Chino Rheem Wins First Ever PGT Heads-Up Showdown For $400k 26 Apr

Chino Rheem wins the first-ever PGT Heads-Up Showdown, taking home a first-place prize of $400,000 after he defeated Darren Elias in the final duel on Saturday at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. Rheem bested a field of 32 players in the $25,000 buy-in heads-up bracket-style tournament to get the win.
On his way to facing Elias in the final, Rheem defeated Nick Schulman in the first round, Jeremy Ausmus in the second round, Bill Klein in the quarterfinals, and Isaac Kempton in the semifinals. Elias had gone through Landon Tice, Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, and Justin Young. That left Rheem, a three-time World Poker Tour champion, up against Elias, a four-time WPT champion, for the championship title in the first-ever PGT Heads-Up Showdown. Each player was guaranteed $200,000 and playing for an additional $200,000 in prize money. The final match took about an hour and 40 minutes before Rheem finally took the crown.

Rheem had clipped Elias down to just a few big blinds. In a hand that saw the money go in on a 754 flop that included two diamonds, Rheem had T4 of diamonds against Elias’ top pair with 87. A ten on the turn and a jack on the river gave Rheem a commanding chip lead, his 474,000 to Elias’ 26,000.
Elias fought his way off the mat with one double-up, but Elias was still short and ended up getting the last of his money in with Q5 against Rheem’s A8. A JT729 board was run out by the dealer and the first-ever PGT Heads-Up Showdown had its winner, Chino Rheem.
“I’m feeling good,” Rheem said after. “It’s a really good feeling. Honestly, it’s just a privilege and an honor to play in these events, especially given where I was at less than a year ago. I’m really grateful. It just feels good to be able to come and play and actually win.”


Place Player Country Prize
1st Chino Rheem United States $400,000
2nd Darren Elias United States $200,000
3rd Isaac Kempton United States $100,000
4th Justin Young United States $100,000