Friday, June 2, 2023 8:33 PM Local Time (about 10 hours and 56 minutes ago)
Polk and Kornuth Headline Those Advancing to Round 3 in Event #8: $25,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship
The first two rounds of Event #8: $25,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship have been completed with just 16 players returning to the felt for the money round tomorrow, June 3rd, as they pursue the top prize of $507,020. Many players call this event the most-skilled tournament on the schedule and the fans turned up to watch the action as the rail was packed throughout the day.
The field was capped at 64 players and the tournament had no trouble reaching that mark for the first time in years. In fact, there was an alternate line to start the day as many big names were on the sidelines hoping to get a seat.
When the bracket-style draw was conducted to kick things off just prior to 12:00 p.m. noon local time, the matchup that jumped out right away was John Smith, the heads-up legend, taking on one of the greatest of all time in Phil Ivey. It was no surprise that it also turned out to be the last match to finish in the opening round with Smith coming out on top much to the delight of his family and friends on the rail.
While that matchup dragged on for over four hours, Chance Kornuth made quick work of his first two opponents, Jeremiah Williams and Keir Sullivan, wrapping up both matches before Smith could even finish one. Kornuth will have the tough task of taking on Landon Tice in the money match tomorrow. Unfortunately for Smith, his run fell short in the second round when he was eliminated by Chris Brewer.
Some other marquee matchups included Sean Winter taking on 2022 WSOP Main Event champion Espen Jorstad in the first round with Winter coming out on top. The American high-roller also went on to defeat Aleksejs Ponakovs in the second round and will take on Kevin Rabichow in the Round of 16.
Another heads-up specialist returned to the felt in what he thought should be called the "Doug Invitational" since it was made specifically for him. Doug Polk has made a splash in the poker world over the last few months and he's back at the WSOP doing what he does best...playing poker. Polk maneuvered his way through the first two rounds and will be taking on Reiji Kono in Round 3 tomorrow.
Many of the fans were lined up on the rail to watch the infamous Daniel Negreanu battle in the first two rounds and some even stayed for pictures afterward. Negreanu was victorious in the opening round after getting through Bin Weng who was been red-hot on the poker circuit as of late. Negreanu was faced with the challenge of playing Roberto Perez in the second round and dug himself an early hole that he wasn't able to get out of.
The last match of the day belonged to Jonathan Jaffe and Anthony Zinno. It could have been one of the first matches to wrap up when Zinno was all in with pocket kings against the pocket aces of Jaffe. However, a seven-high straight on the board meant the players would chop the pot and continue on for a few more hours. It worked out for Zinno, the four-time bracelet winner, who managed to work his way past Jaffe en route to the third round.
2023 Heads-Up Championship Bracket
As mentioned, the money matches will be slated to begin tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. local time with the Round of 16. All of the winners in that round will earn themselves at least a min-cash of $74,648 with the quarterfinals scheduled for 5:00 p.m. local time that evening. All the semifinalists will earn $192,513 with the runner-up taking home $313,362 and the winner pocketing $507,020 and the WSOP gold bracelet.
Two more rounds are on the schedule tomorrow with the semifinals and finals slated for Sunday, June 4th on the PokerGO live stream. The PokerNews live reporting team will be here to capture all of the action as it unfolds on the tournament floor.
Friday, June 2, 2023 8:30 PM Local Time (about 10 hours and 59 minutes ago)
Tice Excited for Round 3 Match Against Kornuth
Friday, June 2, 2023 8:15 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 14 minutes ago)
No Redemption For Jaffe
The big screen showing a replay of the 2013 Main Event got to where Jonathan Jaffe busted as he turned around to watch.
"Redemption ten years later," he cried out.
But it was not to be. After he limped in, Anthony Zinno shoved all in from the big blind and Jaffe called, the two players having nearly identical stacks.
The board ran out and Zinno's sixes stayed in front to book him the last ticket into the Round of 16.
|Anthony Zinno||600,000||312,000 |
|Jonathan Jaffe||0||-312,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 8:09 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 20 minutes ago)
Zinno's River Raise Gets the Fold
Anthony Zinno on the button raised to 20,000 called by Jonathan Jaffe in the big blind.
The flop checked through to the turn, the whole board now reading . Jaffe took the lead and fired 15,000 and Zinno called.
The was enough for Jaffe to commit another 25,000 chips into the pot. Zinno, however, raised the bet to 75,000 depriving Jaffe of a showdown as he folded his hand.
|Jonathan Jaffe||312,000||19,000 |
|Anthony Zinno||288,000||-19,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 8:04 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 25 minutes ago)
Level 23 started
Friday, June 2, 2023 8:01 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 28 minutes ago)
Tice Gets Past Chidwick
Landon Tice limped in on the button and Stephen Chidwick raised to 35,000 from the big blind. Tice shipped all in for 293,100 and Chidwick snapped him off.
The flop fell and Tice actually picked up an additional out. It was the on the turn that gave Tice the lead and the on the river secured his double-up.
On the next hand, Chidwick shoved all in with for his last 14,000 chips and Tice called with . A on the flop put Tice out front and he held on to eliminate Chidwick in the second round.
|Landon Tice||600,000||330,000 |
|Stephen Chidwick||0||-330,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:58 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 31 minutes ago)
Chidwick Shoves the River to Take the Lead
With around 90,000 in the middle, Stephen Chidwick bet 26,000 on a board of and Landon Tice called.
The river came the and Chidwick now moved his entire stack in the middle. Tice folded as Chidwick pulled in front.
|Stephen Chidwick||330,000||7,000 |
|Landon Tice||270,000||-7,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:56 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 33 minutes ago)
Smith Hurt by the River Again
John Smith and Chris Brewer saw a flop of with around 75,000 in the pot when Smith got his last 115,000 in the middle.
