$10,000 Heads Up Gold Bracelet Awarded at 2013 WSOPWednesday, June 12th, 2013 by Ryan
One of the most fun events at the World Series of Poker year in and year out has to be the Heads Up events, specifically the $10,000 Heads Up event. You’ll find that some of the biggest and best players in the world are the ones who participate in the big time events like the $10,000 Heads Up tournament. Event #16 of this years World Series of Poker was the $10,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold’em tournament, and we saw 162 players buy-in to attempt to take down this title. When the tournament was set to get underway, we saw (as you may have figured out by now) that some players were going to end up getting byes in the tournament since there wasn’t an even power of two. Time to take a look at this event and see who got the job done.
Obviously in order to decide who was going to get the byes was a tough thing to do, so the only way to get it done was randomly choosing players who received them. This means that a whopping 94 players were going to be able to get byes through the first round, and only 68 players were going to have to play. Whichever 34 players ended up winning the first round matches were going to go up against each other in thes econd round. Since some players had to play an extra round, the World Series of Poker decided to give them a chunk of their buy-in back, regardless of if they won or lost, so each player was able to get $5,000 back if they had to play in that first round.
Interestingly, the two players who made it to the last heads up match to decide who won the championship, both had to play in the first round just to get into the final field of 128 players. It was Mark “AceSpades” Radoja, against Don Nguyen at the end of the day, and it was a match that definitely had the fans attention. It definitely was not an easy run for either player though, as Radoja had to beat Ludovic “Cutsss” Lacay in the third round, and then in the sixth round was up against one of the most well-known players in the world in Phil Hellmuth. In the final four though he was up against Justin Bonomo, and knocked him out as well. Nguyen on the other hand had to beat the winner of this event last year in Brian Hastings, then Ali Eslamis in the fourth round, and Ben Sulsky in the seventh round.
After reading that, you definitely understand that both players were probably tired from the brutal matches that they had to play. In the matches players were able to get one-third of the starting stack, and could use two add-ons, and each add on was one-third of the stack. They could do this at anytime during the play when the two players were in-between hands. When the final match started, Radoja used one of those add-on’s very early, but doubled-up with pocket Queens against the A-6 of Nguyen. Radoja did fall from there though, and at one point it looked like Nguyen was going to take down the title, but Radoja continued fighting back.
The final hand of the tournament saw Nguyen go all-in with A-3, and Radoja call with K-9. Nguyen was good through the turn, but the river hit and hit hard, as Radoja was able to pair his King and take the championship. When all was said and done Radoja took home the gold bracelet and the first place pay day of $336,190, and Nguyen took down $204,648 for finishing in second place.
The heads up tournaments are always fun, and anytime that you have a buy-in for a World Series of Poker tournament that has a huge buy-in like that, it’s likely to find some studs and massive names throughout the field. While it’s not nearly as big as the Main Event, the $10,000 Heads Up event had some serious action and as you can tell from above, a whole lot of money to be awarded to the winner. We’ll keep you updated on the rest of the World Series of Poker and the other upcoming events as well.