Brandon Adams holds the chip lead with four players remaining in Event #8 – $25,000 Mixed-Game, of the 2019 U.S. Poker Open at the PokerGO Studio inside ARIA Resort & Casino. Adams is left to contend with Nick Schulman, Chris Vitch, and Randy Ohel for the $270,000 first place.
Watch the final table of that event live and exclusively on PokerGO starting at 5 p.m. EST or follow along with the coverage on PokerCentral.com. The final table chip counts and seating is as follows.
Adams, the dominant chip leader of the four remaining players, casually mentioned during a break that he didn’t even plan to play in this tournament.
“It’s usually a really tough field. I was in okay position in terms of the series standings, but it was going to be a tough parlay to get to the top,” Adams explained.
Adams told Poker Central that a closer look at the USPO points standings convinced him this year’s title was still within reach.
“I started thinking, maybe I have a top-two finish in the mix game, or a win, or some good $50k or $100k combo finish, that would be enough,” he said after action broke early Thursday morning. “So I thought I’d go for it.”
The series’ two biggest buy-in tournaments — Event #9 – $50,000 No Limit Hold’em and Event #10 – $100,000 Main Event — are still yet to come.
As the owner of half the chips left in play, Adams said he won’t be shy about putting Schulman, Vitch, and Ohel to the test.
“My advantage now is in terms of strategy and thinking about the ICM implications of decisions,” he said. “I’m able to apply ICM pressure and put myself in a position of the smaller stack players and think what my opens mean for them in terms of if they play in the hand.”
Twelve players initially entered to play the eight-game mix and by the close of registration, a total of 20 entrants had created a prize pool of $500,000. One of the four remaining players will bubble Event #8, which only pays out three spots. The four are playing for a $270,000 first place prize. The runner-up will take home $150,000, and 3rd place will win $80,000.
Additionally, Event #8 will award the winner 350 points toward the U.S. Poker Open Player of the Year. Second-place will receive 245 points, which is more than the winner received in the previous seven events while third-place receives 175 points.
Last year, Chidwick beat Chris Vitch heads up to win the tournament. This year, Vitch is back at the final table again and looking to avenge last year’s bittersweet $247,000 second-place score.
His position at the final table this year, however, is more precarious.
Vitch and Ohel are both under 300,000 chips and both went to bed sweating the $80,000 cash bubble.
“Right now I feel stressed out,” Vitch said as he was leaving the PokerGO Studio early Thursday morning. “The last little while was nerve-wracking.”
“It’s going to be quick and bloody for someone tomorrow,” Vitch said. But with the way he’s run in this tournament the last two years, anything seems possible.
“I don’t play many tournaments. I play the World Series events but this is pretty much the only other tournament I play year-round because it’s a mix event. I love the games and the structure, so for me it feels like a good tournament. But I’ve also been incredibly lucky,” he said.
Vitch eliminated Eric Rodawig in sixth place during Omaha Hi-Lo. Vitch called Rodawig’s 40,000 pre-flop raise and the flop came . Rodawig led the flop with 20,000 and just called when Vitch doubled it to 40,000. Rodawig then checked the on the turn and came over the top for his last 67,000 after Vitch bet 40,000. Vitch called showing while Rodawig held . A on the river changed nothing and Vitch’s two-pair were enough to rake the pot and send Rodawig home.
Schulman, the two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and PokerGO commentator, eliminated Dan Shak in a stud hand that set the final table. Shak got it all-in on fifth street against Schulman with a flush draw against Schulman’s trips. Schulman dodged Shak’s fifth club and scooped the big pot to eliminate Shak and get the action down to seven players.
Ohel eliminated Minh Ly in fifth-place in Limit Hold’em with a queen on the river to complete his straight. He also got a big boost by knocking out mixed-game specialist John Monnette in ninth-place during stud. Monnette called Ohel’s fourth-street bet to put his tournament life at risk with split aces against Ohel’s kings. Ohel caught trips on fifth, and when Monnette failed to best that, he was eliminated.
