The final of the £10,350 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller Heads-Up event was a best-out-of-three affair compared to the previous single elimination rounds. That sort of changed though after the semi-final final and first two matches of the final took us to 3:45 a.m. in the early hours of Friday morning. Tournament Director Jack Eiffel stopped the match at 1-1 and asked the players to go and get some sleep, with a plan to be formulated the next day. Both players had to play the WSOPE Main Event on Friday but both busted by the end of play Saturday, so here we were at 6:00 p.m. Sunday with effectively a best-of-one match for the title and the coveted bracelet.
Gus Hansen took less than fours hours to win the match and collect his first WSOP bracelet. He was asked if he was happy to finally get the bracelet monkey off his back? “Definitely, for sure. I’ve been playing in the WSOP since 1996 when my good friend, Huck Seed, won the Main Event. I’ve had a lot of attempts since then and come close a couple of times. I’m also surprised it came in a heads-up event” he responded.
Both players had to come through six matches to make the final and Hansen was asked how his run through to the final went. “I was lucky to beat Phil Ivey. That was definitely my worst match but I felt happy with the way the rest of them went,” he said.
The match today was a very different match to the first two they played. As you would expect from two world class players, they altered their approach based on the information they had gathered. Jim Collopy prepared by playing lots of hands against Stephen Chidwick last with the latter limping every button; a trait employed almost 100% by Hansen in the first two matches. Today though, Hansen raised a lot more from the button and on a few occasions he limp-four-bet his opponent, showing a willingness to play bigger pots than previously. Collopy was happy to play bigger pots as well and was even more aggressive than previously. “He adjusted well” said Hansen. “I was up against it from the beginning,” he added.
Collopy got off to the better start after Hansen made a “bad call” as he described it. Then came a key hand that flipped the game on its head. On a board of Hansen over-bet the pot size with an all-in shove and was called by Collopy with for trip jacks. Hansen had rivered a full-house though with and re-took the chip lead. This hand seemed to dampen the aggressiveness of the match slightly and Hansen chipped away at Collopy to increase his lead. The next key hand was the final hand. It was level five of the match and the blinds had increased to 20,000/40,000 and Collopy was down to around 1.2million. On two occasions when Hansen raised he decided the best plan was to move all-in and it worked for him those times. The third time he did it though Hansen made the call with . It turned out to be a good call as Collopy was dominated with and Hansen’s hand faded a flush draw to hold-up, handing him the title.
A WSOP bracelet has been a long time coming for Hansen and the poker world just seems a bit more right now that he has won one. Our congratulation also go to the always chirpy and very popular Jim Collopy. He plays the game at a level way beyond his tender years (21). Expect big things from him in the future.
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