PokerStars Lays it on Full Tilt in Heads Up ChallengeTuesday, March 12th, 2013 by Ryan
We recently talked about some of the biggest heads up matches between some big names in poker. We’ve seen players square off in head to head games in the past, or even just in high stakes poker cash games that have resulted in the two players going back and forth at each other. This is what happened on the TV show High Stakes Poker between two of the most well-known players in the game today in Daniel Negreanu and Gus Hansen. The two got into a war of words on Twitter this past month, and it led to one heck of a challenge idea. The idea came from Negreanu, and he stated in a video to Hansen that he wanted to set up a group of heads up matches between the Team PokerStars Pros and the Full Tilt “Professionals”. The Professionals included Hansen, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, and Tom “durrrr” Dwan. Negreanu would pick two of his teammates, and the players would play in a Battleship style of heads up games.
Hansen agreed to the offer from Negreanu, and the only thing he wanted was to be able to choose the match-ups, since Negreanu had more players to choose from. Negreanu agreed, and all players involved agreed. The heads up matches were set to be held at the European Poker Tour’s London stop this past weekend. For those who are curious, “Battleship” style, means that they would play on their computers, but would sit face to face. The challenge has fully come to a close, and Negreanu chose to have Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, and Isaac Haxton on his team.
The obvious main match-up would be between Negreanu and Hansen, while Dwan would go against Haxton, and Blom and Grospellier would take each other on. The idea behind the games were that they would all be best of three, and they would take place at three simultaneous tables. Players started with 3,000 in chips, and the games all featured 15 minute levels. ElkY grabbed a quick lead 1-0 over Isildur1, when the flop came down Jc-Kd-10d, and the two got it all in at this point after raising back and forth. Grospellier showed Q-9s for a straight, while Blom had Qd-4d for a flush draw and a straight draw. Blom couldn’t improve, and this gave the first game to Grospellier. Grospellier got the job done in game 2 in a similar way when they got it all in on the flop, and both had top pair. Grospellier had the better kicker though to get the win.
Haxton and Dwan started off quickly with Haxton taking a big lead. The final hand came on 23 when they bet back and forth at each other until Haxton shoved all-in on the river with a board of 4h-8s-ts-4c-5s. Haxton turned over 8c-4s for a boat to take down the first win. The second game didn’t go quite as smoothly, and Dwan was actually able to get a win for the Professionals. Haxton shoved all in with 400 chips left with Kh-9h, and Dwan called the shove with Js-7d, Dwan was able to hit the 7 on the flop and got the win. This left evened up the match at 1-1, and set up an incredibly interesting third game. The third and final game went through 156 hands before we had a winner. Haxton raised pre-flop, and this led to a shove from Dwan. Haxton called and turned over pocket Aces against the Ac-Jc. Dwan wasn’t able to hit, and this gave the match to Haxton.
PokerStars already had the win, and we had Negreanu and Hansen still to play. Apparently Negreanu wasn’t happy with the junk talking that happened on Twitter, as he just simply dominated three games to none against Hansen. He took down one of the tables in only six hands, saw his stack get under 400 chips on table one, but still won, and got it done at table three in 81 total hands. What did the eventual winners get you ask? The Team PokerStars players got $50k from the Professionals, and also got $10,000 in tournament entry fees on Full Tilt Poker.