In ten Poker Masters events, Stpehen Chidwick cashed four times to become champion and earn the $50,000 Championship Bonus and bespoke designed Purple Jacket that is presented to each winner in the manner of the green jacket given to the winner of The Masters in golf. With those cashes coming in the final five events, it was a late charge for the line that gave Chidwick the title.
|Poker Masters 2023 Leaderboard Top 10 |
|1st||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||1||4||$1,109,000||688|
|3rd||Chino Rheem||United States||1||5||$602,650||487|
|4th||Alex Foxen||United States||0||5||$663,500||460|
|5th||Jonathan Jaffe||United States||1||1||$756,000||454|
|6th||Andrew Lichtenberger||United States||1||4||$367,450||327|
|8th||Darren Elias||United States||1||3||$359,500||319|
|9th||Justin Bonomo||United States||1||2||$447,000||314|
|10th||Brian Kim||United States||0||2||$375,500||284|
Piling Up the Points
Stephen Chidwick’s victory came in the tenth and final event of the series. Incredibly, going into the final table of eight – and indeed, the final day – there were six remaining players who had the chance of winning the title. Add to them the overnight leaderboard pacesetter of Lithuanian player Vladas Tamasauskas and it really was anyone’s to win.
Tamasauskas already had 506 points in the bag after winning two of the opening three events, but in earning a massive 688 points, Stephen Chidwick eventually finished well clear of the competition.
Collecting an awesome $1,159,000 at the 2023 Poker Masters series, including the $50,000 Championship Bonus, Chidwick came sixth in Event #6, for a mere $57,000, but although that cash and a blank in Event #7 meant he was a long way back in the field, three consecutive cashes in the final three events would turn the tables in spectacular fashion.
Chidwick Underlines Triple Threat
Stephen Chidwick is a study of the modern poker player, with his level of focus, studying for hours and hours on GTO and his attention to detail at the felt. Ask the top professionals who is number one in the world today and rather than the two men at the top of the all-time money list, Bryn Kenney and Justin Bonomo, more of them are likely to say that Chidwick is the top dog.
In Event #8, Chidwick underlined these credentials. Not only did he lead going into the final day, but he had 57% of the chips in play when the final six sat down, an unprecedented level of dominance in a Poker Masters event. It was one for the ages, as he picked off his opponents, busting all but one of them on his way to a victory worth $400,000. More important to Chidwick might have been the money, but he suddenly had a sniff of the overall leaderboard win and the Purple Jacket.
To overhaul Tamasauskas, the British poker legend would surely have to score heavily in both the final events – without the Lithuanian cashing – and in Event #9, that certainly happened. Tamasauskas busted before the bubble and Chidwick was chasing back-to-back wins. Justin Bonomo won the penultimate event of the series, but Chidwick’s third-place finish for $148,000 came when his pocket queens lost to Bonomo’s pocket kings. The battle had gone to Bonomo, but the war was still in Chidwick’s hands.
Chidwick the Ultimate Champion
The final event provided permutations, passion and ultimately, poker of the highest level. Six of the final eight could win, with everyone already aware that Tamasauskas had busted outside the money places. Chino Rheem and Alex Foxen both made the final six alongside Chidwick, but when Rheem busted in fifth place, he was out of the race. Suddenly, just two men could win: Chidwick or the former Global Poker Index number one, Alex Foxen.
It was to be the American who was left disappointed. As Chidwick chipped up with a bit of fortune, his ace-queen doubling through Cary Katz’s ace-king, Foxen ran short. Soon, he was on the rail, Jonathan Jaffe knocking him out. Chidwick had done it and was the 2023 Poker Masters champion, whether he won heads-up or not. As it happened, he was unlucky not to at least give himself the chance of fighting for it on an even playing field.
All-in with ace-nine, Chidwick lost to Jaffe’s ace-three, as a three came on ‘5th street’ to crush hopes of winning two event trophies. The best trophy of all, however, was the Purple Jacket and Chidwick slipped his arms into the sleeves of history as he donned the infamous apparel associated with this most exclusive of event series.
Other legends won plenty, with Darren Elias, Alex Foxen, Justin Bonomo and Chino Rheem all enjoying a stellar fortnight each. It was the peerless Chidwick who claimed the Championship, though, as he was the only player to win more than $1 million in prize money across the 2023 Poker Masters.
|Stephen Chidwick’s Poker Masters 2023 Results by Event:|
|Event #||Event Details||Place||Prize||Points|| |
|6||$10,000 NL Hold’em||6th||$57,000||57|| |
|8||$25,000 NL Hold’em||1st||$400,000||240|| |
|9||$25,000 NL Hold’em||3rd||$148,000||89|| |
|10||$50,000 NL Hold’em||2nd||$504,000||302|| |