Stephen Chidwick takes down USPO Event #1: $10,000 NLHE for $216,000. (Photo: Drew Amato/Poker Central)

The 2019 U.S. Poker Open got underway on Wednesday with 90 players flocking to the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to take part in Event #1: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em. Even though it’s a brand new year and a brand new series, at least one thing remains the same: Stephen Chidwick plans on dominating at the USPO.

Chidwick, the defending USPO champion bested a stacked final table, which included regular high roller Sean Winter and former November Niner Joseph Cheong. Chidwick eliminated four of his final five opponents in under three and half hours, earning $216,000 for his efforts.

Final Table Results

1. Stephen Chidwick – $216,000
2. Sean Winter – $157,500
3. Joseph Cheong – $112,500
4. Joseph Cappello – $90,000
5. Lazaro Hernandez – $72,000
6. Joseph Orsino – $54,000

About an hour into the final table, the first player hit the rail when Joseph Orsino clashed with Cheong. Cheong raised from the cutoff holding the AcTh and Orsino made the call from the big blind with the QdTc. The flop of AdQsTs almost guaranteed action as both players flopped two pair. Orsino checked his bottom two pair over to Cheong. Cheong fired a bet and Orsino promptly check-raised. With the action back to Cheong, he moved all in and Orsino, who was covered, made the call with his tournament life on the line. The turn was the 7c and the river was the 9s, ending Orsino’s USPO run in sixth place for $54,000.

Lazaro Hernandez was the next player to fall. After losing a big hand to Chidwick, where Chidwick flopped a straight and doubled through him, Hernandez was crippled to under 10 big blinds. Holding the AdTs on the button, Hernandez pushed all in and was called by Chidwick in the small blind with the AcJd. Dominated, Hernandez was going to need some help to survive but the 4d2c6h provided very little. The turn was the Qh, leaving Hernandez looking for one of the remaining tens. The river was the 3c to give the hand to Chidwick and send Hernandez home in fifth place for $72,000.

Joseph Cappello and Cheong played a big pot where Capello’s pocket sevens flipped against Cheong’s AhQc. Cheong flopped two pair and held in the hand, sending Cappello to the bottom of the chip counts. Ten minutes later, he found a hand to move his final three big blinds in with. From the button, Cappello shipped it in with the Ac2h and, once again, Chidwick was there in the small blind, making a call with the dominating hand of the Ah4d. Although many boards might facilitate a chop, the 6hTc4c flop put Chidwick way ahead. The 8c turn gave Cappello flush outs, but the Kh river was no help. Cappello hit the rail in fourth place for $90,000, helping him to more than $2.4 million in lifetime earnings.

After that elimination, the tournament sped to a conclusion with Chidwick continuing his dominance and taking out his final two dangerous opponents in short order.

First, it was Cheong. Chidwick opened from the button with the AsKd and Cheong three-bet shipped all in with the Ah2h. Chidwick made the call, again dominating his opponent. The flop came AdQh6c, the 3c turn took away any chance of running hearts for Cheong, and the 5c river ended Cheong’s tournament in third place. He collected $112,500 for his seventh recorded cash of 2019.

Finally, Sean Winter and Chidwick, a pair of regulars on the high-roller circuit, got down to the business of playing heads-up. It was not a long battle, however, as the pair got all the chips in the middle in short order.

Chidwick limped holding the 7d5d and Winter put in a raise with the 8d8c. Chidwick made the call and the pair saw a flop of 9s6cKs. Winter continued and Chidwick, with a gutshot straight draw, made the call. Then the 8s hit the turn. Winter bet his new set, Chidwick, with the chip lead, shipped over the top with his made straight. Winter made the call but needed the board to pair in order to continue the tournament. The 3h river did not improve Winter’s hand and he finished the event in second place, taking home $157,500 for his efforts.

Stephen Chidwick, the reigning, defending USPO Champion, took down Event #1 for $216,000. It was his third career USPO tournament title and, with the win, he took the early lead in the race to repeat as USPO champion and take home the additional $100,000 prize.

USPO Top 10 After Event #1

1. Stephen Chidwick 1 $216,000 200
2. Sean Winter 1 $157,000 140
3. Joseph Cheong 1 $112,500 100
4. Joseph Cappello 1 $90,000 80
5. Lazaro Hernandez 1 $72,000 60
6. Joseph Orsino 1 $54,000 40
7. Jerry Robinson 1 $45,000 40
8. Maxx Coleman 1 $36,000 40
9. Jake Schindler 1 $27,000 40
10. Bryn Kenney 1 $27,000 40

The final table for Event #2: $10,000 PLO will take place on Friday.

USPO Streaming Schedule On PokerGO

02/14/19 Event #1: #10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 5 p.m.
02/15/19 Event #2: #10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 5 p.m.
02/16/19 Event #3: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 5 p.m.
02/17/19 Event #4: $10,000 Short Deck 5 p.m.
02/18/19 Event #5: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em 5 p.m.
02/19/19 Event #6: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 5 p.m.
02/20/19 Event #7: $25,000 No Limit Hold’em 5 p.m.
02/21/19 Event #8: $25,000 8-Game 5 p.m.
02/21/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em Early 8 p.m.
02/22/19 Event #9: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em Final 5 p.m.
02/22/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em Early 7:30 p.m.
02/23/19 Event #10: $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em Final 5 p.m.

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