The 2023 poker season is here. If what we saw in 2022 is any indication of what’s to come in 2023, then the poker industry is in for quite a big year, and that includes the PokerGO Tour (PGT). With the help of some colleagues at PokerGO and around the industry, let’s dust off the old crystal ball and give some PGT predictions for the new year.
The PGT is moving into its third season after a very successful second year that saw large increases in prize money awarded, entries tallied, and events held. The season was capped off by Jason Koon winning the 2022 PGT Championship for $500,000. Let’s see what could possibly be in store for the PGT in 2023.
- Donnie Peters, PokerGO
Stephen Chidwick finished the PGT season with the eighth-most points in 2021 before going on to top the leaderboard with the most points in 2022. I don’t think we see any sort of letdown from Chidwick. He plays everything, plays extremely well, has the bankroll to sustain the highest stakes, and a wealth of experience.
It’s no secret that Chidwick is a no-limit hold’em tournament beast. He is also proficient in mixed games and pot-limit Omaha. On the schedule for the 2023 PGT season are two brand new series: PGT Mixed Games and PGT PLO Series. We know what Chidwick can and likely will do in the no-limit hold’em events, and now he’ll have additional opportunities to earn points and showcase just how well-rounded of a player he is.
- Donnie Peters, PokerGO
I consider the PGT to have four “majors.” These are live series that are live-streamed and filmed while taking place in Las Vegas at the PokerGO Studio. The four are the PokerGO Cup, U.S. Poker Open, Poker Masters, and Super High Roller Bowl. In my own fun little fantasy world of poker, I’ve created the “PGT Triple Crown” and “PGT Grand Slam” accolades. The PGT Triple Crown is achieved if a player wins one tournament from three different PGT major series during one PGT season, and the PGT Grand Slam is achieved if a player wins one tournament from four different PGT major series during one PGT season.
This has been done once in PGT history. In 2022, Jeremy Ausmus won a PokerGO Cup event, a U.S. Poker Open event, and a Poker Masters event to achieve the PGT Triple Crown. In 2023, I’m predicting that two players achieve this difficult feat of winning a PokerGO Cup event, a U.S. Poker Open event, and a Poker Masters event. There are several candidates certainly capable of doing so. Because this is a poker predictions article, I’ll go with Alex Foxen and Sean Winter as PGT Triple Crown winners in 2023.
- Tim Duckworth, PokerGO
“I’m predicting that Daniel Negreanu will win his seventh WSOP bracelet in 2023, so I’m also going to predict that it occurs in a PGT-qualifying event such as the $10,000 Stud Hi-Lo Championship,” said Tim Duckworth, Sr. Content and Live Reporting Manager for PokerGO. “Combined with continued high-roller success in PGT events, Negreanu will finish with the most PGT points in 2023.”
In 2022, Negreanu finished 18th on the PGT leaderboard and earned qualification for the PGT Championship. After a bad WSOP, Negreanu won Super High Roller Bowl VII and then made a very deep run in the WPT World Championship. There will always be a good amount of volume from Negreanu, especially at the highest stakes. But while Negreanu’s tournament-playing volume might not be as high as some of the others on the PGT, Duckworth believes he can make up for it.
“Negreanu doesn’t play the type of high-roller volume that Sam Soverel or Sean Winter play with upwards of 40 ARIA High Roller tournaments every year, but where Negreanu gains his advantage is his skills in non-hold’em variants,” said Duckworth. “Negreanu plays the entirety of the mixed-game schedule at the WSOP, and now with the addition of PGT Mixed Games and PGT PLO Series, there are now 17 new events on the schedule where Negreanu has a significant skill edge over the majority of hold’em-based high-roller players.”
- Tim Duckworth, PokerGO
“The biggest change for the 2023 PGT season is the addition of PGT Mixed Games and PGT PLO Series that is directly targeted to specific player pools,” said Duckworth. “The PGT answered the call from players to have dedicated mixed games and pot-limit Omaha series, and after speaking to players to craft the ideal schedule, both are now on the calendar.”
Scheduled for February 4-11, 2023, the first-ever PGT Mixed Games series will look to crown the best all-around mixed-game player in the world. The schedule features a variety of events, with H.O.R.S.E., 8-Game, Triple Stud, Triple Draw Mix, Big Bet Mix, Dealer’s Choice, 10-Game, and No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw all making the cut.
“It’s hard to say exactly what a success for this series will be as there has never been a dedicated mixed-game high-roller series done before outside of what’s offered at the WSOP,” said Duckworth. “Whatever the result is for the inaugural PGT Mixed Games with player numbers, that will be the floor going forward. Hopefully we see on average 50 players in the $10,000 buy-in events, while ideally would hope for 30 in the $25,500 10-Game Championship.”
Running March 11-19, the first-ever PGT PLO Series takes place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. The schedule includes variations of Omaha tournaments including bounty events, mixed Omaha, Omaha hi-lo, and 5-card PLO.
“Similarly to PGT Mixed Games, there has never been a dedicated Omaha high-roller series before, so it is unknown how this will turnout,” said Duckworth. “Players are incredibly bullish on this series, and hopefully every table in the PokerGO Studio is filled during the straight pot-limit Omaha events.”
“I don't know which player it'll be, but I feel that in 2023 someone from the super high roller crowd will have a ‘career year,’ win more than $10,000,000, lead the pack wire-to-wire on the PGT leaderboard, and claim the winner-take-all freeroll at the end of the year,” predicts Robbie Strazynski, Founder of Cardplayer Lifestyle.
In the two seasons of the PGT, only one player has amassed more than $10,000,000 in PGT winnings in a single season. That’s Espen Jorstad who came in at $10,217,955 total after he banked $10,000,000 from winning the 2022 WSOP Main Event. Prior to his WSOP Main Event win, Jorstad wasn’t considered to be part of the “super high roller crowd” that Strazynski mentions. Michael Addamo who is part of that crowd came close in 2021, winning $9,418,837 from PGT-qualifying events.
“I almost feel Jason Koon is on such a high from 2022 that he may just dominate in 2023,” said Sean Chaffin of USPoker.com. “But who knows, all those guys are good and bring so much to the table. One thing is for sure, all of them are out of my bankroll level.”
Koon finished third on the PGT leaderboard for the 2022 season and then went on to win the season-ending PGT Championship for $500,000. He cashed for $6,731,848 on the PGT, with three victories and 18 in-the-money finishes. Koon’s last three results according to TheHendonMob.com are a win in the Poker Masters finale for $666,000, a win over Phil Hellmuth on High Stakes Duel 3 Round 5 for $1,600,000, and a victory in the PGT Championship for $500,000. Koon is certainly riding high entering 2023.
“A friendly but passionate rivalry developing between Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth in high roller events,” predicts Paul Seaton of PokerStake.com. “For several years, the pair have talked about a prop bet around the PokerGO high roller events at ARIA and I'd love to see it happen. It would swell the fields even more in these events and have a knock-on effect on the 2023 PGT leaderboard, which was so much fun to follow in 2022.”
It would be very entertaining to see Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu go at it in somewhat of a head-to-head battle across the PGT, and specifically in events held at the PokerGO Studio because then there’s the chance of seeing these two poker superstars battle on live streams. Hellmuth hasn’t played nearly as many PGT events as Negreanu, but he has dabbled in some. Outside of the WSOP, Negreanu’s PGT volume dwarfs that of Hellmuth’s. It’s a new year, though, so maybe we’ll see that change for 2023.
Agree or disagree with any of these predictions? Maybe you have some poker predictions of your own for the 2023 season of the PGT. Let us know on social. Tweet to us at @PokerGO.