Keith Tilston Takes Down US Poker Open $50K Main Event for $660,000

2 years ago
Keith Tilston Takes Down US Poker Open $50K Main Event for $660,000
12 Feb

It has been a week to remember for Keith Tilston, taking on the world’s best and walking off with not only the biggest cash of his life - $660,000 for taking down the closing $50k Main Event of the US Poker Open - but also a new-found respect from the biggest stars of the game, a resurgent Daniel Negreanu and overall series victor Stephen Chidwick among them.

Englishman Chidwick had already secured the leaderboard race title by the time the final table sat down to play, 4 final tables and two epic wins securing him $1,256,650 and the kudos which goes with it, while Negreanu had also made his mark at the Aria Casino, a profit of $672,480 probably enough to pay his new coaching team and then some…

It was relative unknown Texan Keith Tilston, however, who came into the final day of the Main Event with a chip lead, 33 entries whittle down to the five in the money and which included not only Negreanu, but also three other beasts of the high-roller game; Tom Marchese, Dan Smith and Jake Schindler, Tilston remarking after his win:

"It means a ton. All these guys are pretty much the best players in the world. I feel I played pretty well, but you have to get lucky to beat these guys."

That ‘slice of luck’ which every poker player needs was evident from the very beginning of the final table, Tilston busting Dan Smith in 5th by hitting his straight on the river on only the second hand of play and watching on as Negreanu first disposed of Marchese in a one-two hit, and then ran his pocket nines into Jake Schindler’s pocket 10’s – the Canadian’s dreams of winning at least one event brought to an end…

Schindler, Pennsylvania’s all-time biggest casher and currently sitting 17th in the all-time tournament list with over $15million to his name after yesterday’s event, has been here many times before, but for Tilston it was relatively new ground, especially at such an exalted level. 

It didn’t prevent him from playing great poker heads-up though and he managed to keep a slight edge all the way through until Schindler picked the wrong time to bluff…

♦ ♠ ♥ ♣

Tilston: K♥ 4♥

Schindler: 8♠ 7♥

Board: A♥ 9♥ 6♠ 2♣

Having already fired twice, Schindler missed his open-ended straight draw on the


..and decided to bluff-jam, a fateful decision as Tilston had just rivered the nut-flush, the simple call securing him his biggest ever payday during a week in which he almost doubled his prior career earnings - and a place among poker’s ‘big boys club’.

♦ ♠ ♥ ♣

Final table results

1Keith Tilston
2Jake Schindler
3Daniel Negreanu
4Tom Marchese
5Dan Smith

Overall US Poker Open final standings

1Stephen Chidwick
2Keith Tilston
3Jake Schindler
4Daniel Negreanu
5Benjamin Pollak

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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