The £10,000 buy-in High-Roller No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up Championship is currently deadlocked in a 1-1 tie.
A thrilling finale at World Series of Poker Europe in London between international poker superstar Gus Hansen (Denmark) and young upstart Jim Collopy (US) was suspended at precisely 3:35 am after the best two-of-three series drew even at one match each. The long day was just as much a competition of mental and physical endurance as a test of poker skill. Play began with the final four players of a tournament that had started two days earlier with a world-class field of 103. Hansen defeated Andrew Feldman (UK), while Collopy won against Ram Vaswani (UK). Indeed, it was not a good day for the Brits. Following a short break, the two finalists sat down in a face-to-face showdown in order to compete for first-place prize money totaling £288,409 (equal to about $451,880), plus the coveted WSOP gold bracelet. Little did anyone know at the time that nearly eight hours later the two finalists would essentially be right back where they started -- locked in a dead heat for poker's most cherished prize. Hansen won the first match, which took nearly four hours to complete. Leading 1-0, many witnesses suspected that the highly-experienced pro would summarily defeat his final adversary in due time. But poker is an unpredictable game and things rarely go according to plan. The second match ran considerably longer than the first, made increasingly more fascinating by the fact that hundreds of onlookers gradually began to realize they were watching some of the best poker London has ever seen. Hansen took an early lead in the match. After about an hour of play, the Dane was ahead by a 2 to 1 margin in chips. Following another hour, Hansen was up by about 3 to 1. The end seemed imminent. After Hansen widened his lead, Collopy found himself all-in holding A-Q again Hansen's K-K for his tournament life. Collopy desperately needed an ace to survive. Bingo! An ace! He managed to catch the magical card, much to the chagrin of Hansen's large entourage and those who hoped to witness "The Great Dane's" long-overdue first WSOP victory. If the celebratory champagne was already on ice for Hansen's crowd, by the time this match was finally over, all the icecubes had melted. Collopy, demonstrating uncharacteristic patience and determination for a 21-year-old college student essentially playing on the WSOP stage for the first time, clawed and scratched his way back to even. Then he overtook Hansen in chips before the final fateful hand of the second match was dealt. It was really ugly for Hansen. He was dealt Q-Q and held a sizable advantage over Collopy, holding 9-9. Wham! Bam! A nine flopped – which was just as much ecstasy to Collopy as agony for Hansen. The critical hand gave Collopy the match and put the two finalists into a 1-1 tie, with one match still be played.
Due to the late hour and the expectation that the decisive third match might run several more hours, play was suspended.
The two finalists shall return to Casino at the Empire on Friday at noon in order to determine the best time to resume the match. Since both players expect to play in the WSOP Europe Main Event (Day 1-B is played on Friday), tournament organizers are eager to accommodate the wishes of players and give the finalists proper rest and the best possible atmosphere to complete the match.
Stay tuned to WSOP.com for additional information about the conclusion of the £10,000 buy-in High-Roller No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up championship and follow our Twitter feed @WSOP.
This was the fourth of five events scheduled this year at World Series of Poker Europe. The total prize pool amounted to £1,030,000, making it the first non-Main Event tournament to exceed the million-pound mark at WSOP Europe. The top 16 finishers collected prize money. Among those who cashed were Ram Vaswani, Daniel Negreanu, Huck Seed, Howard Lederer, and Phil Ivey.
For more information about the WSOP and WSOP Europe, please click HERE.