It's finally here with some of the biggest names in poker slugging it out in a high-stakes heads-up tournament. After months of hype and excitement, the 2021 World Poker Tour Heads Up Championship played out at the virtual tables on Poker King, a new online poker website/app who sponsored this event. Both Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan are celebrity ambassadors at Poker King and at least one of them went the distance with an appearance in the finals.
The WPT Heads Up Championship is a five-day affair with a $25,000 buy-in that started on June 18 with 32 runners who were carefully selected and handpicked by the powers that be. The lucky 32 played a best-of-three series in a single-elimination heads-up joust with $400K set aside to the eventual champion.
Some of the celebs were comped their buy-in included world renown DJ Steve Aoki and Japanese pop star GACKT.
Among the highlights in the first round included victories by Dan Smith, Bobby Bellande, Sam Greenwood, Alexandra Botez, Doug Polk, Patrik Antonius, Stefan 'Stefan11222' Burakov, Daniel Dvoress, Oliver Busquet, Nick Schulman, ButtonClickr, Limitless, Anthony Zinno, Phil Ivey, Darren Elias, and Stephen Chidwick. They all advanced to the Sweet 16 and second round.
There were a few insane match ups in the first round including Busquet vs Linus Loeliger, Limitless vs Nick Petrangelo, Ivey vs Manig Loeser, LuckyChewy vs Chidwick, Brad Own vs Dvoress, Tim Adams vs Stefan11222, and Dan Smith vs Aoki.
But the big event was Doug Polk vs Tom Dwan. The two aren't exactly sympatico with each other especially because Polk had been vocal about Dwan's shady past. Despite their previous history, the two kept it cordial and professional during their match. Dwan won the first game, but failed to advance when Polk won the next two games and knocked him out in the first round.
In the second round, Dan Smith defeated Bobby Bellande, Sam Greenwood knocked out Alexandra Botez, Patrick Antonius beat Polk, Stefan11222 beat Dvoress, Kruk knocked out Busquet, Limitless edged out ButtonClickr, Phil Ivey knocked out Anthony Zinno, and Stevie Chidwick won again with a victory against Darren Elias.
The Elite 8 included Dan Smith, Sam Greenwood, Patrik Antonius, Stefan11222, ChrisKruk, Phil Ivey, Limitless, and Stephen Chidwick.
In the third round, Chris Kruk defeated Limitless and Phil Ivey ended Stephen Chidwick's run. On the other side of the bracket, Sam Greenwood beat Dan Smith, and Patrick Antonius defeated Stefan11222 in their quarterfinals match.
The Final Four featured Chris Kruk, Phil Ivey, Sam Greenwood, and Patrick Antonius.
In the first semifinals match, Phil Ivey and Chris Kruk threw down. Kruk won the first match, but Ivey stormed back and won the next two. In Game 3, Ivey rivered a backdoor flush and Kruk bluffed him with nadda. Ivey happily called to win the third game and win the match to lock up a spot in the finals.
In the other semifinals match, Sam Greenwood and Patrik Antonius squared off with Antonius winning boh games to secure the win and a date with Ivey in the finale
Tune in on Tuesday for the day five and the final match between Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius to see which legend will emerge as the WPT Heads Up Champion.