Andrew Lichtenberger
Andrew 'Chewy' Lichtenberger won Event #5 of the 2023 Poker Masters as the tournament festival reached the halfway stage.

The fifth event of the 2023 Poker Masters saw Andrew Lichtenberger crown his 36th birthday with a victory as he beat Brian Kim heads-up for the latest title. With the PokerGO Tour’s Poker Masters festival now at the halfway stage, who is leading the race for the Purple Jacket?

Lazrus Leads the Final

Heading into the final day, just six players remained, as is usual for a Poker Masters showdown for the title. With the action streamed live on PokerGO in the company of Jeff Platt and Brent Hanks, everyone was in their seats. The previous day had seen 85 entries whittled down to just six survivors, with two-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Lazrus flying highest.

Lazrus began the final with 3,035,000 chips, a good distance ahead of most, with Nico Kroop (2,575,000) and Brian Kim (2,145,000) closest. Behind those two challengers sat the birthday boy Lichtenberger on 1,700,000, while both Koray Aldemir (600,000) and Brock Wilson (575,000) came into the action as rank outsiders, so short were their stacks.

The first player to bust was, perhaps predictably, one of those two. Aldemir watched Wilson double-up through the chip leader and thought he’d try to do the same, but ran KcJs into Lazrus’ 8d7d. Pre-flop, everything looked fine, but a worrying flop of 9d6h2d gave Lazrus a flush draw. The turn of a 3c was safe for Aldemir, but the German’s luck ran out on the 8s river as just a pair of eights for Laxrus was enough to send Aldemir, the 2021 WSOP Main Event world champion home with $51,000 in sixth place.

Second German Busts Outside Podium Places

With five remaining, Wilson was still short and   knew that unless he picked a time to move all-in, the blinds would choose it for him. Shoving with Ac7c pre-flop, the last thing he wanted to see was not only caller but two. Daniel Lazrus clicked ‘call’ with AdKh and Brian Kim’s four-bet shove with TcTs also got called.

Three players to a very important flop, then, and the Qc7h2d did nothing for Lazrus. It paired Wilson’s seven but he still needed more help. The 8h on the turn was not the one, and the river of a 2h sealed Kim’s more than double-up to over 4.4 million chips, as Lazrus slid to 2.6m and Wilson exited to the rail, collecting $68,000 in fifth place.

Andrew ‘Chewy’ Lichtenberger is known for his vivacious personality as well as his poker prowess and he took the chip lead from Kim soon after that exit for Wilson. A better kicker to top pair was good enough, but Kim went on the attack again almost immediately, ending the chances of the second German player to make the final table. Niko Koop was all-in with Jc9c on a board of KhKd6d9h8s, but Brian Kim had the better of it, having rivered a full house with 8h8d.

Kim Loses, Lichtenberger Gets the Cake

Heading into the final three, Andrew Lichtenberger led the way with 4,325,000, with Kim (3,925,000) and Lazrus (2,375,000) in his wake. There was a devastatingly unlucky exit in third place for Lazrus, who was all-in with 6s6c pre-flop, only to lose to Lichtenberger’s 3s3h when the board came 8c7s3cQh5h.

“I feel dead,” smiled Lazrus just before the flop.

“I feel really good about this!” Lichtenberger laughed and he was proved right as the cards went in his favor. Lazrus had cashed for $102,000 after a brilliant performance over two days but missed out on the heads-up.

That hand wasn;t just crucial for Lazrus’ chances failing, but it gave ‘Chewy’ the chip lead going into the last battle with his 7,625,000 chips more than double Kim’s stack of 3 million. It would be another bad beat that ended the event, as Lichtenberger shoved pre-flop from the button with Ah6s and Kim had an easy call with AsQs. The flop of 7s4d3h looked ominous, and the turn of a 6d flipped the champion-in-waiting into the lead. An insignificant Ad river confirmed Chewy as the champ and Kim had to settle for the runner-up prize of $144,500. Lichtenberger banked $204,000 on his birthday.

Watch the final table in full with commentary from Jeff Platt and Brent Hanks if you’re a PokerGO subscriber right here.

Poker Masters 2023 $10,00 Event #5 Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Andrew Lichtenberger United States $204,000
2nd Brian Kim United States $144,500
3rd Daniel Lazrus United States $102,000
4th Niko Koop Germany $85,000
5th Brock Wilson United States $68,000
6th Koray Aldemir Germany $51,000

With the 10-event 2023 Poker Masters now at the halfway stage, who is leading the way in the race for the Purple Jacket? Well, it’s the two-trophy winner Vladas Tamasauska, of course. Winning Events #1 and #3 mean the Lithuanian is the player to catch, but he hasn’t made the final table of Event #6 and with four other events still to play out, each costing at least $25,000, there’s still plenty of time for another player to capture the $50,000 championship bonus and the jacket everyone in poker wants to wear!

Check out the PokerStake staking page for the 2023 Poker Masters right here.

Poker Masters 2023 Leaderboard (After 5 of 10 Events):

Place Player Country Wins Cashes Winnings Points
1st Vladas Tamasauskas Lithuania 2 3 $506,400 506
2nd Ren Lin China 0 3 $298,800 299
3rd Andrew Lichtenberger United States 1 3 $265,700 266
4th Darren Elias United States 1 2 $259,500 259
5th Chino Rheem United States 1 1 $218,400 218
6th Brock Wilson United States 0 3 $194,600 194
7th Aram Zobian United States 0 1 $171,000 171
8th Eric Baldwin United States 0 1 $155,200 155
9th Jonathan Little United States 0 1 $154,700 155
10th Alex Foxen United States 0 3 $152,500 153