Dylan Weisman and Justin Young capture the 2024 PGT Kickoff Event titles

A winter storm has hit much of North America, but the action was hot at PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas. The five-tournament 2024 PGT opener was the center of attention this weekend, with two tournaments completing their action. On Saturday, Dylan Weisman came out on top with a big win in Event #2, while Event #3 featured a surprise winner in Justin Young, who came from short stack to accomplish the feat.

Weisman surpasses Sergei Kislinskii, the chip leader at the start of the day, to take the title

Sergii Kislinskii was the chip leader when the cards went up on Saturday, but Weisman was right behind him, with 2.645 million chips to 2.585 million. Three of the other players behind them – Event #1 winner David Coleman, Matthew McEwan and Jeremy Becker – appeared to have a good chance of climbing the leaderboard. Two players, Jesse Lonis and Victoria Livschitz, had smaller stacks and still had a lot of work to do.

Livschitz noticed her shot first and moved all in against Becker with an A-10 against Becker's pocket nines, but the board landed king high and didn't help her at all as she ended up on the rail in seventh place. However, the story was different for Lonis as he doubled through McEwan and brought down Becker to get into the game. Lonis' fight for the title ended at the hands of Weisman, who took control after his fight.

Weisman limped in and saw Lonis raise the bet from the big blind to 320,000. Weisman didn't hesitate to move all in with his leading stack, and Lonis called for less to put himself in danger. Lonis' A-10 was ahead of Weisman's KQ, and the AK-6 flop hit both but kept Lonis in the lead. A blank came on the turn, but the queen on the river gave Weisman two pair, sending Lonis out of the tournament in sixth place.

With Weisman now having more than half the chips in play, he decimated the rest of the table. Coleman, McEwan and Becker all fell in quick succession, leading to heads-up play where Weisman (10.05 million) defeated Kislinskii (1.2 million). Two hands are enough to decide the title, with Weisman defeating Kislinskii with K-4 to K-3 in the final hand when the flop gave him trips of 4-4-2.

1. Dylan Weisman, $121,500 (243 points)
2. Sergei Kislinskii, $78,750 (158)
3. Jeremy Becker, $56,250 (113)
4. Matthew McEwan, $40,500 (81)
5. David Coleman, $31,500 (63)
6. Jesse Lonis, $22,500 (45)
7. Victoria Livschitz, $18,000 (36)

Young takes the title for event #3

On Sunday, participants met in this $5,000 No Limit Hold'em tournament, event number 3 of the five scheduled tournaments, with David Coleman once again at the final table. This time, however, he wasn't the star, with Kristen Foxen sitting at the head of the table as the septet gathered on Sunday afternoon. Foxen would prove to be a dangerous opponent for all players at the table, including Young, who started with just 405,000 chips (compared to Foxen's 2.2 million).

Foxen wasted no time getting down to business, knocking out former world champion Ryan Riess as his pocket tens withstood Riess' AJ. But Coleman's hot run continued as he took the lead when he eliminated Viktor Ustimov in sixth place. It seemed like the duo was on a collision course and it would happen at some point.

Foxen's stack was dangerously low when she decided to go all-in for 1.895 million against Coleman, and the cards didn't look like they would suit Foxen. His pocket sevens had clashed against Coleman's pocket kings, but the “poker gods” had a little twist of fate at Coleman's expense when they dealt a J-7-5 flop. Coleman was now looking for another cowboy and instead saw two gaps to give Foxen the lead.

Young had been sitting silently in the shadows, watching the carnage, but suddenly he came to life against Dylan DeStefano. DeStefano, who had fewer chips than Young, moved all in and Young didn't hesitate to make the call. Young's AQ was in very good shape against DeStefano's A-8, and the queen on the flop increased his advantage. As soon as there was a gap on the turn, DeStefano was dead and Young shot into the lead.

The three-player game spawned another rarity in poker – the three-way all-in at the end of the poker tournament. In the final hand, Foxen opened the action for 300,000 and Young responded with an all-in. Coleman examined his opponents' stacks and perhaps thought this was the right time to put HIS stack in the middle. Foxen didn't give in either and three players revealed their cards:

Foxen (Button): Pocket Queens
Young (Small Blind): Pocket Eights
Coleman (Big Blind): Pocket Kings

The unlikely three pocket pairs he hit were breathtaking, almost as impressive as the 10-6-8 flop that put Young ahead in the hand. Both Foxen and Coleman were looking for paint, but neither came at the Trey Turn or Seven River. Coleman secured second place as he started the hand with more chips than Foxen, while Young won the PGT trophy.

1. Justin Young, $105,850 (212 points)
2. David Coleman, $69,350 (139)
3. Kristen Foxen, $49,275 (99)
4. Dylan DeStefano, $34,675 (69)
5. Adekunle Olonoh, $25,550 (51)
6. Viktor Ustimov, $18,250 (37)
7. Ryan Riess, $14,600 (29)

Two events are still on the program 2024 PGT Kickoff Series. Currently underway is Event #4, another $5,000 no-limit event, while the $10,000 Main Event begins on Monday. All events will be streamed on PokerGO for those who have subscribed to the service.

(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)

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