American poker pro Jake Daniels‘s first-ever attempt at winning a US Poker Open (USPO) tournament proved successful after he captured the opening event of the 2021 USPO.
The Woodlands, Texas resident outclassed 94 other players in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em event, taking home his first USPO title, alongside the top prize of $218,500.
The event’s final action took place on June 4, and was exclusively livestreamed on PokerGO. Hedge fund manager Dan Shak led the star-studded final table, with Daniels and Steve Zolotow coming in second and third respectively.
Tim McDermott sat fourth in chips when play began, but he was the first player to leave the table after being eliminated by Spanish pro Sergi Reixach. McDermott finished 7th for $47,500. Reixach eventually followed him to the payout desk, after losing his nine-five suited to Barry Hutter‘s sevens. Reixach collected $57,000 for his 6th-place finish.
Hutter went on to eliminate Zolotow in 5th place for $76,000, his nine-five suited defeating Zolotow’s big slick. The next to go was Stephen Chidwick whose treys were outclassed by the eventual winner’s fives. Chidwick, the first-ever USPO champion, settled for 4th place with $95,000 in winnings.
A marathon three-handed battle ensued, leaving Hutter with just 13 big blinds. Shak ultimately finished him off in 3rd place for $114,000.
Heads-up play kicked off with Shak enjoying a 3:2 chip lead against Daniels, but the latter quickly scored a double to steal the lead. The last hand saw Shak losing his king-seven to Daniels’ ace-trey. The businessman ended up as runner-up with $152,000 in winnings.
Daniels’ latest victory was the second-largest live cash of his career. His biggest live tournament win came in March 2020 when he won the $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em PokerGO High Roller at the World Poker Tour LA Poker Classic for $281,390.
No Cash Yet for Negreanu at 2021 USPO
Among the familiar faces participating in this year’s USPO is no poker hall of famer Daniel Negreanu. The GGPoker ambassador participated in the festival’s first two events, but failed to cash on both occasions. Things have not been going in his favor so far this year.
In February, Negreanu lost his heads-up grudge match against Doug Polk for $1.2 million. It was then followed by two consecutive losses to Phil Hellmuth in their on-going heads-up battle on PokerGo’s High Stakes Duel. He only bagged one cash at the Venetian high roller series last week.
The Canadian poker pro still has plenty of chances to win big at the USPO though, with a number of events yet to take place.