Eric Afriat
Canadian player Eric Afriat continued his excellent 2024 with a U.S. Poker Open victory and a score of $288,000 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The penultimate event of the eight-tournament U.S. Poker Open was won last night by Eric Afriat. The Canadian player toppled Joey Weissman heads-up to move into second place on the overall leaderboard behind the runaway leader Aram Zobian. With one event to play, the $25,000 ‘Main Event’ of the series, Zobian is in the box seat and favorite to win the Championship Bonus of a $25,000 PGT Passport along with the world-famous Golden Eagle trophy.

Deng Done on the River

There were a total of 64 entrants in this, the seventh USPO event, which cost $15,100 to play. Eye-watering buy-ins for many players but here in Las Vegas, Nevada, a mean average entry fee where high rollers collide seemingly every week of the year. The PokerGO Studio at ARIA has quickly become one of the world’s premier poker venues and once again brought the drama last night as the six-handed final table played out live to PokerGO subscribers.

With 10 players being paid, plenty of talent missed out on profit, with Chino Rheem, Justin Saliba, Jonathan Little, Erik Seidel and Nick Schulman all going close to the money places but falling just short. Sam Laskowitz has enjoyed a hugely profitable week at the purple felt and ensured he would continue his uptick when his [Ah3h doubled through Sergio Aido’s KdJd close to the bubble.

After John Riordan was busted by Stephen Chidwick, Clemen Deng was eliminated on the money bubble, his ThTc failing to hold against his caller, Joey Weissman, who had AcKs. The 9h5h2d flop was safe, as was the 6s turn but a nightmare Kh on the river sent Deng to the rail and put everyone else into the money.

Klein is Fine but Laskowitz Lasts

Down to the final ten players, Shoveland increased its population, and every resident seemed to be flipping. Bill Klein’s [QdQc survived Winter – Sean Winter, that is – when a jack-high board maintained the mature player’s tournament life. David Peters hoped he had the best of it when he shoved with Ac2c but it wasn’t the case, as Stephen Chidwick’s 6c6h took out the American in 10th for $28,800.

Victoria Livschitz recorded yet another cash for the same amount as the PokerStake player saw her pocket sixes fall to Klein’s [AdQs which hit an ace on the flop. Brock Wilson was another player who sold action to the event on PokerStake and made profit yet again for his investors when he won $38,400 but could go no further than eighth, his own pocket sixes defeated by Sam Laskowitz’ pocket eights when all the money went into the middle pre-flop. Darren Elias busted in seventh for $38,400 too when his As9c shove ran into Joey Weissman’s superior JsJd which survived the board to reduce the field to a final day field of six.

Stephen Chidwick led the final six into the second and last day of the event but it was all change, and all round. Bill Klein was the man to bust in sixth when his superb run came to an end. His Ac8c was dominated by Sam Laskowitz’ AhQs and a board of AsKs6hKd6c sent Klein home with $52,800.

Afriat Comes from Nowhere to Claim Win for Canada

“Sam Laskowitz lost his seat when a hero-call with ace-king went wrong.”

With five men left, Chidwick led the way with 3.1 million, with Weissman (1.7m), Laskowitz (1.6m) and Afriat (1.5m) still challenging. Sean Winter was down to just 70,000 chips and they were soon hoovered up by Weissman to leave his fellow American on the rail with $72,000. Winter’s ‘Texas Dolly’ Th2s lost to Weissman’s AhQh and that exit was followed by an equally important double-up, as Eric Afriat’s rivered flush topped Chidwick’s straight caught on fifth street.

Sam Laskowitz lost his seat when a hero-call with ace-king went wrong, Stephen Chidwick turning trip fives to reduce the field to three, Laskowitz sent home with $96,000. Soon, play was heads-up when Chidwick himself busted. The British professional called off under ten bigs with Kh8c and Weissman was forced to show his small blind shove of 9s6c. Luck was with Weissman, however, as he made a straight on the river of a cruel board showing Td8d8h5h7s, sending Chidwick home with $129,600.

Joey Weissman was 7:1 down in chips and soon it was all over. On a board showing QhTh8sAs, Weissman called off his stack with AcQc for top two pair but Afriat had KcJd and the river of Tc did nothing to change Weissman’s fate. For him it was a runner-up score of $187,200 but for the Canadian Afriat, the trophy and $288,000 arrived at the conclusion of the event.

2024 U.S. Poker Open Event #7 $15,100 NLHE Final Table Results:
Place Player Country Prize
1st Eric Afriat Canada $288,000
2nd Joey Weissman United States $187,200
3rd Stephen Chidwick United Kingdom $129,600
4th Sam Laskowitz United States $96,000
5th Sean Winter United States $72,000
6th Bill Klein United States $52,800