Daniel Kusnerak Wins Event #1: $560 NLH at the 2022 Winter Open ($62,223)

Daniel Kusnerak

Daniel Kusnerak of Newton, North Carolina used a dominating chip lead to beat Dennis Bergeron heads-up to win Event #1: $580 NLH of the 2022 Winter Open at bestbet Jacksonville. Kusnerak outlasted a field of 740 players to claim the first title of the series and collect $62,223 from a total prize pool of $355,200.

It was Kusnerak's biggest score after a stellar 2021 that saw a long string of cashes both live and online.

Event #1: $560 NLH Final Table Results

1Daniel KusnerakNewton, North Carolina$62,223
2Dennis BergeronSt. Augustine, Florida$42,148
3Steve ZhangJacksonville, Florida$31,085
4James BrownJacksonville, Florida$23,178
5Jonathan StrangeCharleston, South Carolina$17,475
6Dickie MaloneMacon, Georgia$13,323
7Tammer IlcaffasJacksonville, Florida$10,273
8Kyrylo KobzyevAuburn, Alabama$8,012

Winner's Reaction

Kusnerak's poker history started in home games around 2014, but he's since moved on to live and online poker, grinding cash games and playing tournaments all over the country.

But despite the glow of the big win, Kusnerak is eager to get back home and celebrate with his growing family. When asked if he would be sticking around for the $2,000 Main Event next weekend, Kusnerak had no intention of returning.

"I have an ultrasound next weekend for my baby due in April," Kusnerak said in his post-game interview with PokerNews. "So I won't be back for the main."

The conflict is understandable, but that doesn't mean Kusnerak is hanging it up for a long time.

"I will be at the Wynn in March for Wynn Millions," he said with a grin.

Final Table Action

2022 Winter Open Event #1 Final Table
The Elite Eight

Dickie Malone got started early when he flopped a straight and doubled through Steve Zhang. Action continued without a bustout for some time until Kyrylo Kobzyev finished in eighth place when he shoved with king-seven and lost to ace-jack.

Not long after, Tammer Ilcaffas got it in with a suited queen-jack, but he finished in seventh when Brown flopped a full house to send him to the rail. It was a quick succession of eliminations when Malone shoved with ace-seven, but Brown’s sun run continued and he knocked out Malone with a suited jack-seven.

Not long after, Jonathan Strange found his spot with ace-queen, but he ran right into the pocket kings of Bergeron and he was out in fifth place.

Brown held the chip lead coming into the final table, but his stack dwindled in four-handed play and Kusnerak took control late when he looked up Brown’s ace-four shove with pocket queens. Brown got his ace, but he was out in fourth place when Kusnerak made a set of queens on the flop.

Dickie Malone
Sixth place finisher and local fan favorite Dickie Malone

Zhang hit the rail in third place when his queen-nine couldn't catch Kusnerak's ace-queen, setting up a lopsided chip count for the heads up battle between Bergeron and Kusnerak. It didn't take long to come to an end, and the big moment came when Kusnerak's ace-five held on against Bergeron's king-jack.

Follow updates from the 2022 Winter Open here!

More Winter Open Action to Come

The action continues all week long at the 2022 Winter Open, culminating in the $2,000 Main Event with two flights on Feb. 4-5. PokerNews will be on hand once again for live coverage, and the Final Table will be broadcast on bestbetLIVE on February 7.

Remaining 2022 Winter Open Schedule

February 1, 202212:00 p.m.Event #5 $360 NLH Monster Stack$3603020,000
February 2, 202212:00 p.m.Event #6 $260 NLH Turbo w/$50 Bounties$2601512,000
February 2, 20223:00 p.m.Event #7 $320 NLH Ladies Event **Livestreamed**$3203015,000
February 3, 202212:00 p.m.Event #8 $1,000 NLH 6-max$1,0003020,000
February 4, 202212:00 p.m.$2,000 NLH Main Event Day 1a$2,0003025,000
February 5, 202212:00 p.m.$2,000 NLH Main Event Day 1b$2,0003025,000
February 5, 20225:00 p.m.Event #9 $360 Pot Limit Omaha$3603020,000
February 6, 202212:00 p.m.Main Event Day 2   
February 6, 20221:00 p.m.Event #10 The bestbet 500$5003020,000
February 7, 20224:00 p.m.Winter Open Main Event Final Table **Livestreamed**   

Congratulations to Daniel Kusnerak for winning Event #1: $560 NLH at the 2022 Winter Open! Be sure to join the PokerNews team again later this week for more live coverage of $2,000 Main Event from the Winter Open at bestbet Jacksonville.

  • Daniel Kusnerak topped a field of 740 to win Event #1: $560 NLH at the @bestbet_jax 2022 Winter Open.

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Live Reporting Executive

Las Vegas-based PokerNews Live Reporting Executive, originally from Chicago, IL

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