The third $10,500 buy-in no-limit high roller of 2023 GO Poker Cup festival is officially in the books. A total of 90 entries were made before registrations closed, creating a final prize pool of $900,000 which was paid out to the top 13 finishers. After two days of high-stakes tournaments, Ed Sebesta emerged victorious with the title and the $216,000 first prize.
This was the second-highest tournament finish for the Texas resident, trailing only the $311,915 he earned as the winner of a $10,000 high roller as of 2022 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. He now has more than $1.1 million in career earnings.
In addition to the title and money, Sebesta also earned 540 Card player Player of the Year points for winning. He also earned 216 Tour of PokerGO points, enough to put him tied with Sean Winter for the lead in both GO Poker Cup points race and the Tour of PokerGO Ranking.
While 13 players cashed in this event, only the top six progressed to Day 2 action and the live streamed final table. Among those who cashed but failed to reach the final day were two times World Series of Poker bracelet winner Nick Petrangelo (12th), bracelet winner Andrew Lichtenberger (11th), bracelet winner and poker vlogger Ethan ‘Rampage’ Yau (9th) and 2022 POY extension the second classified Farid Jattin (8th).
The final day started with Philip Shing in the lead and Sebesta in second place. Three-time bracelet winner Kristen Foxen started as the short stack, and she only needed one hand to push all-in. On the first hand of the day, she moved all-in with pocket jacks from the small blind and Cary Katz called with pocket eights from the big blind. The board brought four diamonds, and with the only diamond in hand, Katz took down the pot to eliminate Foxen in sixth place ($54,000).
Both Foxen and four-time bracelet winner Adrian Mateos were making their second final tables of the series. Mateos’ run was soon over when his pocket tens couldn’t keep up with Shing’s A-8. An ace-high flop gave Shing the lead and from there he held to send Mateos into fifth place ($72,000). The Spanish tournament superstar now has nearly $30.7 million in career earnings.
Katz was next to go down. He moved all-in with a king-high flush draw against top pair queens for Sebesta. The turn and river didn’t help Katz as he busted in fourth place ($90,000). He now has over $35.7 million in lifetime earnings.
While he started the day in the lead, Shing doubled up with Sebesta in four-handed action to lose the lead. He was essentially tied for second when the next hand raised. With the blinds at 75,000-125,000, Shing moved all-in for 2,500,000 with pocket fives from the button. Sebesta called from the small blind with pocket jacks and three-time bracelet winner Nick Schulman moved his hand out of the big blind. Top pair remained the best on the river and Shing was eliminated in third place ($108,000). This was his fifth career six-figure mark, raising his lifetime earnings to more than $1.1 million.
Heads-up play began with 9,000,000 for Sebesta and 2,250,000 for Schulman. The odds narrowed a bit after about 20 minutes of play, but Sebesta was still firmly in the lead when the last hand of the tournament was dealt. Sebesta opens all-all from the button with K9, an effective bet of just over 27 big blinds. Shulman thought about it before calling his stack of 3,400,000 with A7. The board is out of Q64k9 and Sebesta invented kings to secure the pot and the title.
Schulman received $153,000 as runner-up. He now has $15,264,802 in career tournament earnings following this latest deep run.
Here’s a look at the prizes and ranking points awarded to the bottom six:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY extension Points||PGT extension Points|
Photo credit: PokerGO / Antonio ABrego.