With legends of the poker felt such as Erik Seidel, Dan Smith and Jess Lonis already winning events, the race for the 2024 Golden Eagle trophy, the reward for the U.S. Poker Open along with a $25,000 PGT Passport, is on. Other stars of the poker scene including Rodger Johnson, Aram Zobian and Dylan Linde have all made strong starts as they bid to become champion by mid-April.

PGT 2024 U.S. Poker Open Leaderboard Top 10 (After 3 Events):
PlacePlayerCountryUSPO Points
1stJesse LonisUnited States332
2ndRodger JohnsonUnited States257
3rdDan SmithUnited States235
4thAram ZobianUnited States163
5thErik SeidelUnited States145
6thKristina HolstUnited States114
7thDavid StammUnited States109
8thDylan LindeUnited States106
9thEric AfriatCanada90
10thVictoria LivschitzUnited States75

 Erik Seidel Wins Opening Event for $145,000

The opening event of the 2024 U.S. Poker Open saw 116 entries in total, with  Poker Hall of Famer and 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Erik Seidel going wire-to-wire in the $5,100-entry event to win the title. Just 17 made the money as Mitchell Halverson was eliminated when his ace-king lost to Seidel’s pocket queens as the New Yorker began the latter stages as he would conclude them.

Players such as Brock Wilson (16th for $11,600) and Kristen Foxen (14th for $11,600) cashed but missed out on the top ten, as did British professional Stephen Chidwick, whose elimination for $14,500 in 11th place to Alex Foxen was followed by departures for Rodger Johnson (10th) and Sam Laskowitz (9th), with Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev in (8th) and the aforementioned Foxen (7th) just missing out on the six-handed final table.

Seidel looked in charge, but an astonishing run of bad luck in all-in situations saw the New Yorker lose not one, two or three, but four of them in a row. From chip leader to mid-ranger, Seidel was on the slide but after the exits of Justin Zaki (6th for $29,000) and William Lamar-Boone (5th for $37,700), the poker legend ground his way back into the mix.

Building a formidable stack again, Seidel even managed to survive losing with pocket kings to Eric Afriat’s ace-queen when two queens landed on the flop in a hand which took out John Khoury in fourth place for $49,300. Working his way into a chip lead, Seidel had more than his two remaining opponents when Afriat committed his chips with pocket nines following Dylan Linde’s shove with king-eight. Seidel called quickly with pocket aces and on a jack-high board, had more than enough to take out his last two opponents in a thrilling final hand, winning the $145,000 top prize in the process.

PGT 2024 U.S. Poker Open Event #1 $5,100 NLHE Final Table Results:
1stErik SeidelUnited States$145,000
2ndEric AfriatCanada$89,900
3rdDylan LindeUnited States$63,800
4thJohn KhouryUnited States$49,300
5thWilliam Lamar-BooneUnited States$37,700
6thJustin ZakiUnited States$29,000

 Jesse Lonis Wins Event #2 for $252,000

In the second event of the series, 99 entrants took on the $10,000-entry NLHE U.S. Poker Open action. Just 15 places were paid and that meant some pre-bubble pain for some big names. Kristen Foxen, Sam Soverel and Phil Hellmuth were among those who left with nothing as David Peters bubbled the money with pocket tens, his final hand all over when Brock Wilson rivered a wheel straight with ace-king.

Profitable results for Stephen Chidwick (12th for $24,750), Dan Shak (11th for $29,700) and Shannon Shorr (9th for $29,700) followed before Bill Klein left with $39,600, his ace-nine beaten by Victoria Livschitz’s pocket nines. That began the seven-handed final table, where Sean Winter cashed for $39,600, his pocket fours losing to Lonis’ king-jack when a flop of A-Q-T gave him a Broadway straight.

Victoria Livschitz (6th for $49,500) and Joey Weissman (5th for $64,350) both departed before Rodger Johnson won $89,100 in fourth place, losing when his pocket deuces lost to Jesse Lonis’ queen-three, a cruel board of K-K-9-9-6 counterfeiting Johnson’s pocket pair. Kristina Holst missed out in third for $113,850 when her king-six was dominated by Lonis’ king-ten and heads-up, it was Aram Zobian who went close.

With a board showing J-8-7-T by the turn, Zobian moved all-in with queen-ten but was called by Lonis with nine-seven of diamonds for a turned straight flush! That earned Lonis the title and $252,450 top prize, while Zobian had to make do with $163,350.

PGT 2024 U.S. Poker Open Event #23 $10,100 NLHE Final Table Results:
1stJesse LonisUnited States$252,450
2ndAram ZobianUnited States$163,350
3rdKristina HolstUnited States$113,850
4thRodger JohnsonUnited States$89,100
5thJoey WeissmanUnited States$64,350
6thVictoria LivschitzUnited States$49,500
7thSean WinterUnited States$39,600

Dan Smith Wins Event #3 of 2024 U.S. Poker Open for $235,000

The third and latest event of the 2024 U.S. Poker Open was won by Dan Smith for $235,200 after 84 entrants had created a prizepool of $840,000. Missing out on the top 12 money places was PokerGO favorite Sam Soverel, who busted when his pocket jacks lost ot Smith’s pocket queens, setting ‘The Cowboy’ on his way to victory.

Players such as Sam Laskowitz (12th for $21,000), Victoria Livschitz (11th for $25,200) and PokerGO’s infamous co-commentator Nick Schulman (10th for $25,200) al bowed out before Andrew ‘Chewy’ Lichtenberger’s exit in ninth place for $25,200 was followed by that of the ‘Poker Brat’. Phil Hellmuth’s exit in eighth for $33,600 saw the 17-time WSOP bracelet winner lose a flip in painful fashion, as he later reflected on:

Bill Klein (7th for $33,600) and Dylan Linde (6th for $42,000) busted before David Coleman moved all-in from the small blind with pocket tens, and Rodger Johnson busted him with ace-queen which hit a queen on the flop. Coleman’s $58,800 for finishing fifth was followed by a result worth $79,800 for Lonis in fourth as he missed out on a second title but took the championship lead after losing a flip to Johnson.

Out in third was David Dtamm for $109,200 as Johnson took a lead into the heads-up battle but Dan Smith, who has won 30 live titles after this victory, has a better than 2:1 in live heads-up battles for ranking wins and once into a lead, his ace-nine beat Johnson’s ace-four to claim the title.

PGT 2024 U.S. Poker Open Event #3 $10,100 NLHE Final Table Results:
1stDan SmithUnited States$235,200
2ndRodger JohnsonUnited States$151,200
3rdDavid StammUnited States$109,200
4thJesse LonisUnited States$79,800
5thDavid ColemanUnited States$58,800
6thDylan LindeUnited States$42,000
7thBill KleinUnited States$33,600
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Paul seaton


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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