The Aria Casino in Las Vegas hosted the inaugural 2018 U.S. Poker Open, which was streamed exclusively on PokerGo. This high-roller-centric series featured eight events with buy-ins ranging from $10K to $50K, but with an emphasis on the $25K tier. The U.S. Poker Open attracted high-roller specialists from all over the globe. Although the Germans have been dominating the high balla landscape, it was a British pro who crushed the field at the U.S. Poker Open. Stephen Chidwick made a name for himself a decade ago when Stevie444 obliterated the virtual tables as a teenager. Well, a decade later, Chidwick is still a dominant force in the live arena. Chidwick won back-to-back events at the Aria and cashed in five overall to win the special trophy, which was awarded to the top player at the 2018 U.S. Poker Open. Chidwick finished with over $1.2 million in winnings. Not bad for a week of work, eh?
The final event on the U.S. Poker Open docket was the $50,000 buy-in Main Event Championship. This NL affair attracted 33 runners and a total prize pool worth $1,650,000. A total of $660K was set aside for the champ with only five spots getting a cut of the pie. Chidwick advanced to the second day of action and was among the final 13 players. Alas, Chidwick was the first player to hit the road on Day 2. Despite the bustout, no one could catch Chidwick in the standings.
Keith Tilston was a regular on the poker circuit from 2005 through 2010, before he stepped away from the game full time. He's been a part-timer over the last seven years, yet still managed to defeat a difficult final table that included Jake Schindler, Dan Smith, Daniel Negreanu, and Tom Marchese.
Tilston held a sizable advantage heading into the final table, with nearly twice as many chips as Daniel Negreanu in second place. At that juncture, Jake Schindler was third overall, followed by Tom Marchese and Dan Smith.
The short stacks, Smith and Marchese, were the first to exit on Day 3. Kid Poker was seeking his first win, but he was dunzo in third place courtesy of Schindler. That set up a heads-up bout between Tilston and Schindler.
"I wasn't looking forward to going up against Jake," admitted Tilston. "He's aggressive and good."
Tilston banked $660K for first. With a shade over $1 million in total U.S. Poker Open earnings, Tilston locked up second place on the overall leaderboard. No one was going to catch Chidwick, but Tilston had a remarkable finish. I mean... who wins a cool million for a week's worth of work? Impressive late surge by Tilston. I don't think the organizers imagined two players with seven-figure scores. Nice work by Chidwick and Tilston.
2018 U.S. Poker Open - Event #8 $50K NL
Watch Remko's winner's interview with the soft-spoken Main Event champ Keith Tilston...