David Peters, Justin Zaki and Jonathan Little battled until the last card in the 2024 PokerGO Cup, with Little proving he had the mettle to become the eventual winner. Taking home over $730,000, Little’s last gasp victory saw him beat Zaki heads-up to take the Championship and overtake the sitting champion-in-waiting David Peters. It didn’t come without drama, however, as Nick Schulman and the eventual champion clashed on the money bubble.

PokerGO Cup 2024 Event #8 $25,200 Final Table Results:
PlacePlayerCountryPrize
1stJonathan LittleUnited States$453,750
2ndJustin ZakiUnited States$288,750
3rdJustin SalibaUnited States$192,500
4thJohn RiordanUnited States$137,500
5thSeth DaviesUnited States$110,000
6thShaneil StokesUnited States$82,500

The Story of the First Seven Events

The 2024 PokerGO Cup got off to an exciting start, with David Peters racing into an early lead in the series. The American took down Event #1 for over $141,000 but Jonathan Little did cash and made it to the final seven players. In the second event, Dylan Weisman claimed bragging rights as he ousted German player Daniel Smiljokvic heads-up for a top prize of $240,000.

In Event #3, Jonathan Little won the first of his two titles of the eight in a crucial victory heads-up against Alex Foxen. At a final table packed with poker stars such as Dan Shak, Jesse Lonis and Brock Wilson, Little’s win was worth $229,500 but the PGT points, aligned with his first-ever outright win on the tour – propelled him into contention for the overall championship… and the $25,000 bonus prize.

In the fourth event of the series, Cary Katz took the title as we described in our halfway round-up of all the action in the PokerGO Cup. The fifth event of the series was a pivotal one, awarding as it did the American Justin Zaki victory. Zaki’s prowess in the series was such that he put himself into contention for the overall win, albeit still chasing down Little, who had cashed in more events.

Event #6 saw PGT crusher David Coleman claim the win and in doing so not only win the $302,000 top prize but usurp Little at the top of the leaderboard. The same was true one event later, when, in the penultimate tournament of the series, David Peters took the title. It was Peters’ second event win after triumphing in the opening event and it meant that anyone wishing to overtake him in the championship standings would need the outright win in the biggest buy-in event, the $25,200-entry Event #8 to do so.

David Peters
David Peters was the favorite to land the PokerGo Cup after winning two events of the opening seven at the PokerGO Studio.

Schulman Blows Up on the Bubble

If this was an action movie, we’d now cut to the bubble of Event #8. With Peters no longer in contention to win, he was in the ‘clubhouse’… or the PokerGO Studio to see if he could avoid being overtaken. Both Justin Zaki and Jonathan Little stood a slim chance of winning the PokerGO Championship, but both needed the win and early on in the action on Day 1, neither man seemed likely to survive.

In the final event, player pools of 80 or even 90 earlier in the event had shrunk due to the buy-in being more than double what it had cost to enter Event #2 for example (at $10,100). The drama saw both Zaki and Little survive to the latter stages but with the money bubble looming, Little in particular was very short stacked along with two or three others.

Enter Nick Schulman. The oftentimes PokerGO commentator moved all-in with pocket aces in a bid to grab his slice of the $1,375,000 prizepool with nine players remaining and only eight places paid. Up against John Riordan with queen-nine, Jonathan Little was an interested observer, witnessing a flop of J-9-4 and – at least to Schulman – appearing to be pleased with the chance of Schulman busting. On the turn of a queen, Schulman said: “Was the queen OK too John? Was that OK too?”

After leaving, Schulman took to his car and broadcast the video below on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Soon, Stephen Chidwick cashed for $55,000 in eighth place and he was followed from the felt by Jim Collopy, who lost with ace-six to a resurgent Jonathan Little with ace-king. That ended play for the night on Day 1 of the event and when play resumed on the final day, only six remained, with both Zaki and Little amongst them.

Little Claims Big Career Win

It didn’t take long on the last day for Shaneil Stokes to lose out in sixth place, winning $82,500 when all-in pre-flop with pocket sixes, this time unable to hold against Seth Davies’ ace-queen which flopped a queen to eliminate the at-risk player. Davies only gave himself a stay of execution with that hand, eventually cashing in fifth for $110,000 when his ace-nine lost to Little’s ace-king as ‘Big Slick’ once again prevailed.

Out in fourth was Riordan, who instead of continuing his earlier domination of the final 10 players, faded away dramatically when short-handed. All-in with ace-jack, he was dominated by Zaki’s ace-queen, cashing for $137,500. Soon after, Justin Saliba busted in third place for $192,500 when he shoved with ace-three, but was crushed by Zaki’s pocket aces.

Suddenly, PokerGO viewers had their dream conclusion, but it was all over for David Peters, who could no longer top the championship leaderboard. Whoever won Event #8 would end up the overall leaderboard winner and therefore the 2024 PokerGO Cup champion.

As it turned out, it was Jonathan Little who claimed the $25,000 Championship Bonus and iconic PokerGO Cup trophy when his ace-three triumphed against Zaki’s king-seven, an ace on the flop making the runout a relatively sweat-free one for the newest PokerGO winner. Little took home $453,750 in the final event, with Zaki claiming $288,750 as runner-up.

That crucial final event victory for Jonathan Little – added to his win in Event #3 – handed him the 2024 PokerGO Cup. In winning over $730,000 and the $25,000 Championship Bonus, he sealed a memorable major title and tournament series victory at the PokerGO Studio at the ARIA in Las Vegas, Nevada.

PokerGO Cup 2024 Final Leaderboard Results:
PlacePlayerCountryPGT PointsWinsCashesWinnings
1stJonathan LittleUnited States54924$730,350
2ndDavid PetersUnited States45722$456,525
3rdJustin ZakiUnited States40512$521,150
4thDavid ColemanUnited States34712$346,900
5thSeth DaviesUnited States27703$321,050
6thDaniel SmiljkovicGermany26102$260,750
7thCary KatzUnited States25212$251,700
8thJustin SalibaUnited States25004$326,875
9thDylan WeismanUnited States24011$240,300
10thKristen FoxenCanada23702$237,150

 

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Paul seaton

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Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He's not just a spectator; he's been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul's poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he's interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton's expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide.
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