Erik Seidel Beats Phil Hellmuth in U.S. Poker Open $25,000 NLH and Wins $472,500

Erik Seidel is the new U.S. Poker Open (USPO) champion after he beat Phil Hellmuth, a Poker Hall of Famer, in Event No. 9 $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em. He won the title and $472,500.

The U.S. Poker Open winner passed David Peters as he is fourth in the poker all-time money list with $39.2 million earnings. He defeated 63 entrants in the high-roller event that had a $1.6 million prize pool.

A tough heads-up battle occurred between Seidel and Hellmuth. But the former defeated the latter and denied him the title. He is fondly called "The Poker Brat."

Still, Hellmuth won $315,000 after being the runners-up. Seidel stated that it was thrilling to battle for the title with Hellmuth despite it being their third time to meet. He added that he has defeated the 16-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet champion three times.

The following are the prizes that the event's players received:

  1. Erik Seidel, United States-$472,500
  2. Phil Hellmuth, United States-$315,000
  3. Alex Foxen, United States-$220,500
  4. Sam Soverel, United States-$157,500
  5. Tamon Nakamura, Japan-$126,000
  6. Ren Lin, United States-$94,500
  7. Alex Livingston, Canada-$78,750

Hellmuth Moves From Queen-Four to Runners-Up

Many poker enthusiasts didn't predict that the heads-up battle would occur since it appeared like Hellmuth would finish fifth. Alex Foxen played hive-handed and held pocket nines while opening on the button. Hellmuth placed a three-wager to 350,000 from a big blind with queen-four offsuit despite having almost 540,000 in his stack.

Foxen placed a four-bet to put Hellmuth all-in, but it didn't fold immediately. The player pondered on making a call that surprised PokerGO commentators who stated that it would be his worst decision to make in his professional poker career.

Jeff Platt stated that no one would call at that moment, and Brent Hanks agreed. They didn't expect any player to put their remaining money in.

Yet, Hellmuth thought otherwise and found a great call. He stated that it would be better to play and win the title before putting in his chips.

Hellmuth didn't sit for long as the {q-Hearts}{k-Spades}{7-Clubs} flop paired his queen, and the board finished {5-Hearts}{q-Clubs} to improve his trips. But, this wasn't Foxen's first time to lose heavily at the final table.

Seidel held the pocket nines in the day's first hand as Foxen held pocket sevens. Both players got sets after the flop came {q-Spades}{9-Spades}{7-Hearts}. Foxen snap-called Seidel's shove and covered him.

Foxen got extra outs from the {j-Spades} and a flush draw. Even so, the {3-Diamonds} on the river locked him out of the pot and propelled Seidel to his victory.

Seidel later flopped a set of eights against Sam Soverel's pair. The remaining money went into the river as Seidel took a huge chip lead and left Soverel with two big blinds.

Soverel spun it up and eventually finished fourth. Foxen finished third and received $220,500, just a few days after winning $283,500 in Event No. 7: $15,000 No-Limit Hold'em. Hellmuth got a boat after the board came out {4-Spades}{q-Spades}{q-Hearts}{j-Hearts}{4-Clubs} and Foxen's ace-ten failed to hold against his king-queen.

Seidel had a dominant chip lead when he entered the heads-up play with Hellmuth. The latter held jack-nine on a {2-Spades}{3-Clubs}{j-Hearts} flop in the final hand, but Seidel's queen jack dominated him. Seidel's victory earned him 284 PokerGO Tour points and improved his position to fifth on the 2022 USPO leaderboard having 428 points.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.