Wednesday, June 2, 2010 3:32 AM Local Time
Everyone laughed this morning when I told them that the final table of Event 4 would end some time between 3am and 5am local time. I have to admit, I had a sliver of hope it would be earlier when the tournament got to three-handed in record time. But nobody could have anticipated the epic heads-up battle between Dan Heimiller and eventual champion Michael Chow.
Chow and Heimiller battled, and battled, and battled. Then they battled some more. Heimiller had Chow all in at one point. Chow had Heimiller all in. Each time the short stack survived and then went on a tear to re-balance the stacks and start the grind all over again.
Each player demonstrated tremendous skill not just in the heads-up portion of the match, but in the 10 hours of play that led up to it. This tournament started with 26 players left today. There were five bracelet winners in the field (Heimiller was one of them). It wasn't an easy slog to the final table.
Chow also had to contend with a case of what looked to be severe exhaustion. Without his gaggle of supporters on the rail, cheering on every big pot at the final table, there's no telling whether Chow would have been around at the end trying to knock Dan Heimiller out in 2nd place. They gave Chow an energy boost for sure.
For his win, Chow will bank $237,140, his largest tournament score to date. He'll also get a WSOP gold bracelet, which will be presented to him at a ceremony tomorrow afternoon. Congratulations Michael!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 3:31 AM Local Time
Mike Chow checked a flop, and Dan Heimiller bet. Chow called, and he check-called again after the on the turn prevented a low and completed a flush draw. The river produced the , and Chow checked one more time. With his hands back to shaking, Heimiller stuck in another bet. Chow called, and Heimiller clearly wasn't happy about it. He showed for just a pair of nines. Chow turned up for a king-high straight. His rail went nuts screaming and cheering when the dealer pushed almost all of the chips in front of Heimiller to Chow.
Heimiller was left with 125,000 after the hand. He was in the small blind next and called all in with his last 25,000 chip. No more delaying the inevitable.
To the screams of the rail, the board ran out . Chow took the whole pot with a king-high straight. Heimiller came up short of a second bracelet, but at least he goes home with $146,505 for his efforts.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 3:15 AM Local Time
And we're pretty much back where we started. Dan Heimiller raised his button and was called by Michael Chow. Chow check-called a bet on a flop of . Both players checked the turn, inducing Chow to bet the river. It's a line we've seen before. Previously Heimiller had folded. This time he raised.
Chow tanked for about two minutes, with his supporters on the raily watching anxiously. He finally called and was shown for three deuces and the nut low. Both were good for a scoop for Heimiller, who once again has about 1.5 million chips.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 3:08 AM Local Time
It was Dan Heimiller's turn to be all in this heads up match. Michael Chow raised preflop, and Heimiller called. Dan check-called a bet on the flop, his hand shaking as he slid out one of his last precious stacks of pink chips. Heimiller checked again after the appeared on the turn, and Chow bet. Heimiller moved all in for only another 30,000 on top of the 200,000 bet. Turns out it was a cooler of a flop. Heimiller showed for a flopped flush with a low draw. Chow had flopped top set with .
His rail chanted for the board to pair, but their pleas were drowned out by the screams from across the room where Michael Mizrachi was busy winning the $50k Players' Championship. The dealer must not have heard the request, because the on the river failed to pair the board. Heimiller doubled back into contention.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 3:01 AM Local Time
Another huge pot has gone to Michael Chow. Chow bet the turn of a board and Dan Heimiller called behind. The river was a third club, the . Chow bet again.
"If you have a flush, I have to pay you," said Heimiller. He called the last bet and Chow did indeed show a flush, . Losing that pot pushed Heimiller down to 500,000 chips. He's in critical territory now.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 2:59 AM Local Time
It's not lookng good for Dan Heimiller. He check-called all three streets on a board. Michael Chow showed , and with an eight-high flush and an 8-3 low, Chow took the whole huge pot. Heimiller was left with just 1.2 million.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 2:58 AM Local Time
Heimiller check-called all three streets on a board. Chow showed , and with an eight-high flush and an 8-3 low, Chow took the whole huge pot. Heimiller was left with just 1.2 million.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 2:47 AM Local Time
A very tired-looking Dan Heimiller opened from the button. Michael chow, not so chipper himself, called. On a flop of , Chow checked and called a single bet. Both players checed the turn. On the river, Chow bet into Heimiller, who called. Chow had a decent hand, for two pair, sevens and fours, and a low. But Heimiller was better on both fronts with , tens and fours and a better low.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 2:43 AM Local Time
Mike Chow raised, and Dan Heimiller called, then bet out after the flop. Chow called to see the turn. Same action, Heimiller bet, and Chow called. The river was the , and Heimiller gave up. Chow checked behind, and Dan tabled , hoping his low was good. But Chow showed to win the whole pot.
