Hal Rotholz
Hal Rotholz denied Nick Schulman a second PGT Mixed Games title at the death, claiming the $163,000 top prize.

A thrilling seventh event of the 2023 PGT Mixed Games Series II festival saw Hal Rotholz triumph against Nick Schulman for a top prize of $163,000. Preventing his opponent from becoming the first player to win two PGT Mixed Games Series events this festival, Rotholz took the title and put himself in contention for the overall victory with two events left to play.

Bleznick is Blessed as Bubble Bursts

There were 51 entrants in the $10,200-entry Triple Draw Mix event, meaning a prizepool of just over half a million dollars was on the line. With eight places paid, the action played down to the final table and the money bubble in synchronisation, as players such as Daniel Negreanu, Event #1 winner David Funkhouser, Brian Rast, Alex Livingston and Event #6 winner Dylan Weisman all busted outside the money places.

Chasing a top prize of $163,200, the final dozen or so players were battling to survive the bubble. Philip Sternheimer was eliminated in tenth place, two short of the money in the same hand that saw Jared Bleznick down to one big bet. It wasn’t Bleznick who bubbled, however, as in a hand of Badugi, Dustin Dirksen couldn’t hit against David ‘ODB’ Baker, busting in ninth place to miss out on profit by the barest of margins.

Everyone else got paid, including the blessed Bleznick, who was out next, just missing out on the final table but walking away with $20,500 he may well have given up on a hand earlier. He lost his scraps as Baker went into the final seven with 1.8 million. That wasn’t the chip lead, though. Chino Rheem (1,975,000) held that title, with short stacks Jeremy Ausmus (400,000) and Nick Schulman (690,000) both hoping that their fortunes would turn around once the final table began.

Rheem Leaves the Party Early

The first player to leave the final seven was Julio Belluscio, who cashed for $25,500 in A-5 Triple Draw. Up against Chino Rheem, David Baker and Hal Rotholz, Belluscio held a 7-6-5-4-2 but it was not good enough, with Rotholz’ 7-5-4-3-A managing to top the Argentinian’s hand, sending him to the rail with half a dozen players remaining.

Out next was the chip leader with six remaining. It took no time at all for Chino Rheem to go from hero to zero chips As Jeremy Ausmus and Nick Schulman both took chip from the current top dog on the PGT Mixed Games Series Leaderboard. Rheem also went in A-5 Triple Draw, and it was Rotholz again who eliminated his opponent with a fantastic hand, tabling 7-4-3-2-1 to move into second place of the remaining five players behind Ausmus.

After entering the final table with so much momentum, it was a disastrous exit for David ‘ODB’ Baker in fifth place for a score of $40,800. Losing to Rotholz again, Baker was skittled by his fellow American’s 6-4-3-2-A, and Rotholz piled up a stack of 2.33 million. That was second in chips with four left behind Schulman’s stack of 3,070,000, with Ausmus (1,450,000) and Andrew Yeh (800,000) trailing a little further back.

Rotholz and Schulman Battle it Out

The shortest stack busted first when the final four players reconvened on Friday at high noon. Playing 2-7 Triple Draw, Andrew Yeh stood pat after the second draw with a nine-seven but Rotholz managed to get the better of Yeh with 8-7-6-5-2 and that sent Yeh home with a cash worth $51,000.

Three-handed, Schulman held a strong lead, but the determined Rotholz was doggedly sticking to his task and took a chunk out of Ausmus’ chip-stack and therefore hopes. Rotholz then did the same to Schulman to take the overall lead, leaving both his opponents with as many chips together as he had himself.

Running shortest, Jeremy Ausmus was unable to double back into contention. Also losing to Rotholz in Triple Draw, the man with more results in the PokerGO Studio than most cashed for $71,400 in third place, leaving Rotholz with a lead of approximately 4.5 million to 3 million chips.

Nick Schulman may have started the final battle lower in chips, but that didn’t last long. Making a wheel straight in A-5 Triple Draw, Schulman moved into a marginal lead as he bid to win a second title of the nine events so far. Rotholz was not to be denied, though. Moving ahead courtesy of a better eight in 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi proved a bad omen for Schulman as Rotholz made the nuts on the last night to condemn his opponent to a runner-up spot in both the tournament and now the overall leaderboard behind Chino Rheem.

PokerGO Tour 2023 Mixed Games Series Event #7 Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Hal Rotholz United States $163,200
2nd Nick Schulman United States $107,100
3rd Jeremy Ausmus United States $71,400
4th Andrew Yeh United States $51,000
5th David ‘ODB’ Baker United States $40,800
6th Chino Rheem United States $30,600
7th Julio Belluscio Argentina $25,500