Sean Winter played every event of the U.S. Poker Open, and until Event #11, he hadn’t cashed once. With just two events to go — Event #11: $25k NLH and Event #12: $50 NLH Main Event — his luck turned around. Right around. He won both events back-to-back and took first on the leaderboard, winning himself the title of 2022 U.S. Poker Open Champion.
Raising the eagle trophy as the newest USPO champion, Winter said, “Everyone was having a phenomenal series, hats off to Tamon [who topped the leaderboard before Winter’s second win]. At the start of yesterday’s tournament, I had to be one percent to win. Maybe less? I don’t know. I wasn’t even thinking about having a shot at all.”
Tamon Nakamura had the lead in points going into Event #12. Only two players had enough points to outstrip him: Shannon Shorr and Sean Winter. But they’d have to win Event #12 to do it.
Just to make the event a real sweat, both Shorr and Winter made the final table. However, Shorr busted in 5th, taking home $168,000. Leaving Winter to keep things tense for Nakamura.
Winter went all the way, winning the event and the $756,000 prize for first.
It looked so easy on the PokerGO stream, but after Event #11, Winter wasn’t optimistic about taking down the trophy.
“I think I need a lot of luck to win,” Winter said to the press after taking Event #11 down. “Even if I win [Event #12], I need to fade a lot of people. I’m just excited to have the opportunity to play the event and whatever happens, happens.
“I wasn’t really thinking that I had a sweat because this is the most tournaments I’ve bricked in a row live ever this week. I’m not really expecting to win the trophy but glad to have won an event and not bricked everything.”
However, even going back-to-back couldn’t make Winter more of a highlight than the infamous Q4os hand. There’s no eagle big enough to pull focus from Hellmuth.
2022 U.S. POKER OPEN LEADERBOARD TOP 10
PositionPlayer NameCountryPoints1stSean WinterUnited States7182ndTamon NakamuraJapan5883rdAlex FoxenUnited States4884thChino RheemUnited States4815thPhil HellmuthUnited States4646thShannon ShorrUnited States4417thErik SeidelUnited States4288thDylan WeismanUnited States4149thMasashi OyaJapan41410thAdam HendrixUnited States356
Featured image source: PokerGO