Chino Rheem Wins First-Ever PGT Heads-Up Showdown For $400,000

Chino Rheem wins the first-ever PGT Heads-Up Showdown, taking house a first-place prize of $400,000 after he defeated Darren Elias within the ultimate duel on Saturday on the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. Rheem bested a box of 32 avid gamers within the $25,000 buy-in heads-up bracket-style match to get the win.

On his technique to going through Elias within the ultimate, Rheem defeated Nick Schulman within the first spherical, Jeremy Ausmus in the second one spherical, Invoice Klein within the quarterfinals, and Isaac Kempton within the semifinals. Elias had long past via Landon Tice, Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, and Justin Younger. That left Rheem, a three-time International Poker Excursion champion, up in opposition to Elias, a four-time WPT champion, for the championship name within the first-ever PGT Heads-Up Showdown. Each and every participant used to be assured $200,000 and taking part in for an extra $200,000 in prize cash. The overall fit took about an hour and 40 mins earlier than Rheem in the end took the crown.

Rheem had clipped Elias all the way down to only a few large blinds. In a hand that noticed the cash cross in on a seven-five-four flop that incorporated two diamonds, Rheem had ten-four of diamonds in opposition to Elias’ best pair with eight-seven. A 10 at the flip and a jack at the river gave Rheem a commanding chip lead, his 474,000 to Elias’ 26,000.

Elias fought his approach off the mat with one double-up, however Elias used to be nonetheless brief and ended up getting the final of his cash in with queen-five in opposition to Rheem’s ace-eight. A jack-ten-seven-two-nine board used to be run out by way of the broker and the first-ever PGT Heads-Up Showdown had its winner, Chino Rheem.

“I’m feeling just right,” Rheem stated after. “It’s a actually just right feeling. Truthfully, it’s only a privilege and an honor to play in those occasions, particularly given the place I used to be at not up to a yr in the past. I’m actually thankful. It simply feels just right as a way to come and play and in reality win.”

2022 PGT Heads-Up Showdown Effects

Position Participant Nation Prize
1st Chino Rheem United States $400,000
second Darren Elias United States $200,000
third Isaac Kempton United States $100,000
4th Justin Younger United States $100,000

Following the win, Rheem discussed that he’s now taking part in poker sober for the 1st time in his occupation. Rheem exhibited a identical openness on the fresh U.S. Poker Open when he had some large effects with a $271,350 win and a $210,000 second-place end. Right through that collection, Rheem used to be open with different avid gamers concerning the adventure to sobriety he’s been on for the previous a number of months, and he spread out about issues as soon as once more after this victory.

“It’s no secret within the poker global that I’ve had my ups and downs,” Rheem stated. “At one level in my lifestyles, I used to be in a actually darkish position. I’m simply actually, actually thankful to were proven the sunshine and to find god and the folks that he’s installed my lifestyles to assist me maintain a a lot more wholesome, sober lifestyles. I owe all of it to that, actually.”

For people that practice Rheem on social media, they’ll have spotted adjustments in his way of life at the present time. In a single fresh Instagram put up on the finish of final month, Rheem shared a photograph that incorporated a more moderen screenshot of himself on his telephone at a poker desk subsequent to an older screenshot of himself on his telephone at a poker desk. The caption learn, “New Chino, texting outdated Chino, good-bye outdated pal. Thanks for each and every mistake made, lesson realized, revel in, the entire highs, and the entire lows that led me to the place I’m at now. I wouldn’t be the place I’m at if it wasn’t for you. Love ya, however we will have to cross our separate techniques.”

“I’ve my improve staff that helped me with that,” Rheem stated of the adjustments he’s made in his lifestyles. “My sponsor and the folks that I’m surrounded by way of presently – Dave and Tina Powers, John Hennigan – those other folks, they’ve been an amazing assist in my lifestyles. They have got my very best pastime at center. They offer me authentic lifestyles recommendation, and so they assist stay me at the directly and slender, on target.”

For plenty of at the highway to restoration, a regimented way of life is one thing incessantly pointed to as crucial software to show issues round. Rheem has his, and a part of that comes to day-to-day journeys to the health club for some bodily health.

“My sponsor helped me with my routine,” Rheem stated. “I by no means went to the health club, however [my sponsor] helped me get right into a just right regimen. I’ll be fair, I didn’t practice the entire ideas they gave me and I had somewhat setback in between, I’ll be completely fair, however we’re again on target. God keen, thank god, if I will be able to simply keep there.”

The win marked the 14th are living match victory of Rheem’s occupation and driven his occupation are living match income to greater than $12,000,000, in keeping with Rheem additionally has 12 second-place finishes in are living poker tournaments on his résumé, together with as soon as in a heads-up match.

“The cool factor about this, is while you are available in on Day 1 you simply need to win your first fit,” Rheem stated. “Then Day 2, it’s somewhat extra drive and you’ve got to win two fits and recover from that hump simply to make the cash. Truthfully, after I made the cash, after I received the 1st 3 fits, I used to be like, ‘no matter occurs from right here it’s all just right.’ Like I stated within the interviews with Jeff [Platt], issues simply went my approach, and I’ll take it, clearly. I will be able to’t whinge in any respect.”

When Rheem received his 3rd International Poker Excursion name again in 2016, he discussed in need of to be approved as a just right participant amongst his friends. With the whole lot Rheem has accomplished in his occupation, a occupation that now comprises this PGT Heads-Up Showdown name, Rheem’s skill at the felt, particularly in large buy-in tournaments, speaks for itself. Now, when requested about his legacy, he took an introspective manner.

“I used to be nonetheless an addict again then, I actually used to be,” Rheem stated. “Now, in fact, I nonetheless need the distinction and admiration from my friends, however now it’s extra about me and my very own non-public mindset. That’s what’s maximum necessary to me – my mindset, my spirituality, my religion. Don’t get me unsuitable, I’ve nonetheless were given so much to be told. I nonetheless have my very own little problems with silly stuff, simply lifestyles stuff. As I stated, I’m actually thankful to have those other folks to assist stay me in take a look at, assist humble me when my ego will get the most efficient of me and shall we me get conceited, and stuff like that. Now, what way probably the most to me is simply being at peace. That’s necessary to me.”

As for what’s subsequent for Rheem, he’s off to catch a flight to head and spot his female friend, then he’ll be attending his cousin’s nursing college commencement and seeing his mother for Mom’s Day. When that “break day” is all stated and completed, it’ll be with reference to time for the 53rd International Collection of Poker to start out up, and Rheem expects to be out in complete drive on the WSOP. Taking part in sober for the 1st time in his occupation and the wind at his again, don’t be stunned to look Rheem journey the momentum he’s present in 2022 to his first piece of WSOP {hardware} this summer time.

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Author: Bradley Watson