2008 Event 25 World Championship Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em

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2008 WSOP Event 25 World Championship Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em

Individual Event Reports

Event 25 World Championship Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Day 1

Because of the game being heads up No Limit, the number of players is capped at 256. And there were that many who paid the $10K entry fee for this World Champion event. There will be 64 spots that will pay, a $2,406,400 prize pool and $539,040 going to the winner.

Thirty two players are left after this round. Here are the names of the matchups for Day 2 with 160,000 chips each:

Jason Rosenkrantz vs George Adams
Emil Patel vs Michael Banducci
Roman Paradiso vs Sammy Farha
Kenny Tran vs Erick Lindgren
Thomas Lutz vs John Patgorski
Gavin Griffin vs Alexander Kostritsyn
Andrew Black vs Michael McNeil
Alex Jacob vs Jonathan Jaffe
Brian Roberts vs Alec Torelli
Scott Montgomery vs Isaac Haxton
Daniel Stern vs David Williams
Lyle Berman vs David Podgurski
Jean Moussa vs Robert Mizrachi
Jonas Mentin vs Evan Sofer
Clifford Cantor vs Vanessa Selbst
Matthew Gianetti vs Michael Mizrachi

Event 25 World Championship Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Day 2

From those left on Day 1, we have narrowed that down to just the top 4. What they will have to do is go heads up until two are left. These two will have it out in a two out of three wins in order to determine the champion.

  1. Kenny Tran 1,280,000 vs Jonathan Jaffe 1,280,000
  2. Alec Torelli 1,280,000 vs Vanessa Selbst 1,280,000

Event 25 World Championship Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Final Table

Here are excerpts from the event summary as given by the WSOP:

This is only the second time this event has been included on the WSOP schedule. Last year in the inaugural, more entries were accepted (392). However, some players randomly drew a "bye" and did not have to compete in the first round. This was ultimately viewed as giving too much of an advantage to those players. Hence, the adoption of the single-elimination format with no byes this year meant that only specific multiples of entrants would be workable. Hence, the tournament was forced to accept a limited number of entries with 128, 256, or 512 being the most likely targets. It was decided that the tournament would be capped at 256 players.

The final four players took seats in two separate matches at the final table on Day Three. Those two winners faced off in a "best two out of three" finale played out on ESPN's main stage. The competition ultimately requires that the tournament champion win nine heads-up matches. The 2008 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em World Champion is Kenny Tran. He is a professional poker player, who has specialized in high-limit cash games most of his career.

"I definitely have a strategy," Tran stated after his final heads-up win. "I grind them all out. I like to grind people out and make them feel bored. I just torture them and let them finally make a mistake." The final heads-up confrontation between Tran and Torelli was the "best two out of three" format. Tran won 2 to 0. The first match (won by Tran) took 94 hands and lasted 2.5 hours. The second match (won by Tran) took 80 hands and lasted about 2 hours.

Through the conclusion of Event #25 at this year's World Series of Poker, the "Professionals versus Amateurs" gold bracelet scoreboard reads:

  • Professionals - 19 wins
  • Amateurs -- 4 wins
  • Semi-Pros -- 2 wins
  1. Kenny Tran $539,056
  2. Alec Torelli $336,896
  3. Vanessa Selbst $108,288
  4. Jonathan Jaffe $108,288
  5. Lyle Berman $54,144
  6. Gavin Griffin $54,144
  7. Brandon Adams $54,144
  8. Robert Mizrachi $54,144
  9. David Williams $36,096

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