Jonathan Little wins Event #8, 2024 PokerGO Cup Overall Championship

He was one of four men with a chance to take home the 2024 PokerGO Cup overall championship. He was also the least likely contender, coming to the final table as one of the short stacks of six talented players. In the end, however, Jonathan Little emerged as the Last Man Standing in Event #8, taking home nearly half a million in prize money and the trophy that named him the 2024 PokerGO Cup Champion.

Four men in the race to start the action

As the Six-Handed final table began, four men had a chance to overtake David Peters for the lead in the race for the PokerGO Cup. Justin Zaki started the day in second place with his 2.1 million chips, while Seth Davies (775,000), Little (750,000) and Justin Saliba (465,000) were also in the running. The only caveat? One of these four men would have to win the tournament to overtake Peters.

John Riordan, as the overall chip leader (2.51 million), had other thoughts about it at the start of the action. Likewise, Shanell Stokes (1.655 million) wanted to be the “fly in the eye” and thwart the quartet's dreams. With the lion's share of the $1.375 million prize pool awaiting them, including the $453,750 for the champion, the men set about determining the winner.

Zaki shot quickly off the line and took a set in the first hand, but early in the tournament it was the general rule for players to score a double. Davies doubled through Stokes, then turned and doubled Saliba. After Saliba scored another double through Riordan, Zaki took the tournament lead and consolidated that lead by eliminating Stokes in sixth place.

Through all this carnage, Little remained calm…until he reached his own double through Zaki and climbed out of the basement. He then called off Davies' bluff, holding an A-9 on a 2-A-7-7-7 board against Davies' complete air (5-4) and moving into second place. Little would complete the job against Davies, taking him out with Big Slick in fifth against Davies' A-9 on a king-high board.

Another long climb…

In four-handed play, Zaki was still the leader with his 4.245 million chips. The stacks of Little (1.915 million), Riordan (1.36 million) and Saliba (735,000) combined did not reach Zaki's total, so it appeared to be Zaki's tournament to lose. However, within a few hands of Davies' departure, Zaki would ensure that this advantage disappeared.

After doubling Saliba's stack, Little took his chance to take the lead. On a seemingly innocent board (QK-7-4-A), Zaki fired a 740K bet and Little called, with Zaki going 5-4 for the fifth pair while Little showed an A-5 for a revered pair Aces. With this hand, Little rose to 3.37 million chips and took the lead.

From that point on, it was all Jonathan Little. Despite defeating both Riordan and Saliba in fourth and third place, Zaki still trailed (3.375 million) heading into heads-up play against Little (4.88 million). However, no exciting comeback was expected for Zaki as Little controlled the action in the heads-up game and never let Zaki get close to him.

On the final hand, Little moved all in and Zaki called, and both men had good hands. Little's A♣ 4♣ had the edge over the K 7 from Zaki, and the flop brought something for each man – a seven for Zaki, but an ace for Little. Looking for trips with another seven or a king to make two pair, Zaki instead saw two paint cards in jacks on the turn and river, giving Little the Event #8 crown and the overall PokerGO Cup championship .

1. Jonathan Little, $453,750 (272 points)
2. Justin Zaki, $288,750 (173)
3. Justin Saliba, $192,500 (116)
4. John Riordan, $137,500 (83)
5. Seth Davies, $110,000 (66)
6. Shanell Stokes, $82,500 (50)

Little's victory was made all the more gratifying because he secured the entire PokerGO Cup and the $25,000 passport that will allow him to participate in all future PokerGO Tour events. Zaki could have been in this position with the win, but he has to settle for third place behind David Peters in the final standings.

1. Jonathan Little, 549 points
2. David Peters, 457
3. Justin Zaki, 405
4. David Coleman, 347
5. Seth Davies, 277
6. Daniel Smiljkovic, 261
7. Cary Katz, 252
8. Justin Saliba, 250
9. Dylan Weisman, 240
10. Kristen Foxen, 237

(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)

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