Justin Daley is the winner of the 2015 Pittsburgh Poker Open (Winter Series).
The self-described recreational poker player from Hopewell Township, PA played more like a seasoned professional in the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, hosted by The Rivers Casino, located on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. ?He topped a solid field of 295 entries, once of the largest poker tournaments ever held in this region, which distributed $295,000 to the top 30 finishers, and paid out more than $71,000 for first place.
Daley was cheered to victory on the fourth and final day of the tournament by several friends and colleagues. ?He’s a well-known local at The Rivers Casino, where he mostly plays in cash games. ?The final table was live streamed and recorded for a later broadcast on “Poker Night: The Tour,” a new television spinoff focusing mostly on live tournaments scheduled to debut in early 2016.
Daley crushed the final table in less than four hours. ?He began play ranked second in chips, behind Brian Bartek, who ended up finishing second. ?Bartek had Daley covered by nearly a 2 to 1 margin from the start and was the clear favorite based on his big stack. ?However, Daley’s selective aggression combined with some fortuitous hands at just the right moments propelled him into the chip lead and on to victory. ?The final table also included Larry Pileggi, from Pittsburgh, who won this same event two years ago. ?He now has a 1st- and a 5th-place finish within the past three main events. ?Last year’s winner was Phil Hellmuth, the 14-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner, who did not participate in this year’s tournament.
The turnout for the Pittsburgh Poker Open was impressive once again. ?This marks the PPO Winter Series, in addition to three Summer Series which were held previously. ?Given the strong numbers indicative of a healthy poker climate here in Western Pennsylvania, one anticipates many more future years of top-flight championship poker at The Rivers. ?A special note of thanks to James Tinney, the poker room manager and his staff, for pulling off another successful event.
The main event was just a part of a huge poker weekend here in Pittsburgh. ?“Poker Night in America” filmed its customary high-stakes cash games for the third time at The Rivers. ?Three days of action included a mix of well-known pros, local players, and total amateurs who made for some fascinating poker and plenty of fun. ?Among the players who participated in the high-stakes poker games were — David “ODB” Baker, Matt Glantz, Jennifer Harman, Phil Laak, Tom Schneider,?and Jennifer Tilley. ?However, one of the local players ended up with a huge win in less than two hours at the table, a series of poker hands which is not to be missed when shown later on television. ?All the action was live streamed and called by poker commentator David Tuchman.
“Poker Night in America” and “Poker Night: ?The Tour” will feature highlights four exciting days and nights in Pittsburgh, to air on Season 3 (in 2016).
That said, the latest poker champion won’t be waiting around to see himself look good on television. ?No doubt, celebrating the loudest tonight will be Justin Daley, the 2015 Pittsburgh Poker Open champion.