Smiljkovic Takes Down 2023 PGT Championship; Haxton Named Player of the Year

The 2023 PGT Championship concluded with a victory for Germany’s Daniel Smiljkovic, who outlasted a star-studded field of both top poker players and celebrities, including Hollywood actress Arden Cho, to secure the trophy and a $500,000 first-place prize. The prestigious event brought together the top 40 players on the PGT leaderboard and 14 Dream Seat winners for a $1,000,000 freeroll tournament.

The competition featured some of the world’s best players, including Isaac Haxton, Chris Brewer, Stephen Chidwick, Alex Foxen, Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, and 2022 PGT Championship winner Jason Koon. Dream Seat winners added diversity to the field, including notable qualifiers like Albert Hart, Julio Clavell, and Steve Kearney (PokerGO annual subscribers), Caleb Hancock (PokerGO social media winner), Ian Steinman and Ryan Bell (GTO Wizard), Jeff Lennon (RunGood Poker Series), and Arden Cho, who qualified as the Eat Mezcla Dream Seat winner.

The tournament started with 50 of the 54 eligible players, leading to a final table where Smiljkovic, known as “SmilleThHero” online, entered as the chip leader. The first to exit was Darren Elias, followed by Artur Martirosyan’s with an unlucky two outer on the turn. Daniel Weinman’s impressive 2023 ended in fourth place, and Leon Sturm’s strong start in three-handed play couldn’t prevent his elimination in third place by Smiljkovic.

Heads-up play began with Cho holding a significant chip lead and she had a chance to close it down with getting pocket nines against German’s AK. However, flop brought and Ace and the real battle has just begun.

Arden Cho

The lead exchanged hands multiple times. In the final hand, Smiljkovic’s J5 clashed with Cho’s A9 preflop all-in, J spiked on the turn, resulting in Cho’s second-place finish and Smiljkovic’s championship win.

2023 PGT Championship Final Table Results

1stDaniel SmiljkovicGermany$500,000
2ndArden ChoUnited States$200,000
3rdLeon SturmGermany$120,000
4thDaniel WeinmanUnited States$80,000
5thArtur MartirosyanRussia$60,000
6thDarren EliasUnited States$40,000

As the 2023 PGT season concluded, Isaac Haxton was crowned the 2023 PGT Player of the Year. Haxton’s phenomenal season included four wins, 14 cashes, and over $7.2 million in PGT earnings, contributing to his impressive total of $16,961,907 won in 2023. Haxton’s victories spanned prestigious events like the PCA, PokerGO Cup finale, and the $25,000 U.S. Poker Open event. His first WSOP bracelet win and a domination at the Super High Roller Bowl underscored his status as one of poker’s greats.

Haxton’s 2023 accomplishments will be officially recognized with the $50,000 PGT Player of the Year bonus and the PGT Player of the Year Gold Plate at the 5th Annual Global Poker Awards on February 24, 2024.

Isaac Haxton’s 2023 PGT Results

DateEventPlaceWinningsPGT Points
January 19, 2023PokerGO Cup Event #8: $50,000 No-Limit Hold’em1st$598,000359
March 17, 2023PGT PLO Series Event #7: $15,000 PLO Bounty6th$68,40068
March 31, 2023U.S. Poker Open Event #8: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em1st$432,000259
June 6, 2023WSOP Event #16: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller1st$1,698,215750
June 25, 2023WSOP Event #57: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller11th$126,93876
June 30, 2023WSOP Event #71: $50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller7th$329,142197
September 22, 2023Poker Masters Event #8: $25,200 No-Limit Hold’em7th$62,50038
September 28, 2023Super High Roller Bowl VIII1st$2,760,000550
October 16, 2023Super High Roller Bowl: Pot-Limit Omaha2nd$836,000251
November 28, 2023ARIA High Roller Event #17: $10,100 No-Limit Hold’em4th$25,00025
December 7, 2023WSOP Paradise Event #5: $25,000 PLO High Roller9th$83,10050
December 13, 2023WSOP Paradise Event #13: $10,000 PLO Championship7th$39,10039
January 2, 2024PGT Last Chance #1: $10,100 No-Limit Hold’em7th$45,50046
January 4, 2024PGT Last Chance #3: $10,100 No-Limit Hold’em2nd$139,400139

2023 PGT Top 10 Leaderboard

RankPlayerPGT PointsWinsCashesPGT Earnings
1stIsaac Haxton2,847414$7,243,295
2ndChris Brewer2,490224$7,411,126
3rdStephen Chidwick2,402218$3,935,653
4thDaniel Weinman2,30012$12,180,000
5thAlex Foxen2,103123$2,753,924
6thRen Lin1,987123$2,934,340
7thSam Soverel1,954225$2,280,987
8thNick Schulman1,709322$2,530,419
9thSteven Jones1,70001$6,500,000
10thJeremy Ausmus1,695020$2,437,553

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