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French Pro wins US Poker Open event for $416,500

9 February 2018

(PRESS RELEASE) -- French pro Benjamin Pollak came out on top, beating a field of 49 entries and a final table littered with big names including Jason Koon, Isaac Haxton and U.S. Poker Open Championship leader Stephen Chidwick. This result marks the biggest outright win in Pollak's decade-plus career, who finished third in the World Series of Poker Main Event this past July.

The U.S. Poker Open comprises eight high-stakes tournaments ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, including a Pot-Limit Omaha and Mixed Game event. The player who grosses the most during these eight events will be crowned U.S. Poker Open Champion, taking home an enormous one-of-a-kind trophy.

"I'm super happy,” Pollak remarked with a big smile on his face when it was all said and done. "Of course, I got some big cards, but I'm pretty with how I played. I've been on an amazing rush these last six months, and this win is proof for me that the last six months were real.

"I was about to quit poker last year; I wanted to just leave what I had done for the last 10 years because I wasn't enjoying it anymore. That problem came up before the Main Event, and I worked on that with my mental coach, just trying to enjoy more what I was doing. I did that during the Main Event, and I loved that so much. It's amazing, because all the energy I have now is going towards my results. This proves to me that if you have a lot of energy and love what you're doing, and if you're committed, you can accomplish so much.

"The last six months I've had such an incredible run, but I always finished, second, third, fourth or fifth. I've never won a big tournament, and this being my first one is extra special. I have a chance now if I win the Main Event, to take home the trophy, and that would be incredible."

The final table started with Championship leader Stephen Chidwick in the lead, but Pollak quickly closed the gap and took over. Elijah Berg was the first to get knocked out, running ace-king into the sixes of Jason Koon. Koon's pair held up and Berg collected $73,500. Brian Green was next to go, unable to fade Chidwick's recent run of good fortune. Chidwick hit two kings holding king-eight, beating Green's ace-deuce. Green took home $98,000.

After a back and fourth four-handed battle, it was Isaac Haxton who busted in a big pot versus Koon. Haxton cashed for $122,500 after calling all in for his tournament life with a pair of aces on the river, only to be out-kicked by his opponent.

The U.S. Poker Open Championship leader, Stephen Chidwick, notched up another big score, but this time he got knocked out in third place. Chidwick added $183,750 to his list of results after top pair top kicker proved no good against Koon's top two pair. An intense heads up battle ensued in which Koon held the lead for the majority of the time. Eventually, however, it was Pollak who deal the final blow.

Koon cashed for $269,500 after he was sent packing when his king-five of clubs couldn't beat Pollak's ace-three of spades.

U.S. Poker Open Event #6 $25,000 NLH Results
1. Benjamin Pollak, France, $416,500
2. Jason Koo, U.S., $269,500
3. Stephen Chidwick, U.K., $183,750
4. Isaac Haxton, U.S., $122,500
5. Brian Green, U.S., $98,000
6. Elijah Berg, U.S., $73,500
7. Daniel Negreanu, Canada, $61,250

U.S. Poker Open Championship Standings
1. Stephen Chidwick, four cashes,$994,650
2. Benjamin Pollak, three cashes,$554,600
3. Isaac Haxton, two cashes, $291,250
4. Daniel Negreanu, three cashes, $282,500
5. Jason Koon, one cash, $269,500
6. Jake Schindler, three cashes, $264,400

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