After seven thrilling rounds in two days, only two players remain in contention for the gold bracelet and a first-place prize of $335,553 in the prestigious $10,000 Heads-up Championship. Sam Stein will face Davide Suriano, with Stein looking to capture his second bracelet while Suriano attempts to bring home his first.
Both finalists beat a series of top professionals in order to reach the finals as Suriano started out by beating Scott Seiver followed by Daniel Cates, who he busted after spiking a jack when his jacks ended up all in versus Cates' kings. On Friday Suriano faced Serkan Kurnaz and after a two-hour battle, the longest of the round, the Italian secured himself a spot among the final eight.
Heads-up specialist Ankush Mandavia was his next opponent and Suriano held the lead for almost the entire match before closing things out with king-seven versus king-three. In the semifinal Suriano faced yet another heads-up phenom, but Daniel Colman also proved to be no match for the aggressive Italian.
Stein faced Bryn Kenney during his second-round match and hit an ace while holding ace-queen against Kenney's kings to advance. The next two players Stein faced were among Britain's elite, but both Sam Trickett and Max Silver fell short of advancing.
With just eight players remaining Stein faced Scott Baumstein, who ran into Stein's kings to surrender the lead and the busted when he . In the semifinal match Stein trailed Scott Davies for quite some time, but a huge cooler turned things around. In a set-over-set situation Stein grabbed the lead, and while Davies doubled back up once, he was unable to come back.
Here is a complete look at their respective roads to the championship match:
Round of 128
Round of 64
Round of 32
Round of 16
Round of 8
Round of 4
The final match of this year's $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship will start at 12 p.m. local time on Saturday, and PokerNews.com will be right there to bring hand-for-hand coverage.
Daniel Colman was sitting on around 800,000 chips when he ended up all in for his tournament life before the flop.
The board ran out and Suriano burst out in a huge celebration with his Italian friends on the rail. Suriano was lifted into the air after shaking Colman's hand and he will be facing Sam Stein in tomorrow's final match.
Ankush Mandavia raised to 40,000 on the button, Davide Suriano three-bet to 100,000 from the big blind and Mandavia called.
The flop fell and Suriano continued for 75,000. Mandavia called, the landed on the turn, and both players checked. The river completed the board and Suriano checked to Mandavia who bet 75,000. Suriano called and Mandavia sheepishly turned over . Suriano tabled for trip fives to win the pot.
The following hand Suriano shoved on the button for effectively 300,000 and Mandavia called all in.
The board ran out , giving Suriano a full house to eliminate Mandavia in sixth place.
Suriano advanced to the Final Four to face Daniel Colman.
After a crazy hand, which was played at the highest possible speed, Scott Davies was the first to advance to the semifinal. Dee Tiller limped on the button after which Davies made it 20,000 and the former responded by moving all in for right around 800,000 chips.
"Call," Davies said quickly, and all of a sudden we were looking at an enormous all in during the first level of the Round of 8.
The board ran out and Tiller was knocked out in eighth place.
Davide Suriano raised to 40,000 on the button and Serkan Kurnaz defended his big blind.
The flop fell and Kurnaz checked to Suriano who bet 40,000. A call from Kurnaz landed the turn and he led out for 90,000. Suriano called, the river completed the board and Kurnaz shoved for about 195,000.
Suriano snap-called and tabled for kings full of tens, besting Kurnaz's for a straight.
Kurnaz was eliminated in ninth place, while Suriano advanced to the Round of 8 to play Ankush Mandavia.