Trio of tournament pros make the most of the PGT Last Chance Series

The only tournament series that has not yet named a player of the year or champion is the PokerGO Tour. Perhaps due to the large flood of tournaments at the end of the year, the PGT decided to hold two tournaments – its PGT Championship and the PGT LastChance 2023 – in January 2024. Whenever they take place, they will count towards the 2023 PGT results, and three Tournament professionals made the most of the “last chance” to reach the PGT Championship.

Daniel Negreanu back in the winner's circle

In the seven-event PGT LastChance 2023 series, all tournaments are $10,000 No Limit Hold'em events. After making some interesting confessions in a vlog, Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu started the new year well. Instead of nursing a New Year's hangover, Negreanu outlasted the field in Event No. 1 of the PGT LastChance 2023 tournament to earn a score of $218,400.

When Negreanu reached the final table of Event #1, he was part of the group staring at Masashi Oya's monstrous stack of 3.32 million, but “Kid Poker” immediately went to work. After Isaac Haxton and David Peters were eliminated in seventh and sixth place respectively, Negreanu achieved a huge double-up through Justin Bonomo and became Oya's challenger. Negreanu would be thrown to the bottom rung during the three-hander, but he managed to get heads-up against Daniel Smiljkovic, who was down more than 4-1.

That hasn't slowed down one of the absolute legends in tournament poker. Negreanu made no mistake in heads-up play, hitting a double-up with AJ against Smiljkovic's A-4 and then taking the newly won chips lead. In the final hand the chips went in the middle on a JJ-10-4 flop and turn, and for good reason. Smiljkovic had flopped with his J-2 Trips, while Negreanu needed a queen for Broadway. With a 14% chance of catching the queen he needed, Negreanu was relieved when the queen hit the river, miraculously giving him the hand and victory in Event #1.

1. Daniel Negreanu, $218,400
2. Daniel Smiljkovic, $150,150
3. Masashi Oya, $113,750
4. Justin Bonomo, $91,000
5. Jonathan Cohen, $72,800
6. David Peters, $54,600
7. Isaac Haxton, $45,500

With the win, Negreanu moved from the bubble for the PGT Championship – The top 40 make it to the tournament and Negreanu was ranked 35thTh Location. The win moves Negreanu into sixteenth place in the PGT Championship standings and should ensure Negreanu will play next week.

Artur Martirosyan takes victory in event #2

At the final table of Event #2, Artur Martirosyan was at the top and made sure he wouldn't leave. Just four hands into final table play, Martirosyan defeated Event #1 runner-up Smiljkovic to take a dominant lead that was undeniable, outpacing all but one of his final table partners and taking home the championship took.

The biggest story of Event #2 was the fact that two women made the final table. Kristen Foxen, the 2023 Global Poker Index Player of the Year, would fall victim to Martirosyan if she exits in sixth place. Victoria Livschitz wasn't far behind Foxen, beaten by Vitalijis Zavorotnijs for fifth place.

However, it was Martirosyan's tournament from start to finish. In the very first hand of heads-up play, Martirosyan pushed an all-in move to the center and Michael Jozoff made a reluctant call. Martirosyan's K-3 wasn't great, but it was better than Jozoff's 10-8, and flop trips with KQK didn't hurt either. An ace opened some doors for Jozoff to hit a straight, but those doors were slammed shut with the nine on the river, giving Martirosyan the title.

1. Artur Martirosyan, $211,200
2. Michael Jozoff, $145,200
3. Vitalijis Zavorotnijs, $110,000
4. Stephen Chidwick, $88,000
5. Victoria Livschitz, $70,400
6. Kristen Foxen, $52,800
7. Daniel Smiljkovic, $44,000

Samuel Laskowitz leads the final table of Tough Event #3

VERY early Friday morning – around 5am Pacific Time to be exact – Samuel Laskowitz made a monster run from one of the short stacks to become the champion of Event #3 in the PGT LastChance 2023 series.

Dylan Linde was the man in charge at the start of the final table, which opened after midnight at PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas. Linde would face some resistance in the first action, as Haxton would eliminate Peters from title consideration at Event #3. However, Linde was not discouraged as he eliminated Aram Zobian in fifth place and quickly increased the table to four players.

Laskowitz was still in a tough spot at this point as he was the short stack to Seth Davies, Haxton and Linde, but he got a double from Laskowitz to improve the health of his stack. Surprisingly, Laskowitz took the lead when, after a harmless 7-KJ flop, Laskowitz was able to bet Davies out of his hand and secure a healthy pot.

Linde eventually dropped to fourth place due to Haxton, but the three-way battle was far from over. For nearly an hour, the trio shuffled chips between each other before Laskowitz found a pair of hands that allowed him to take control. First, Laskowitz doubled through Haxton on his 10-9 catch against Haxton's KJ on a ten-high board. Then Laskowitz eliminated Davies in third place when his pocket fives held up against Davies' J-8.

Laskowitz now had a lead of more than 2-1 over Haxton, but Haxton would not only cut Laskowitz's lead, but would eventually take it away from him. However, it didn't last long; Laskowitz forced Haxton to fold with an all-in river bet on a 3-Q-4-J-6 board, and the next hand Haxton called a Laskowitz all-in. Haxton's pocket fives started well against Laskowitz's 9-8, but it didn't end well with a ten on the turn and a nine on the river that moved Laskowitz to a better two pair and put him in the champion's chair.

1. Samuel Laskowitz, $205,000
2. Isaac Haxton, $139,400
3. Seth Davies, $106,600
4. Dylan Linde, $82,000
5. Aram Zobian, $66,600
6. David Peters, $49,200
7. Jonathan Little, $36,900

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