Breaking Down the Action:
  • Reaching the Final Table
  • Shing Builds a Huge Lead
  • Final Day Drama Sees Sebesta Slay Schulman

5 Minute Read

Ed Sebesta won the third event of the 2023 PokerGO Cup after a thrilling comeback win on the final day over Nick Schulman.

The 2023 PokerGO Cup has kicked off in fine style already in Las Vegas. After Sean Winter won the opening event for $216,000, Aram Zobian claimed bragging rights in Event #2 after beating Punnat Punsri heads-up for $207,000. The PokerGO Studio in ARIA Resort Hotel & Casino has been abuzz with action and Event #3 was no different with a player cashing at their third final table in a row, another making it a double and a third different winner of the series so far.

Reaching the Final Table

The entries have been incredibly strong so far this series and nothing changed in Event #3, with seven more than in Event #2 taking to the purple felt. This time around, 13 players got paid and that meant someone had to bubble the event’s paid places in 14th. That player turned out to be Phong ‘Turbo’ Nguyen, whose shove when short-stacked with ten-nine of hearts was as gutsy as it turned out to be ill-advised, called and beaten as it was by Chris Frank’s pocket tens.

The first player in the money places was Spanish player Sergio Fernandez, who min-cashed for $18,000 in the $10,000-entry NLHE event when his ace-eight was skittled by Kristen Foxen’s pocket tens. The flop brought an eight to give Fernandez some hope, but a ten on the turn ended those hopes. Fernandez was followed from the felt by Nick Petrangelo, whose tournament ended in 12th place for the same score, his ace-four shot down in flames by Cary Katz’s pocket aces.

With the final table rapidly approaching, Andrew Lichtenberger crashed out in 11th for $27,000 when his own ace-four lost out to Adrian Mateos’ ace-queen, a swift kill coming with the queen on the flop. Robert Chorlian (10th for $27,000 also) busted to Phil Shing before Ethan ‘Rampage’ Yau’s elimination in ninth place saw everyone convene around the same table. Yau’s ace-eight was unfortunate to be outrun by Shing’s ace-seven, a seven on the turn sending Yau to the rail with $36,000.

Shing Builds a Huge Lead

With eight players gathering at the final table, Shing’s recent eliminations of his opponents had set him into the lead, his stack of 3.45 million chips some wat clear of most, only Cary Katz (2.25m) hanging onto his coattails. One player who was miles off the lead was Farid Jattin, and the Colombian might have been able to double-up once, but second time around, he didn’t catch any luck at all.

Having won with pocket aces against Cary Katz’s queens, Jattin was feeling confident when he went for back-to-back doubles with pocket jacks leading pre-flop with all the chips committed. Ed Sebesta’s pocket nines needed a miracle to send Jattin home, but that’s exactly what they caught on the 9-6-3 flop, and a ten and ace on turn and river confirmed Jattin’s exit for $36,000.

Out in seventh place was Chris Frank, whose run came to an end for a score of $45,000 when his ace-three couldn’t overtake Shing’s ace-queen. That left the field of six bagging up chips ahead of the final day, with Shing (4.45m) holding a massive lead over everybody, Ed Sebesta’s stack of 1.75m the closest anyone came to the overwhelming table captain.

Final Day Drama Sees Sebesta Slay Schulman

Play got underway at some speed on the final day and it was no time at all before the field was reduced to five. Canadian Kristen Foxen fell just short of glory for the second final table in a row when she lost out in sixth for $54,000. All-in with pocket jacks, she was overtaken in fortunate fashion by Car Katz with pocket eights, which four-flushed on the river.

All-in just 10 minutes later was Adrian Mateos, who was ahead with pocket tens. He was also unlucky, as Phil Shing’s ace-eight flopped an ace to skittle the Spaniard for a cash of $72,000. Mateos was followed from the felt by Katz, who cashed for his third straight event, winning $90,000 in fourth place. Katz was unable to flush up with king-eight of spades as Sebesta’s queen-ten on a queen-high flop held to reduce the field to three.

Shing had been the dominant force at the felt since a dozen players shared two tables, but he was gone before heads-up. Losing his lead, he moved all-in with pocket fives only to be called by Sebesta with pocket jacks and the Q-9-4-2-6 board didn’t change a thing, sending Shing home with $108,000 and dreams for what might have been.

Sebesta had come from nowhere and although Nick Schulman put up a brave fight at the last, he was unable to stop the more senior player from winning. Sebesta got a little fortunate to seal it with king-nine when Schulman was all-in and at risk with ace-seven, but after a safe flop for Schulman landed Q-6-4, a king on the turn changed everything. Schulman was drawing only to one of three aces in the deck and a nine on the river condemned him to a runner-up finish worth $153,000 instead of the $216,000 Sebesta took home along with the PokerGO Cup Event #3 trophy.

PokerGO Cup 2023 Event #3 Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize  
1st Ed Sebesta U.S.A. $216,000  
2nd Nick Schulman U.S.A. $153,000  
3rd Philip Shing U.S.A. $108,000  
4th Cary Katz U.S.A. $90,000  
5th Adrian Mateos Spain $72,000  
6th Kristen Foxen Canada $54,000  



Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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