David Peters won his third 2021 US Poker Open title on Monday night and now leads the U.S. Poker Open leaderboard with just one event remaining. (PokerGO photo)

David Peters won his third 2021 U.S. Poker Open title on Monday night, but this time the former GPI Player of the Year rode a roller coaster to get there. The win came with a $465,750 payday and moved the defending U.S. Poker Open winner into the lead atop the U.S. Poker Open leaderboard.

Peters worked his way from the bottom of the chip counts to the top and lasted through a marathon three-handed battle to win Event #11 ($25,000 NLHE) for his third win of the series and second in as many days.

Frank Funaro started the final table as the shortest stack and didn’t get much of a chance to improve his standing. On the sixth hand of the final table, Ivan Zufic opened to 100,000 with Kc9c and Funaro defended his big blind with 9s7c. The flop came Ac9d2c and Funaro checked allowing Zufic to bet 50,000. Funaro moved all in for 535,000 and Zufic called. The turn was the Qh and the Jc river completed the board and ended Funaro’s run in sixth place.

Funaro’s elimination left Peters in the short stack position. It wasn’t his to hold for long. In the immediate aftermath, Vanessa Kade took over the chip lead winning a 3,850,000 pot from Zufic. It wasn’t hers to hold for long. Kade lost an all in preflop flip with TdTs to Peters’ AhQh just 14 hands later to give Peters the chip lead. Three hands later, another clash between Peters and Kade ended Kade’s night earlier than she had expected. Action folded to Peters in the small blind and he raised to 180,000 with AhKd. Kade looked down and As8d and she moved all in for 1,400,000 and Peters called. The board ran out KhTd7h6sQs to eliminate Kade in fifth place.

Zufic then doubled up through Jake Daniels leaving Daniels on life support with seven big blinds. On the next hand, Peters raised to 165,000 with QsTc before Daniels moved all in from the big blind with Ad5c. Peters took control of the pot with the Qd9h2d flop. Daniels picked up extra outs with the 5d turn but failed to hit on the Kc river and was eliminated in fourth.

With ICM considerations in play thanks to the $120,750 pay jump between second and third, the Peters, Zufic, and Dan Shak played for nearly three hours, with each player holding the chip lead at least once, before everything came to a head. Zufic folded his button and Peters moved all in for 5,695,000 with Jc6c. Sitting second in chips with 2,450,000 (16 big blinds), Shak opted to call with Kc5c. The flop came Th5h4d to keep Shak in front. The 7s turn gave Peters extra outs. The 8s river gave Peters an eight-high straight and sent Shak home in third place.

Peters began heads up play holding 78.5% of the chips in play and needed just one hand to get the rest. Peters limped with TcTs and then called when Zufic raised to 475,000 with 9c9h. The flop came Qs8s3h and Zufic led out for 375,000 and Peters called. The turn was the Tc giving Peters a set and Zufic a gutshot straight draw. This time Zufic checked and Peters took some time before checking behind. Zufic checked the 4h river and Peters tanked for nearly a full minute before announcing he was all in. Zufic re-checked his hole cards and took a full minute before sliding the last of his chips in only to be shown a better hand and was eliminated in second place.

Thanks to his victories in Event #7 ($10,000 NLHE), Event #10 ($10,000 Short Deck), and Event #11 ($25,000 NLHE) Peters has 646 U.S. Poker Open points and leads Ali Imisirovic by 163 points with just the $50,000 NLHE event remaining.

U.S Poker Open Event #11 Final Table Payouts

  1. David Peters – $465,750
  2. Ivan Zufic – $345,000
  3. Dan Shak – $224,250
  4. Jake Daniels – $172,500
  5. Vanessa Kade – $138,000
  6. Frank Funaro – $103,500