Event #35: $10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship

Event Info

Buy-in $10,000
Prize Pool $2,406,400
Players 256

Set For Somerville, Pham Crippled

Somerville takes the lead in his match with Pham (foreground)
Somerville takes the lead in his match with Pham (foreground)

On a board reading {10-Spades}{K-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{A-Spades} Jason Somerville fired out 80,000 only to be check-raised by Kido Pham to 530,000.

Somerville slowly replied the hand in his mind as he deliberated a decision.

Eventually - after roughly three minutes - Somerville made the call and tabled his {A-Clubs}{A-Hearts} for top set as Pham mucked his hand.

Somerville now holds a commanding lead with 1,919,715 to Pham's 285,000 in chips.

Tags: Jason SomervilleKido Pham

A.K. beats Lacay's A-K

Play at the main feature table
Play at the main feature table

With about 90,000 in the middle and the board showing {7-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{8-Clubs}{K-Clubs}, Alexander Kostritsyn bet 64,000, then Ludovic Lacay raised to 177,000.

Kostritsyn contemplated the raise for about a minute, then finally made the call. Lacay tabled {A-Hearts}{K-Spades}, but Kostritsyn had {7-Hearts}{4-Diamonds} for two pair and took the large pot.

Kostritsyn jumps to a lead in this one, with 1.135 million to Lacay's 785,000.

Tags: Alexander KostritsynLudovic Lacay

Jaka Four-Bet


Faraz Jaka entered the pot from the button with a raise to 17,000 only to have Ayaz Mahmood three-bet to 50,000.

Jaka deliberated for a few moments before sliding in a bet amounting to 122,000 to prompt an insta-muck from Mahmood.

Tags: Faraz JakaAyaz Mahmood

Schmejkal Shows


Ernst Schmejkal raised to 16,000 from the small blind/button, and Vanessa Rousso called. The flop came {9-Hearts}{A-Clubs}{7-Hearts}. Rousso checked, Schmejkal bet 16,000, and Rousso called.

The turn was the {4-Clubs}. Rousso again checked, and this time Schmejkal bet 40,000. Rousso thought a moment, then let it go. Schmejkal showed his {A-Spades}{Q-Diamonds} as he dragged the pot.

Schmejkal edges to a small lead here in the early going, with 980,000 to Rousso's 940,000.

Tags: Ernst SchmajkalVanessa Rousso

Three-Bet Victory For Somerville


Kido Pham opened to 24,000 from the button only to have Jason Somerville three-bet to 75,000.

Pham made the call to see a {6-Spades}{J-Clubs}{2-Diamonds} flop fall and a continuation bet of 85,000 follow from Somerville.

Pham took his time before folding as he slipped to 850,000 as Somerville raked in the pot to climb to 1,070,000 in chips.

Tags: Jason SomervilleKido Pham

Quarterfinals Notes


Here in the quarterfinals, players will each start with 960,000 chips.

They will be playing 30-minute levels, with the blinds going up according to the following schedule: 4,000-8,000, 5,000-10,000, 6,000-12,000, 8,000-16,000, 10,000-20,000, 12,000-24,000, 15,000-30,000, 20,000-40,000, 25,000-50,000, 30,000-60,000, 40,000-80,000, 50,000-100,000.

In addition to reporting on the action here in the blog, we'll be updating the "Chip Counts" page along the way as well to reflect where the players stand. (When consulting that page, remember who is playing whom to see how each match is going.)

Double Feature


We are just a couple of minutes away from getting started. Our four quarterfinal matches are being played on the two feature tables here in the Amazon Room, with two matches per table.

On the main feature table, Vanessa Rousso and Ernst Schmejkal are playing on one end, while Alexander Kostritsyn and Ludovic Lacay
 are battling down on the other.

Meanwhile, on the secondary feature table we find Jason Somerville and Kido Pham on one side, and Faraz Jaka and Ayaz Mahmood on the other.

The two winners at each table will be playing each other in the semis -- i.e., the Rousso-Schmejkal winner will face the Kostritsyn-Lacay winner, and the Somerville-Pham winner will take on the Jaka-Mahmood winner.

How They Got Here

Ludovic Lacay, one of our elite eight
Ludovic Lacay, one of our elite eight

There is no easy road to the quarterfinals -- never mind the bracelet -- in the $10,000 Heads Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship. Here are the paths our elite eight took to get to this point:

Jason Somerville defeated Andrew Lichtenberger, Amit Makhija, Tobias Reinkenmeier, Julian Herold, and Martin Kabrhel.

Kido Pham defeated Brian Roberts, Brendan Murphy, Phil Ivey, Anton Kozlovskiy, and Gavin Smith.

Faraz Jaka defeated Olivier Busquet, Thomas McNamara, Michael Leah, Nicholas Rampone, and Phil Gordon.

Ayaz Mahmood defeated John Duthie, Nathan Doudney, James Collopy, Kevin Saul, and Brian Rast.

Alexander Kostritsyn defeated Bruno Fitoussi, Dario Minieri, Jeremy Coon, Keith Block, and Chris Moorman.

Ludovic Lacay defeated Rob Akery, Eric Sagstrom, Jordan Morgan, Timothy Adams, and Bertrand Grospellier.

Ernst Schmejkal defeated Nikolay Evdakov, Joao Barbosa, Juan Ramirez, David Williams, and Alexander Kravchenko.

Vanessa Rousso defeated Johannes Strassmann, Vadim Trincher, Terrence Chan, Melanie Weisner, and Vivek Rajkumar.

The Elite Eight Return to Battle for the Bracelet

Vanessa Rousso is among the elite eight returning today to battle for the Event No. 35 bracelet
Vanessa Rousso is among the elite eight returning today to battle for the Event No. 35 bracelet

Welcome back to Day 3 of Event No. 35, the $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship. Only eight have survived from a 256-player field largely comprised of poker's top players.

Each of our quarterfinalists has already accomplished a lot, defeating five opponents thus far to make it to today. But much work is still to be done. Three more rounds are left to be played, with the final being a best-of-three affair.

Here are the quarterfinal match-ups with which we'll begin today:

Jason Somerville vs. Kido Pham

Faraz Jaka vs. Ayaz Mahmood

Alexander Kostritsyn vs. Ludovic Lacay

Ernst Schmejkal vs. Vanessa Rousso

All eight are guaranteed paydays of at least $92,580 for making it this far, but each is eyeing that $625,682 first prize and WSOP bracelet that would come should they make it through three more tough opponents.

The action begins at 3 p.m. local time. See you then for reports from all of the matches as the next 2010 WSOP bracelet winner is determined.