The inaugural PokerGO Cup high-roller tournament series reached its climax with the $100,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event. The final tournament of the eight-event series was the highest buy-in event held. A total of 23 entries were made in the six-figure buy-in showdown, building a $2,300,000 prize pool. In the end, Cary Katz emerged victorious with the title, securing $1,058,000 for the win.
This was Katz’s first title and third final-table finish of the series. The 400 PokerGO Cup rankings points he earned in this event saw him climb to third in the final player of the series standings. His two previous scores during the series were a fifth-place showing in one of the two $25,000 buy-in events and a sixth-place finish in one of the $10,000 buy-in tournaments. Katz cashed for a total of $1,161,800 across the three final-table runs.
The businessman and PokerGO founder also earned 400 points towards the inaugural PokerGO Tour leaderboard. With 1,086 total points, two titles, 13 cashes, and nearly $1.9 million in earnings qualified for that tour, he now sits in eighth place in the standings.
“It means over a million dollars,” Katz told PokerGO reporters after the win. “I’m pretty excited about that score. I think it’s the first $100K of the year. I feel very fortunate because I came in second to last in chips. I doubled up the first hand and it was smooth sailing from there.”
This latest victory was the 25th of Katz’s tournament career, and his eighth seven-figure cash. The score increased his lifetime earnings to $32,441,990, which is good for 10th place on poker’s all-time money list.
Katz entered the final day of this event in fourth chip position with five players remaining and only the top four set to cash. Dan Smith was eliminated on the $230,000 money bubble when his pocket tens ran into the pocket jacks of start-of-day chip leader Sam Soverel. The superior pair held up and Soverel took a sizable lead into four-handed play.
Soverel entered the day with a chance at surpassing PokerGO Cup points race leader Daniel Negreanu for the series title. Negreanu could lock up that award, and the $50,000 in added prize money that comes with it if he were to finish third or higher. Negreanu was the second shortest stack heading into four-handed play, with Sean Winter having just more than five big blinds in front of him. Negreanu made big laydown with a pair of aces and an eight kicker after Katz put him all-in on the river. Katz held A-K and would have knocked Negreanu out in fourth place, but Negreanu was able to make the correct fold and preserved his chances of locking up the PokerGO Cup title.
The very next hand, Negreanu picked up pocket aces and got all-in against the pocket eights of Soverel. An eight on the turn shocked Negreanu out of his seat. Soverel’s set held up through the river to eliminate Negreanu in fourth place ($230,000). This was his fourth cash of the series, bringing his total earnings to $996,200. His largest score came when he broke a nearly eight-yer title drought to win the $50,000 buy-in event just a day before this final table. Negreanu could still win the PokerGO Cup, but his fate relied on Soverel not coming away with the title.
Sean Winter was on fumes, but had managed to ladder up to the top three. He was eliminated soon after, earning $368,000 as the third-place finisher. That left Soverel with more than a 2.5:1 chip lead over Katz. The two battled for a while before a key hand shifted the dynamic. Soverel flopped queens and eights on an A-Q-8, but ran into the aces and eights of Katz. The turn and river brought some scare cards that prevented Katz from securing a full double up, but he still managed to take down a sizable pot to move into the lead.
Katz was able to grind Soverel down until he was left with just six big blinds. Katz shoved from the button with Q4 and Soverel called with 109. The board ran out 543J2 and Katz made a pair of fours to lock up the pot and the title. Soverel earned $644,000 as the runner-up finisher. Soverel’s elimination in second place also secured the PokerGO Cup player of the series title for Negreanu.
In addition to the title and the money, Katz was also awarded 360 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion. This was his tenth final table of the year, and his first title. He climbed into 25th place in the 2021 POY race standings as a result. Soverel moved into 18th place with the 300 points he earned for what was also his tenth final table. Sean Winter’s 240 points for third saw him climb to 15th in the rankings.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded in this event:
Here are the final top ten standings in the PokerGO Cup points race:
Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.