Event number four of the WSOP Europe was the No Limit Hold’em High Roller Heads-Up tournament. The tourney started with an impressive 103 players putting up the €10,000 buy in. The total prize pool for the event was €1,030,000. The final 16 players took home some of that prize money, and the remaining 87 left their bankrolls a little lighter after they were eliminated.
The money bubble burst on Day 2 of the event and lost along the way were some notable players including Mike Matusow, John Juanda, Chris Ferguson, Phil Hellmuth, Carlos Mortenson, Jeffrey Lisandro, Erik Seidel, and Andy Bloch.
When the eight heads-up matches for the in the money players were announced two stood out above all others, Huck Seed vs. Howard Lederer and Phil Ivey vs. Gus Hansen.
The other matchups were: Martin Kabrhel vs. Jim Collopy, Sondre Svanevik vs. Kevin Eyster, Ram Vaswani vs. Marius Torbergesen, Neil Channing vs. McLean Karr, Saar Wilf vs. Andrew Feldman, Daniel Negreanu vs. Andrew Robl.
Ivey was the first to fall, when his 6s 6d was dominated pre-flop by Hansen’s Js Jc. The flop was no help to Ivey as 7d Jh 9h came. Ivey also came up empty on the turn and river and the all-time leader in tournament poker money winnings made his way from the tournament floor.
Negreanu advanced when he called Robl’s all in. Robl tabled 10h 10c and Negreanu showed Kc Jc. Robl was a slight favourite before the flop. The dealer laid down the flop of Qs Ac 6c and the odds went to Negreanu’s side of the table. Negreanu urged the dealer to “give him a ten” and the 10d fell on the turn.
Negreanu was now sitting with an ace high straight and if he could avoid a pair on the river, which would give Robl the full house and the hand, he would move on to the final eight. The river was the 7c, which did nothing to help Robl but gave Negreanu an even better winning hand with the ace high flush.
Seed and Lederer had the longest match of the round. On the final hand, Seed moved all in with Kh Jh and Lederer called with Kc Qh. Seed had Lederer covered and the hand was for Lederer’s tournament life. The first card to fall on the flop was the Jc, followed by 7s 6d. The turn brought the 4d and by the river Seed was a 93 percent favourite to advance to the next round. The river brought the 6c and Lederer was the final elimination in the round of 16.
The round of eight pairings were: Huck Seed vs. Jim Collopy, Kevin Eyster vs. Ram Vaswani, Gus Hansen vs. Neil Channing, Daniel Negreanu vs. Andrew Feldman.
The first three matches ended fairly quickly with the following players moving on to Day 3: Gus Hansen, Jim Collopy,and Ram Vaswini.
Negreanu and Feldman continued their battle two hours after the other three matches had wrapped up. The match came to an end when Feldman put the short-stacked Negreanu all in before the flop. Daniel called and showed Qh Qd. Feldman tabled the Kh 6h and it looked like a double up for Negreanu until the flop hit Ks 5c 2c. Negreanu was way behind at that point and the final two cards brought no relief,and “Kid Poker” was eliminated.
The final four reconvened on Day 3 and the last two matchups were: Gus Hansen vs. Andrew Feldman, Jim Collopy vs. Ram Vaswani.
The first of the eliminations that would set the final two players took place a little over three hours into the day. The final hand began with Feldman opening with 33,000 chip bet; Hansen came over the top for 88,000 and Feldman then moved all in for his final 269,000. Hansen went into the tank for a few minutes, but finally made the call.
Feldman tabled 10c 10h while Hansen held Ks Jd. The odds were with Feldman until the dealer put the flop down 9c Kd 8h. The turn card was a 2s and Feldman needed a 10 to hit on the river to stay alive. The dealer placed the 3s on the table and Hansen advanced to the heads up round.
The Collopy vs. Vaswani heads-up battle clocked in at over four hours. The final hand of the long battle began when Collopy went all in before the flop for the first time in the match. Vaswani made the call and the showdown came with Collopy tabling Kd 9s to compete against Vaswani’s As Jc. Vaswani had the clear advantage before the flop.
The flop came 7d 10c 6d and Vaswani continued to hold the advantage, but Collopy had a chance at making the gut shot straight if an eight came on the turn or the river. The 8c came on the turn and now Vaswani’s only out was one of the three remaining nines in the deck. The 3c on the river ended the marathon heads up match for Vaswani.
Collopy and Hansen would face off in the best two-out-of-three match for the WSOP gold bracelet.
Hansen was victorious after more than four hours of play in Round 1. Collopy seemed reluctant to give Hansen his first WSOP bracelet when he won Round 2 after three in the morning.
It was decided that play would be suspended and the players would come back for Day 4 and the final round to decide who would walk away with the victory.
The final heads-up match was delayed a few days so Hansen and Collopy could compete in the main event. Both players started bracelet deciding match with 1.92 million chips.
It did not take long for the first big hand to take place. Four hands into the match, Collopy took down a huge pot when he showed Ac As, Hansen mucked while Collopy scooped almost half of Hansen’s chips. After the hand Collopy was up to 2.8 million chips.
The next big hand saw Hansen call Collopy’s raise on the big blind. The flop came down 8s Jh Jd and Collopy bet 78,000. Hansen made the call and the turn came 5d. Collopy decided to slow it down and checked. Hansen put forth a bet of 128,000 and Collopy made the call. The river card was the 2d and Collopy checked.
Hansen went into the tank for a long while before he announced that he was all in. Collopy instacalled and saw the bad news, his trip jacks (Qh Jc) were clearly beat by Hansen’s rivered full house (2c 2h). In one hand Hansen had taken a two to one chip lead.
Eventually Collopy fought back to even, but that was as far as close to victory that he would get. On the final hand Hansen opened with a bet of 91,000 and Collopy raised all in for 1.2 million. Hansen thought it over for a while, but finally made the call. The cards hit the felt with Collopy showing Ks 4s and Hansen holding 4h 4d. In the end, the board showed Js 5c 6d 10s 3d and Gus Hansen claimed his first WSOP gold bracelet.
The victory moves Hansen’s all time tournament winnings to $7,245,975 and removes his name from the “best players to have never won a WSOP bracelet” list.
Payouts for Event No. 4:
Gus Hansen €288,409
James Collopy €178,211
Ram Vaswani €96,212
Andrew Feldman €96,212
Daniel Negreanu €47,045
Kevin Eyster €47,045
Huck Seed €47,045
Neil Channing €47,045
Howard Lederer €22,847
Martin Kabrhel €22,847
McLean Karr €22,847
Saar Wilf €22,847
Andrew Robl €22,847
Phil Ivey €22,847
Marius Torbergsen €22,847
Sondre Svanevik €22,847