Only four players out of 57 entries remain in the latest gold bracelet event of the 2021 World Series of Poker at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The Event #11: $25,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship is down to the semi-finals and the new GGPoker ambassador Jason Koon will be chasing his maiden victory at the WSOP. The American poker pro will be facing Henri Puustinen while the second semi-final features Dan Zack and Gabor Szabo.
Only Zack already has a gold bracelet to his name while the other three contenders are yet to join the winner's circle. The final four are competing for the biggest portion of the $721,625 prize pool as all first-round winners had their buy-in refunded. All semi finalists have $89,787 locked up for the efforts while the runner-up will earn $150,790, the winner can look forward to a payday of $243,981.
The Sweet Sixteen at a Glance
The first duels decided over the money bubble and Galen Hall was the first casualty when he lost the remainder of his shorter stack to Benjamin Reason with ace-queen versus king-jack. Gal Yifrach conceded a big double to Jake Daniels early on and while he almost closed the gap at some point, he then lost a flip to miss out on the cash prize. For Julien Martini, a big lead early on was not enough as he then came up second-best in all three all-in showdowns against Bin Weng after.
The same fate also awaited David Peters, who rivered two pair with jack-eight suited only for Gabor Szabo to flip over a flopped set of tens. Aleksandr Shevlyakov missed out on the money after he was defeated by Mikita Badziakouski and Jason Koon won four all-in showdowns when he had to in order to eliminate Johannes Becker. Jimmy D'Ambrosio and Cary Katz were the last two casualties in the first round of the day to set up the money stages.
Koon Rushes to Victory in Round of 8
Jason Koon needed just 13 minutes to defeat Jake Daniels in the semi-final. On a paired ace-high board, his queen-eight made a straight to claim a decent pot off Daniels. Only a few moments later they got it in preflop in a flip and this time, Koon held the pocket queens. Daniels was at risk with ace-king suited and failed to get there.
The remaining three matches needed more time to conclude and two of them determined a winner at almost the same time. Finland's Henri Puustinen, who just turned 21 years old two months ago and is better known under his online alias "buttonclickr", stormed into a big lead over Benjamin Reason before dealing the final blow. Moments later, Dan Zack came out on top against Bin Weng when he turned an unbeatable flush against the second pair of Weng. It was a roller coaster ride in the duel during which Zack recovered as a 1-3 underdog to book his spot in the semi-finals.
The duel between Mikita Badziakouski and Gabor Szabo lasted the longest and it was the Hungarian who prevailed. After getting short early on, Szabo doubled in a flip with jacks versus ace-king. From there on, Szabo kept the pressure on and eventually sealed the victory with flopped two pair against the rivered top pair of Badziakouski.
Road to the Semi-Finals
|Winners||Jason Koon||Henri Puustinen||Dan Zack||Gabor Szabo|
|Round of 64||Chris Brewer||Rok Gostisa||Mustapha Kanit||Bye|
|Round of 32||Nicolai Morris||Ali Imsirovic||Nick Petrangelo||Johan Guilbert|
|Round of 16||Johannes Becker||Cary Katz||Jimmy D'Ambrosio||David Peters|
|Round of 8||Jake Daniels||Benjamin Reason||Bin Weng||Mikita Badziakouski|
Heads-Up Bracket for the Final 32
In the semi-finals, all players start with 2.4 million in chips and blinds of 6,000/12,000, which provides 200 big blinds at the start. All levels will last 20 minutes each. The final day is scheduled to recommence at 4pm local time on Thursday, October 7 and the final duel for the gold bracelet is slated to be streamed on the PokerGO platform. PokerNews will be providing live updates from start to finish once more until a winner has been crowned.