Stephen Chidwick has played the global poker circuit for a number of years but has never won a championship trophy. All that changed at the U.S Poker Open when Chidwick had a great run and finished in first place on the points table which gave him his very first live tournament championship trophy.
UK-based poker pro Chidwick won the inaugural US Poker Open (USPO) after five cashes, four final tables, and two victories. He took home the first USPO trophy and a total of $1,256,600, pushing him to 2nd in England’s All Time Money List.
Chidwick became one of the favorites to win the USPO after his back-to-back victory at the high-roller Events #3 and #4 at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. He was up against a number of formidable high-roller players such as Keith Tilston, Chris Vitch, Isaac Haxton and Daniel Negreanu, but he was able to turn the odds to his favor and play his cards right.
Unlike other tournaments, the USPO trophy is awarded to the player that has performed the best through the entire series—which means you just have to rack up the most money to win the event. Chidwick went on a winning streak and did just that.
How Chidwick became the First U.S Poker Open Champ
Chidwick had a good run at the 11-day tournament, starting Event #1 on high spirits after cashing in $54,400 and finishing in 5th place. He then followed up with back-to-back victories, winning $374,000 against Vitch and Haxton during Event #3 and then another $382,500 against Vitch and Tilston for Event #4.
After his streak, Chidwick continued his momentum on to Event #6, and placed third at the $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event and won $183,750. Chidwick lost to France’s Benjamin Pollak and Jason Koon during that event but finishing in 3rd place allowed him to continue to boost his winnings and maintain his place at the top of the points list. By Event #6, Chidwick had already accumulated $994,650, almost twice Pollak’s winnings at $554,600.
Event #7: $25,000 No Limit Hold'em was a bit more intense and would be Chidwick’s last cash in the tournament which was enough to secure his USPO win. After an action-filled head to head against David Peters, Chidwick placed second for $262,000.
The USPO Main Event could still have turned the tables against Chidwick but Tilston’s win and winnings of $660,000 did not quite make the cut. After Tilston grabbed the USPO Main Event title, he shot up to 2nd place overall with four cashes and $1,047,100 in earnings. In the end, Stephen Chidwick was able to hold on to his title despite not making it to the final table at the Main Event and finished by lifting the USPO championship trophy.