Monday June 7, 2021 at 8:54 pm

The 2021 US Poker Open kicked off at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas last week and they already crowned three new champions. Jake Daniels won a record-setting USPO tournament with a $222K score in Event #1 $10K NL. 2-time British Poker Open champ Sam Soverel took down a PLO title in Event #2 $10K Pot-Limit Omaha. 2015 WSOP Main Event champ Joe McKeehen was victorious in Event #3 $10K NL and he edged out Ray Qartomy heads-up for the title.

Pic by PokerCentral

The 2021 US Poker Open is underway at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas to determine the overall champion and Poker Go Tour leaderboard points. This years' version started out with a huge bang with a record-setting Event #1.

The first event on the docket featured a $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em event. A total 0f 95 runners took part in the kickoff event, which set a new record in US Poker Open history. The top 14 places paid out with the bulk of the prize pool set aside to the champion.

Dan Shak bagged up the chip lead in Event #1 at a final table that also included Jake Daniels, Barry Hutter, Stevie Chidwick, Steve Z, Sergi Reixach, and Tim McDermott.

Shak got heads up with Daniels but could not go wire-to-write for a win. Instead, Shak busted in second place and Daniels shipped Event #1 for a score worth $218,500. Daniels currently sits on top of the US Poker Open Leaderboard thanks to his big win in the first event.

Aaram Zobian bubbled the final table in eighth place. Notables who cashed in the first event but missed the final table included Sam Soverel, Shannon Shorr, Johan Guilbert, Bin Duan, John Riordan, and Japan's Jun Nakanowatari.

Event #2 $10,000 PLO attracted 65 PLO-holics. Only the top ten places paid out. Joe Sanders bubbled the final table in eight place, while Ben Yu and Johan Guilbert also cashed. The final table included Sam Soverel, Jordan Cristos, Marc Brody, Dylan Weisman, Maxx Coleman, Matt Ploof, and Alex Foxen.

Soverel bagged the chip lead heading into the final table and he didn't break a sweat with a wire-to-wire steamroll of a victory. got heads up with Cristos and knocked him out to secure another career title at the Poker Open with a pair of titles at the British Poker Open and a title at the Poker Masters Main Event in the fall of 2019.

It feels like yesterday when Joe McKeehen won the 2015 WSOP Main Event. He outlasted a tough field of 77 runners in Event #3, which was another $10K NL affair. The top 11 places paid out. Lucky Chewy bubbled the final table in eighth place. Sergio Aido, Cary Katz, and Manig Loeser all cashed but also missed out on that sweet final table loot.

The final table for Event #3 included Joe McKeehen, Ray Qartomy, Ali, Imsirovic, Steve Zolotow, Jake Schindler, Justin Saliba, and Barry Hutter.

Old-school player Steve Z cashed in another event and made his second final table. He busted in fourth place and moved up to fourth overall on the US Poker Open Leaderboard.

Ali Imsirovic busted in third place, which set up a heads-up battle between Ray Qartomy and McKeehen. Ray Q lost the joust and McKeehen stepped into the winner's circle. First place paid out a little more than $200K.

McKeehen moved into second on the leaderboard with 200 points and trails Daniels by 19 points. Both players cashed in just one event. With two cashes and one win, Soverel sits in third place with 195 points.

2021 US Poker Open Leaderboard

1. Jake Daniels 219 points -- 1 win, 1 cash ($218,500)

2. Joe McKeehen 200 -- 1 win, 1 cash ($200,200)

3. Sam Soverel 195 -- 1 win, 2 cashes ($194,500)

4. Steve Zolotow 153 -- 2 cashes ($153,000)

5. Barry Hutter 153 -- 2 cashes ($152,500)

6. Dan Shak 152 -- 1 cashes ($152,000)

7. Ray Qartomy 146 -- 1 cash ($146,300)

8. Jordan Cristos 130 -- 1 cash ($130,000)

9. Ali Imsirovic 100 -- 1 cash ($100,100)

10. Stephen Chidwick 95 -- 1 cash ($95,000)

*** Thru 3 events

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