Smith was ahead with ace-high as the fell on the turn. The river, though, brought the and Brewer made a pair of kings to win the match.
"River got me again," Smith lamented on his way to the exit.
|Chris Brewer||600,000||203,000 |
|John Smith||0||-203,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:53 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 36 minutes ago)
Chidwick Correctly Hero Calls Against Tice
In a limped pot Stephen Chidwick checked his option to see a flop of . Chidwick checked to Landon Tice on the button who took the lead for 8,000. Chidwick called.
The checked through and both players got to see the river. Chidwick again checked to Tice who took a stab at this pot for 32,000. Chidwick didn't take much time to make a heroic call as he showed for fourth pair, way out in front of Tice's for ten high.
|Stephen Chidwick||323,000||133,000 |
|Landon Tice||277,000||-133,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:49 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 39 minutes ago)
Smith Doubles Through Brewer
Chris Brewer was first to act on the button and threw in a raise to 130,000. John Smith thought for a brief moment before calling off his stack of 101,600.
The flop came which provided some chop possibilities but Smith was still currently in the lead. The on the turn and the on the river changed nothing and Smith scored himself a double-up.
|Chris Brewer||397,000||-33,000 |
|John Smith||203,000||33,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:46 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 43 minutes ago)
Level 22 started
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:46 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 43 minutes ago)
Smith Forced to Min-Raise, Brewer Reopens Lead
Chris Brewer bet 32,000 on a board of . "I'm going to raise it," John Smith said as he put in the chips to call, then another 75,000.
The dealer told Smith that, because he put in the chips to call first, he could only min-raise. Smith protested and the floor had to be called over. It was ruled that Smith could only raise to 64,000, and Brewer called.
The river came the and Brewer moved all in. "The river got me again," Smith said before he mucked.
|Chris Brewer||430,000||145,000 |
|John Smith||170,000||-145,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:44 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 45 minutes ago)
Smith Flips Well to Double
John Smith was all in for 157,000 as Chris Brewer had him at risk of elimination.
Brewer's jacks remained in front on the flop, but Smith spiked the on the turn to make top pair. The river came the and Smith stayed alive to take the lead in the match.
|John Smith||315,000||85,000 |
|Chris Brewer||285,000||-85,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:37 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 52 minutes ago)
Runner Runner Straight for Jaffe
The pot was approximately 36,000 with a board of . Anthony Zinno in the big blind checked to Jonathan Jaffe on the button who bet out 10,000. Zinno called and they went to the turn.
The saw no more additional chips go into the pot as both players checked down to a river. Zinno checked a last time and Jaffe bet 47,000. Zinno called and was delivered the bad news as Jaffe tabled for a straight.
|Anthony Zinno||307,000||-123,000 |
|Jonathan Jaffe||293,000||123,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:31 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 57 minutes ago)
Three Matches Left
|Anthony Zinno||430,000||95,000 |
|Landon Tice||410,000||40,000 |
|Chris Brewer||370,000||141,000 |
|John Smith||230,000||-141,000 |
|Stephen Chidwick||190,000||-40,000 |
|Jonathan Jaffe||170,000||-95,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:31 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 58 minutes ago)
Zinno and Jaffe Still in a Tight Battle
Anthony Zinno raised to 16,000 on the button and Jonathan Jaffe three-bet to 54,000 in the big blind. Zinno quickly shoved all in and Jaffe dumped his cards into the muck.
The two players have been playing a fairly equal stack for the duration of their match and that still hasn't changed.
|Anthony Zinno||335,000||-95,000 |
|Jonathan Jaffe||265,000||95,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:29 PM Local Time (about 11 hours and 60 minutes ago)
Level 21 started
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:27 PM Local Time (about 12 hours and 1 minute ago)
Polk Gets Eychenne to Call Off
Doug Polk and Thomas Eychenne went to the river on a board of when Eychenne bet 7,000. Polk then shoved all in and Eychenne went through several time banks before he called off his last 80,000.
"Ten," Polk announced, turning over for trips and Eychenne immediately threw his cards into the muck.
"Nice meeting you. Good luck on your journey to No. 1 in France," Polk said as he shook Eychenne's hand after the match.
|Doug Polk||600,000||100,000 |
|Thomas Eychenne||0||-100,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:25 PM Local Time (about 12 hours and 4 minutes ago)
Negreanu Runs Into a Higher Pair
Daniel Negreanu was all in for around 200,000 as Roberto Perez had him at risk.
"Do you have aces," Negreanu asked as he showed . Perez didn't have aces, but he did have a higher pair with .
"I'm going to need a five," Negreanu said as he began filming. The fell in the window to give Perez a set, followed by the .
"That's going to be a problem. Oh, I have hearts," Negreanu added.
The board ran out and Negreanu was eliminated.
|Roberto Perez||600,000||216,000 |
|Daniel Negreanu||0||-216,000 |
Friday, June 2, 2023 7:21 PM Local Time (about 12 hours and 8 minutes ago)
Negreanu Inching Back Into the Match
Daniel Negreanu limped in on the button and Roberto Perez raised it up to 21,000 from the big blind. Negreanu called and the flop of hit the felt. Perez continued with a bet of 11,000 and Negreanu just called.
The turn was the and Perez slid out another bet of 32,000 which Negreanu still called. The paired the board on the river and Perez slowed down with a check this time. Negreanu jammed all in for 95,600 and Perez used a time extension before dumping his cards to the muck.
|Roberto Perez||384,000||-111,000 |
|Daniel Negreanu||216,000||111,000 |