Defending US Poker Open Champ Stephen Chidwick Final Tables Event #1, Joseph Cheong Leads

Stephen Chidwick mastered the US Poker Open in 2018 and is off to a great start this year with a final table appearance in Event #1: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em.

US Poker Open Stephen Chidwick Joseph Cheong

Can Stephen Chidwick win the US Poker Open trophy for a second straight year? (Image: CardsChat News)

Joseph Cheong, however, holds the chip lead heading into the second and final day. The 2010 WSOP Main Event third place finisher bagged 2.885 million chips. Lazaro Hernandez, second in chips, left the PokerGo Studio in Las Vegas with 2.195 million.

US Poker Open Event #1 Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Joseph Cheong 2,885,000
  2. Lazaro Hernandez 2,195,000
  3. Stephen Chidwick 1,965,000
  4. Joseph Orsino 1,635,000
  5. Joseph Cappello 1,380,000
  6. Sean Winter 1,190,000

Can Stephen Chidwick Defend US Poker Open Crown?

Day Two begins at 1 pm PT and is available in its entirety on the PokerGo app an hour later. Each of the remaining players are guaranteed at least $54,000 with the winner taking home $216,000. Even more important is to earn a leg up in the US Poker Open championship race.

Stephen Chidwick, one of the most consistent high rollers in the game, has secured his sixth cash in nine career US Poker Open events. Last year, he shipped two of the eight tournaments, cashing for a series-best $1.2 million.

Chidwick has $21.3 million in lifetime tournament winnings which is quite impressive. It’s even more incredible when you consider he’s never cashed for more than $1.5 million in any event. Few poker players ever have been so consistent. Beyond his guaranteed cash on Thursday, the Brit also finished in the money three times last month at the PCA in high rollers. Not a bad start to the year and certainly unsurprising.

Cooler Catapults Joseph Cheong into Chip Lead

Pocket queens is a strong hand at any table, but especially seven-handed. Well, unless you’re up against pocket aces. On the final table bubble, Cheong ran into a dream situation with those pocket rockets.

Sean Winter opened with an unknown hand to 105,000. Cheong then three-bet to 325,000 only to luckily get Jerry Robinson, with the queens, to shove for 770,000. Winter got out of the way and the rockets held up.

Robinson was eliminated in seventh place ($45,000) and Cheong became the chip leader. That beats the heck out of Phil Hellmuth, who was frustrated by his failure to cash.

Another six players finished in the money out of the 91 entries, each receiving at least $18,000. That’s pretty good for a day’s worth of work.

Day One In-the-Money Eliminations

  • (7th Place) Jerry Robinson $45,000
  • (8th Place) Maxx Coleman $36,000
  • (9th Place) Jake Schindler $27,000
  • (10th Place) Bryn Kenney $27,000
  • (11th Place) Jordan Cristos $27,000
  • (12th Place) Daniel Weinand $18,000
  • (13th Place) Erik Seidel $18,000

Tuesday is also the start of Event #2, $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, which kicks off at 2 pm PT.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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