Tyler Payne of Fayetteville, North Carolina beat Raymond Leone heads-up to win the $2,000 Main Event in the 2022 Winter Open at bestbet Jacksonville. The culminating event of the popular winter series attracted 387 runners to generate a $692,730 prize pool, from which Payne claimed $140,058 for the win.
It was the biggest score of Payne’s poker career and the win brought his career earnings to just shy of $400,000. Leone finished in second for $96,369, and Adam Wells was the bronze medalist after staying out of the way for most of the afternoon to ladder up to a $68,574 payday.
Payne began playing poker around the age of 18, and he quickly discovered the range of skills required to be successful. He studied early and often, looking for ways to master the game.
But the lion’s share of credit, he says, goes to his wife and young son. Payne’s son turns two years old in just a few days, and he’s excited to get home and share the win with his family.
“If support won these tournaments, I would have a lot more,” Payne said in his post-win interview. “They’re my biggest fans.”
The champ will spend some time enjoying the win, but he’s just as excited to get back to the felt with his newly minted bankroll.
“I’ll be at the WSOP this Summer,” he says about his near-future.
As for the WSOP Main Event?
“It’s more than likely at this point.”