It’s been a good week for Ren Lin at the PokerGO Studio inside the AIR Resort and casino in Las Vegas.
The Georgia-based poker player kicked off his trio of final tables in a span of seven days by placing second in 2023 Poker GO Tour Pot Limit Omaha $25,000 buy-in championship event for $352,750 on March 19. Six days later, he backed it up with a seventh-place finish in the $10,500 buy-in opening event of the U.S. Poker Open for another $52,500. He completed the hat-trick by emerging victorious in event no. 2 al USPO, another $10,500 NHL extension tournament the next day. Lin defeated a field of 105 entries to secure his first PGT extension main title and the grand prize of $231,000. The score increased Lin’s earnings for the week to $636,250.
Lin now has a total of eight final tables to his credit as of 2023. The 600 Card player The Player of the Year points he was awarded for his victory in this event were enough to lift him to third place this year POY extension race standings, which are presented by Global Poker. He’s already amassed 3,555 total points so far, with over $1.6 million POY extension earnings booked along the way.
Lin also secured 231 PGT extension points standings with this victory. It now sits in first place in the USPO leaderboard player of the series and sixth in the standings one year long PGT extension points race with four qualifying cashes and $666,250 in earnings on the high-stakes tour.
This event took place over the course of two days. Day 1 concluded with seven contenders remaining and FiveThirtyEight founder and editor-in-chief Nate Silver in the lead. Lin was third in chips when the cards aired on day 2.
Silver solidified his lead early on, with his AQ fitting against Steven Veneziano’s A-9 fitting (7th – $52,500) to narrow it down to six. Lin moved up the leaderboards on a crucial preflop coin flip that saw his pocket sevens beat nine-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel’s AJ. The Poker Hall of Fame inductee flopped an ace, but Lin turned over a seven and then improved to a full house on the river. Seidel earned $63,000 for his sixth-place finish, bringing his career earnings to just under $44 million.
Aram Zobian’s run in this event ended when his pocket eights collided with Silver’s pocket queens. Neither player improved and Zobian was eliminated in fifth place ($78,750). This was his fifth PGT extension cash of the year, with one win and $569,996 in earnings. It is now in fifth place in the standings 2023 PGT extension classification consequentially.
Silver and Lin were the two biggest stacks among the final four players. The pair got involved in a massive pot that nearly ended Silver’s run for the title. The action really started to heat up on the turn after a single preflop raise and a couple of checks on the flop. With a plate of Q1087 Lin bet 250,000 into a 700,000 pot. Silver raised to 850,000. Lin moved all-in for about 3.8 million total and Silver called with 87 for eight and seven. Lin revealed on the 9th6 for a ten high scale. A river void saw Lin dragging the massive 8.3 million pot, while Silver was left with less than two big blinds. He busted shortly thereafter, earning $99,750 for his last deep run in a poker event. This was the third-highest finish on Silver’s poker resume, following a second-place finish in 2021 World Series of Poker $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship for $151,842 and a 2022 Runner-up Poker masters $10,000 no-limit hold’em event for $140,600. The media company founder now has nearly $630,000 in tournament scores in his record.
Robert Chorlian was the short stack early in the three-handed action. His final hand saw him raise all-in from the small blind for just over 15 big blinds with Q-9. Lin called with AK and held to eliminate Chorlian in third place ($126,000).
Lin entered heads-up with 11,000,000 to another hot player on the live tournament circuit’s 2,125,000: Nacho Barbero. The bracelet winner from Argentina managed to double up early on, but soon moved all-in and risked again with Kings7 behind the a5 by Lin. Card has run out 5329A to give Lin the aces to win.
Barbero earned $168,000 as the runner-up. This was his second final table of the series and seventh of the year, with two titles won along the way. Barbero has already amassed more than $3.2 million POY extension earnings in 2023. With 4,950 POY extension points, he now has a 1,320-point lead over runner-up Aliaksandr Shylko in this year’s standings POY extension classification. Barbero is also a top contender on the PGT extension classification, with his six qualifying cashes moving him to third place in that race.
Here’s a look at the prizes and leaderboard points awarded on Day 2:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY extension Points||PGT extension Points|
Photo credits: PokerGO / Enrique Malfavon.