Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Heads Up Poker Championship

Three days of poker spread out over sixty three matches led to the crowning of a new PokerParty champion in the 2nd Annual National Heads Up Poker Championship early this morning. The poker that was played this past weekend at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas was action packed and also provided many surprises. In the end, bigtime cash game player Ted Forrest was able to hold off the charge of the best players in the game today to walk away from the green felt with the Heads Up Title.

Thanks to Cardplayer Magazine for this excerpt:

Chris Ferguson, last year’s runner-up, faced Ted Forrest in the final three matches of the championship event. The players started off with $640,000.00 in chips each, and the blinds started off at $5,000 - $10,000 in the first round.

After two rounds were played, Forrest had secured a 4 – 1 lead with over a $1,000,000 in chips. But Ferguson came back (as he always does), doubled up twice and reduced Forrest’s advantage to less than $60,000.

Thirty minutes later, Ferguson was ahead and he proceeded to move all in with Ah – 9h. Forrest called and showed pocket tens. The flop came Kc – Jd – 7h and Forrest had the lead. The turn, 8c, didn’t help Ferguson and he needed a ten to complete the straight, or he could hit an ace which would give him the higher pair, to win the match. The river, the Ace of Spades, paired Ferguson and the players prepared themselves for another match.

Ferguson was on a roll heading into the second session, and he won six of the first seven hands that were played. But, Forrest came back for a 2 – 1 chip lead by the end of the first round.

The blinds increased to $15,000 - $30,000 and Ferguson decided to make a move, and he moved all in from the button. Forrest called and showed As – 4c. Ferguson had Jh – 7s and the flop came 6h – 5d – Qd, the turn was a 2h and Ferguson needed a jack or 7 to survive, but the 10 of diamonds fell on the river, and Forrest won the match with ace high.

The champion would have to be determined by the third and final round of the championship event.

The table was reset and the cards went into the air at 12:22 a.m. PST. The challengers had been competing for over twelve hours, with breaks, dinner and tape changes eating up the day. By the end of the first round, Forrest had taken a moderate lead and the blinds went up to $10,000 - $20,000

Forrest took down a monster pot and gained a $290,000 lead going into round three. The blinds increased to $15,000 - $30,000 and both players rallied back and forth until their stacks were almost even.

When the blinds were $20,000 - $40,000, Forrest won a huge pot. He made a set of sixes to win the hand, which built his stack to over $1 million.

Forrest held the advantage until both players went all in before the flop. Forrest had K – J and Ferguson had Q – 7. Forrest made trip kings on the river to win the hand and both rounds making him the National Heads-Up Champion,and awarding him $500,000. Not a bad pay day, but with all the money being tossed around on the felt nowadays it seems like this tournament should definitely have a bigger prize pool.

In an unusual display of emotion, Forrest threw his hands up in the air when he realized he had won the hand and the championship. He was out of his seat and pacing the stage. Forrest had shown no emotion throughout the tournament, so his hoopla caught everyone off guard, but Forrest deserved a release after conducting himself like a true gentleman and proving poker isn’t just for “bad-boys”.

Chris Ferguson was runner up for the second year in a row and took home $250,000. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson truly is a remarkable poker player and he will win this championship at some point. He is definitely at the top of the poker class and he is a player to be reckoned with.

The tournament will be broadcast on NBC as part of a ten hour package of poker that begins on April 16th and ends in late May. Last year NBC repeated broadcasts on their cable outlet CNBC as well, so there will be many opportunities to see the entirety of the tournament and the many twists and turns that occurred during the run of the tournament and some of the incredible action between the greatest players in the game today. For now, it's time to congratulate Ted Forrest as the new National Heads Up Poker Champion.

The Heads Up Championship was another tremendous pokerparty and I can't wait too see the poker action unfold on the television. I hope you enjoyed the recap here and be sure to stay tuned to this blog and look for all of the breaking news in the poker world.

Don't forget to use the bonus code 20BR for your next online Pokerparty at Partypoker.

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