With only 18 big bets between them now, each pot is a substantial portion of their stacks. Two scoops in a row could be all it takes to put someone on the ropes.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 2:37 AM Local Time
Back from the last break we've had two scoops, but each player has been the beneficiary of one so there hasn't been much change in the stack sizes. First Dan Heimiller turned a club flush on a board with no low and got Michael Chow to pay off his river bet. Then a few hands later, Chow made two pair against Heimiller's one pair to claw back some of the chips.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 2:22 AM Local Time
The players have reached another break. Back in a few.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 2:20 AM Local Time
They weren't big pots, but the rail will take whatever they can get. While Dan Heimiller has a friend or two watching quietly, Michael Chow has a big posse cheering him on, and they got really excited about these two pots.
Heimiller raised preflop, and Chow called. After the flop, Chow check-called a bet. Then they checked down the turn and river. Heimiller could only show ace-king high, so Chow's pair of deuces were good enough to scoop.
A few hands later, Chow raised, and Heimiller called. Dan checked the flop, and Chow bet. Heimiller called, and check-called again after the turn. The river brought the , and Heimiller checked again. Chow paused and decided to check behind. He showed down and scooped the pot with ace high and the pair on the board and an a-4 low. That sent him into break with some energy.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 2:12 AM Local Time
We haven't seen many bluffs shown today but Michael Chow just showed what was, at best, a very weak hand. Chow raiseed the button pre-flop and was called by Dan Heimiller. Heimiller bet the flop and the turn. The turn is here Chow sprung a trap and raised Heimiller. Heimiller called, then check-folded a river.
"I bluffed you one tim," said Chow. He flashed , a pair of tens.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:59 AM Local Time
Michael Chow is starting to show signs of fatigue. He recently asked a friend on the rail for some Advil. That was right before he played a raised pot with Dan Heimiller. Both players checked a flop. Heimiller was first to act on the turn. He checked, then raised after Chow bet. Chow called and called another bet on the river.
"Two pair and a live deuce," said Heimiller at showdown. He tabled . Chow checked his own cards again, nodded, and mucked.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:57 AM Local Time
On a flop, Mike Chow bet, and Heimiller called. Chow bet again on the turn, and Heimiller raised. Chow called to see the river, then check-called Heimiller's last bet. Dan turned over for an eight-high straight and a 7-6-5-4-3 low. Chow's was only good for the same low and a quarter of the pot.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:50 AM Local Time
The final two players -- Dan Heimiller and Michael Chow -- are at a total standstill now. Every pot that goes to showdown is chopped. The remaining pot, the ones that don't make it to showdown, are rarely seeing more than one bet on the flop. We're not sure what the Omaha Hi/Lo equivalent of a cooler is, but right now it seems like that's the only thing that's going to cause any headway in this match.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:28 AM Local Time
This heads-up match has us thinking. If you're looking for a great steak in Vegas, you go to Fix or Prime, or maybe Rare or Cut. When is a poker player going to open Chop? And if it's successful, what about a dessert cafe, Split?
Not that we're hungry or anything.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:27 AM Local Time
A flop of wound up being very costly for Dan Heimiller. He was the out-of-position player and had called Michael Chow's button raise pre-flop. On the flop Heimiller check-called a single bet.
When the turn came , Heimiller check-raised. Chow called, then called another bet on the river . Heimiller tabled for a set of deuces and the second nut-low; Chow did one better for both halves, tabling for the nut low and a Broadway straight.
With that pot, the stacks look very even once again.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:13 AM Local Time
The players are back to a stalemate, although Dan Heimiller retains the chip lead. Despite having Michael Chow all in earlier, he just can't seem to get that knockout blow. Heimiller recently rivered a flush against Chow, , but the very next hand Chow rivered a flush right back on a board of .
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:07 AM Local Time
Sometimes in limit, it's easy to forget that there are two ways to win a pot. You can make the best hand, sure, but you scoop the pot every time the other guy folds. Mike Chow has had trouble showing down winners since heads up began, but he's brought himself back from the brink of extinction the other way.
On a flop, Dan Heimiller checked, and Chow bet. Heimiller called, then check-called another bet after the on the turn. The river was the , and Heimiller checked one more time. Chow bet all in, and Heimiller looked longingly at the bracelet for a moment before folding. Chow took a big gulp of air and said he'd just had ace-king high.
A few hands later, Chow limped the button, and Heimiller checked to a flop. Dan bet, and Mike raised. This time, Heimiller reraised, and Chow called. The turn was the , and Chow flatted a bet from Heimiller. The on the river was a total brick, missing low draws, spade draws, and wrap draws. Heimiller grimaced and checked. Chow took over with a bet, and sent Heimiller muttering into the tank. He talked himself into a fold, and Chow was back to a healthy stack without a showdown.