The cards are expected to be in the air for Event #8 of the 2019 U.S. Poker Open at 4 p.m. (EST) with the Poker Central Live Reporting team providing continuous live updates until the Event #8 Champion is crowned.
Stay tuned right here to PokerCentral.com for the exclusive live coverage of all the U.S. Poker Open action from the PokerGO studio. New to PokerGO? Subscribe right now to not miss a minute of the action.
Randy Ohel raised to 60,000 from under the gun and Minh Ly called in the big blind.
The flop landed and Ly bet his last 24,000 and Ohel called.
Ly was at-risk but ahead, and when the turn landed the , he would need to fade an ace or a queen to stay alive.
The river landed the , and with Ohel making a Broadway straight, Ly was eliminated in fifth-place.
Nick Schulman raised to 60,000 from the button and Minh Ly called in the small blind.
The flop landed and Ly led for 30,000. Schulman called as the turn landed the and Ly bet out 60,000.
Schulman raised to 120,000, and Ly used one of his time extension banks before folding.
Schulman flashed his and collected the pot.
Big Bet Blinds: 8,000 / 16,000 / 16,000-big blind ante
Randy Ohel completed and both Brandon Adams and Chris Vitch called. On fourth, Adams bet out, Vitch called, and Ohel raised. Adams made it three bets to go, and Vitch folded while Ohel called.
Ohel led out on fifth and Adams called, and on sixth, Adams bet and Ohel called.
Ohel: / /
Adams: / /
Vitch: / (folded on fourth)
On seventh, Adams bet and Ohel called.
Adams tabled his in the hole for a seven-low, and Ohel mucked.
Brian Rast is one of the best and most respected poker players – ever.
Born in Denver, Colorado, Brian’s family moved to California nearly 30 years ago where he attended Poway High School. He was the class valedictorian before enrolling at Stanford University, one of the top academic colleges in the country.
Rast learned how to play poker in high school and, while at Stanford, founded a weekly poker club in 2003. Later that year, he went back home to Poway to hone his poker skills.
Determined to one day make a comfortable living playing cards, Brian worked a temp job to fund his bankroll. That job didn’t last long. It took him only a few weeks to build up enough of a roll to play regularly. A year later, Rast dropped out of college to pursue a poker career.
While we don’t advocate quitting school, it’s hard to argue with Brian’s decision. Just 15 years later, he’s become one of the most feared poker players in the world.
Rast has over $21 million in earnings and four WSOP bracelets. His claim to fame came in 2015 when he won the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl on Poker Central, a $500,000 buy-in tournament that year, for $7.5 million.
The “Rastinator” has been one of the top cash game pros, especially in mixed games, for years in Las Vegas. He’s also traveled to popular poker destinations such as Macau, China to play cards. While he can still dominate no-limit games, Brian is now more of a mixed game pro.
“Years back, I’d achieved a very high level of No Limit Hold’em play and was comfortable in high rollers and high stakes cash games,” he told Poker Central. “I turned my focus to playing mixed games.”
Brandon Adams opened to 28,000 in the cutoff and Chris Vitch called on the button.
The flop landed and Adams bet 55,000 and Vitch called.
The turn fell the and Adams bet out 135,000 and Vitch called as the landed on the river.
Adams bet 175,000, and Vitch used one of his time extension banks and then folded.
Big Bet Blinds: 6,000 / 12,000 / 12,000-big blind ante
Brandon Adams opened to 40,000 from under the gun and Chris Vitch three-bet the cutoff to 60,000. Minh Ly called in the small blind, as did Adams.
The flop landed and Adams bet 20,000 and Vitch raised to 40,000. Ly check-folded, and Adams made it three bets to go with Vitch calling.
The turn fell the and Adams bet and Vitch called.
The river landed the and Adams bet and Vitch called.
Adams tabled his for the nut low, and Vitch revealed his for two pair to take the high.
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