second level of play, eventually taking out start-of-day chip leader Daniel Negreanu heads-up to capture his second career PGT Title and the $239,200 first place-prize. 

The action got underway fast and first as PGT newcomer Paulius Plausinaitis was out the door on the third hand of play when his ace-king was out turned by the queen-jack of fellow newcomer Grant Wang sending the Lithuanian home in seventh place for $36,800. 

Wantman was left fifth out of sixth on chips following the elimination, but without the aid of many turns and rivers, managed to chip into the lead briefly during the second level of play, and the battle between the two was on as Negreanu began to thin the field. 

Two-time U.S. Poker Open Series Champion David Peters was the first to fall under Negreanu's onslaught. His ace-three was out flopped by Negreanu's king-three, and the expectant father headed to the rail in sixth place for $46,000. 

While Negreanu scored the elimination, he still trailed Wantman for the chip lead, but a cooler five-handed would see Negreanu go from second in chips to over 60% of the chips in play. 

Victoria Livschitz, who picked up her fourth cash in a row by final tabling Event #5, opened to 225,000 from under the gun, Wang three-bet to 1,300,000 next to act, Negreanu moved all in having both players covered from the small blind, Livschitz folded and Wang called for $2.5 million total. 

Wang had ace-king, but it was no good as Negreanu picked up pocket aces at the opportune time, and when the board ran out ten-high, Wang's first PGT final table came to a crashing halt in fifth place for $64,400 and the second largest cash of his career. 

Livschitz was the next to fall at the hands of "Kid Poker" when her pocket kings were out flopped by Negreanu's pocket threes, sending the Octopi Poker Co-Founder to the rail in fourth place for $82,800. 

Wantman finally got back in on the action three-handed. He sent Erik Seidel to the rail when his ace-jack outkicked Seidel's ace-eight. The Poker Hall of Famer then headed to the payout desk to collect his $110,400 third-place prize and second-overall cash of the series. 

With Seidel eliminated, Wantman trailed Negreanu by just over one million chips to start heads-up play. Six hands in, he found himself with 97% of the chips in play as the blinds increased to 100,000/200,000 after getting in $5.5 million pre-flop into the middle with king-queen against Negreanu's ace-five. 

Negreanu was left with just 1.5 big blinds after the hand, and despite a pair of doubles to stay alive, Negrenau's quest for his eighth career PGT title came to an end when his flopped pair of jacks could not run down Wantman's flopped pair of kings sending him home in second place for $151,800.

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

Place Name Country PGT Points $920,000
1st Matthew Wantman United States 239 $239,200
2nd Daniel Negreanu Canada 152 $151,800
3rd Erik Seidel United States 110 $110,400
4th Victoria Livschitz United States 83 $82,800
5th Grant Wang United States 64 $64,400
6th David Peters United States 46 $46,000
7th Paulius Plausinaitis Lithuania  37 $36,800

Rodger Johnson Cashes Fifth Event in a Row

Rodger Johnson has yet to find a victory during the 2024 U.S. Poker Open, but the North Dakota native has still been on a heater as he picked up his fifth cash in a row to start the series. 

Johnson just snuck into the money for the second event in a row. Event #5 drew 92 entrants to create a prize pool of $920,000, with the top 14 players finishing in the money. He finished in 14th place to pick up 23 PGT points. 

Despite Johnson's run, Jesse Lonis still sits atop the leaderboard with 332 points, 31 points ahead of Johnson and 41 points ahead of Event #4 winner David Coleman. 

Not to be overshadowed, Livschitz also scored her fourth consecutive cash of the series to vault into the top ten and now sits in 8th place with 183 points. 

Event winner Wantman, runner-up Negreanu, and third-place finisher Seidel all picked up their second cash of the series. Wantman's 269 points led the way in fifth place, 14 points ahead of Seidel. Negreanu rounds out the top ten with 152 points, as we are now over halfway through the 2024 U.S. Poker Open. 

Four events remain in the race for the PGT Passport, and action is underway in Event #6: $15,100 No-Limit Hold'em has already kicked off. You can catch all the day-one action from the event here: https://www.pgt.com/live-reporting/us-poker-open-2024/event-6-15100-nolimit-holdem.

Players will have a day off on Sunday, April 14th, as the final table is set to conclude on April 15th at 12 p.m. PT. The live stream of the final table for Event #6 can be seen on PokerGO starting at 2 p.m. with Jeff Platt and Brent Hanks on the call. 

2024 U.S. Poker Open Leaderboard 

Rank Player Points Wins Cashes Winnings
1 Jesse Lonis 332 1 2 $332,250
2 Rodger Johnson 301 0 5 $301,450
3 David Coleman 291 1 2 $261,100
4 Aram Zobian 271 0 2 $271,250
5 Matthew Wantman 269 1 2 $268,900
6 Erik Seidel 255 1 2 $255,400
7 Dan Smith 235 1 1 $235,200
8 Victoria Livschitz 183 0 4 $182,400
9 Shannon Shorr 179 0 2 $209,200
10 Daniel Negreanu 152 0 1 $151,800

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Daniel Negreanu, David Peters, Erik Seidel, US Poker Open, Matthew Wantman, Paulius Plausinaitis, Victoria Livschitz, Grant Wang