The 2022 PokerGO Cup reached its climax on Thursday, Feb. 10 with the conclusion of the eight-event series’ final offering: the $50,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament. Not only was the title and the $640,000 top prize on the line, but each of the final five players had a shot of being crowned this year’s PokerGO Cup champion depending on how things shook out. In the end, it was rising high-stakes tournament star Sean Perry who emerged victorious, earning the aforementioned payout for the largest score of his young career.
Perry’s win in the event was not enough to see him clinch the player of the series award, though. Jeremy Ausmus finished third to earn $256,000 and enough ranking points to lock up the PokerGO Cup and the $50,000 in added prize money that comes with it. Perry finished second in the points race, having cashed three times with two titles won.
This victory increased Perry’s career earnings to $5,865,966, all of which has come within the last five years. In 2021 he broke out with 20 final-table finishes and five titles won, finishing third in both the Card Player Player of the Year and PokerGO Tour points races. Now, thanks to his success at the PokerGO Cup, he has once again positioned himself as a top contender.
“You better believe it, for sure I am,” Perry told PokerGO reporters when asked if he plans to chase the POY again in 2022. “I took some time off at the beginning of this year, I missed a bunch of events, but this win has me motivated and they have something to fear.”
“It’s bittersweet,” Perry offered when asked about taking down the final event but falling just short of the player of the series title. “I’m happy I got a new Instagram picture to post, but it would’ve been awesome to win the trophy. I’m very happy that Jeremy won it. He’s an awesome guy, very honorable and great, and nobody has anything bad to ever say about him. Like I said, I came out here and I did what I did, won the tournament, but it wasn’t enough to win the overall player of the series. I’m still very happy with the result.”
Ausmus made four final tables during the eight-event series, recording two third-place showings, a runner-up finish, and one outright victory along the way. All told, he cashed for $824,500 during the high-stakes tournament festival, accruing 658 rankings points to lock up the player of the series award.
“It’s great,” Ausmus said after securing the Cup. “It was a big sweat to win this. Everyone coming into the final table could’ve won it and I barely eeked it out.”
“It’s awesome,” said Ausmus when asked about the feeling of winning a player of the series title. “I was telling someone earlier that I’ve gotten crushed in here. In the U.S. Poker Open and Poker Masters, I was home for dinner every night and I didn’t realize what it was like to have any points or anything. Then I was part of the big race and saw how involved everyone was and how people are into it, and I didn’t get that before. It’s cool. It’s a lot of fun. The extra $50K that’s given is awesome. It’s just really cool.”
Ausmus’ third-place finish didn’t entirely lock up the series win. Brock Wilson, who finished second for $416,000, would have pulled out a buzzer-beating win if he had defeated Perry heads-up. He ultimately finished third in the series points race.
The final table began with Perry in the lead and Wilson in second chip position. Ausmus was the shortest stack to start, but Daniel Negreanu slid to the bottom of the leaderboard after losing a big hand with top pair, ace kicker against Wilson’s set of tens. Negreanu then ran pocket sevens into another pair of tens for Wilson to hit the rail in fifth place. The six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner went home with $112,000 for his second six-figure payday of the series, having earned $350,000 as the champion of event no. 6 just a few days earlier. He now has more than $44.8 million in lifetime tournament earnings, the third most of any player in poker history.
Ausmus earned a key double-up through Perry during four-handed action to climb into third chip position. He further grew his stack thanks to winning a battle of the blinds against his fellow three-time bracelet winner in Nick Schulman. Ausmus shoved with K6 from the small blind and Schulman called with 1010. The board ran out J3259 to give Ausmus a backdoor flush and the pot. Schulman earned $176,000 for his fourth cash of the series.
Ausmus’ run came to an end as a result of another preflop battle of the blinds. Perry, who had more than four times as many chips as Ausmus’ second-ranked stack, open-shoved from the small blind with 107. Ausmus made the call for his last 19 big blinds with A2 and the board came down 108585 to secure the pot for Perry.
Perry took roughly a 7:1 chip lead into heads-up play with Wilson. It didn’t take too long for him to convert that lead into the title. In the final hand he raised to 125,000 on the button with JJ. Wilson picked up KQ in the big blind and shoved for just over 16 big blinds total. Perry made the quick call and it was off to the races. The 108648 runout kept Perry’s jacks ahead to earn him the title. Wilson’s $416,000 payday as the runner-up was the second-largest of his career, bringing his earnings to more than $4.8 million.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings (USD)||POY Points||PokerGO|
Here are the final standings for the top ten in the 2022 PokerGO Cup points race:
|Rank||Player||PokerGO Cup Points|
Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.