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 into Lazrus’ . Pre-flop, everything looked fine, but a worrying flop of gave Lazrus a flush draw. The turn of a was safe for Aldemir, but the German’s luck ran out on the 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 pre-flop, the last thing he wanted to see was not only caller but two. Daniel Lazrus clicked ‘call’ with and Brian Kim’s four-bet shove with also got called.
Three players to a very important flop, then, and the did nothing for Lazrus. It paired Wilson’s seven but he still needed more help. The on the turn was not the one, and the river of a 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 on a board of , but Brian Kim had the better of it, having rivered a full house with .
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 pre-flop, only to lose to Lichtenberger’s when the board came .
“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 and Kim had an easy call with . The flop of looked ominous, and the turn of a flipped the champion-in-waiting into the lead. An insignificant 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:
|1st||Andrew Lichtenberger||United States||$204,000|
|2nd||Brian Kim||United States||$144,500|
|3rd||Daniel Lazrus||United States||$102,000|
|5th||Brock Wilson||United States||$68,000|
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!
Poker Masters 2023 Leaderboard (After 5 of 10 Events):
|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|