Lauren Roberts Wins US Poker Open Event #3: $10,000 NLH for $218,400
Lauren Roberts became the first female champion in the U.S. Poker Open's brief history, making a large comeback heads up to beat Koray Aldemir and get through a 91-entry field in Event #3: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em.
It's the first live victory in poker for Roberts, and the $218,400 she won represents the high roller vet's biggest cash.
"I love the game, I'm passionate about it," she said afterward in an interview with Poker Central's Maria Ho. "I hope to compete, and I was fortunate today."
She continued: "It's huge for me. I mean I've never won anything before. And so especially for women or old people and for amateurs. I love this game, I played with some phenomenal players and I learn every time I play a tournament. I happened to run good in some of these coin flips and they can make or break a tournament."
About her play and ambitions this week, Roberts told USPO officials, "I probably will play the $25k higher rollers, and I'll play tomorrow depending on how I feel. There are some amazing players in here and I have no clue how to play the short deck I don't have any illusions that I could win the overall championship. I feel like I have the capability to play well against these guys. I don't always live up to it but I always believe that I can do it and sometimes it actually works out."
Official Final Table Results
Roberts spent much of Day 2 as one of the shorter stacks, while Sean Winter and Stephen Chidwick dominated play early on. Meanwhile, short stacks Rodger Johnson and Ralph Wong were the first two to bust at the official final table.
Aldemir changed the course of the tournament with a huge double when Winter ripped over his open with ace-jack suited only to run into two aces held by the German. Winter would then finish in fifth, allowing Brandon Adams to limp up a ladder with less than a big blind, when ace-king couldn't hold against Aldemir's eight-three offsuit.
Aldemir and Chidwick then played a huge flip that looked likely to decide the tournament, which was won by Aldemir when he flopped a set of fours.
Roberts was down 8.5 million to 3 million at 75,000/150,000/150,000 against her vastly more experienced foe, but she went from nine big blinds to tournament winner in a shockingly fast turnaround after blinds went up.
First, Roberts doubled king-queen against queen-jack, fading a flopped open-ended straight draw. Then, she checked top pair and turned aces up. Aldemir called a turn bet and then shoved over a river bet with just queen-high after missing a straight draw and a non-live flush draw. Roberts called right away and suddenly had a huge lead.
Aldemir busted moments later, and Roberts seemed as surprised as she was happy.
"I was ready to just concede," she said with a breathless laugh.
"I was up against the best players in the world," she said to Ho a few minutes later. "So, I'm amazed that it's actually happening."
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Photo: Drew Amato / Poker Central