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Poker News | Online Poker | Tournaments

David Singer Wins Full Tilt $25K Heads-Up Championship

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Much excitement has built over the past few weeks since the announcement of the $25K Heads-Up World Championship on Full Tilt Poker. The largest buy-in heads-up tournament to date, the roster of professional players signing up began the moment the event opened on the site.

Not only were Full Tilt pros putting up the $25,000 to buy in, but big names like Patrik Antonius were quick to secure seats as well. And out of the 64 seats available, four were reserved for players who won satellite tournaments. Demand was high for spots, so Full Tilt did open it up to more players at one point, but the tournament would have only grown if 128 players signed up. With such a hefty buy-in, that did not happen, so other buy-ins were refunded and the 64 players were set to compete for the $1.6 million prize pool.

On Saturday, May 24th, play began, and numerous notable players busted in the first round, including Gus Hansen, Phil Ivey, David Benyamine, Erik Seidel, Nick Schulman, Erick Lindgren, Huck Seed, Nenad Medic, Peter Jepsen, David Oppenheim, and tournament host and reigning NBC National Heads-Up champion Chris Ferguson. Still, many big names remained, and rail birds were abundant. A corresponding thread on a popular internet forum tracked the action and comments, reaching well over 150 pages of posts.

The second round of action saw the following players eliminated: Max Pescatori, Taylor Caby, Eli Elezra, Steve Zolotow, Gavin Smith, and Brandon Adams. And in the third round, Peter Feldman and Howard Lederer hit the rail as well.

Only the top eight finishers in the tournament were to be paid, and those quarterfinal players were as follows:

David Singer v. mastrblastr
Brian Hastings v. mischiefofmagic
Dani Stern (Ansky451) v. Emil Patel (whitelime)
Andy Bloch v. Patrik Antonius (FinddaGrind)

Full Tilt pro David Singer defeated mastrblastr to move on to the semi-finals. Fellow FTP pro Brian Hastings beat mischiefofmagic to advance, but mischiefofmagic didn’t do too badly after cashing in the prestigious tournament through a $535 satellite into the event. Patel took down Stern, and FTP pro Andy Bloch kept Antonius out of the next round. Each player eliminated in 5th through 8th place received $96,000 for their play.

The semi-final players were as follows:

David Singer v. Brian Hastings
Andy Bloch v. Emil Patel (whitelime)

All four players began on Sunday, May 25th, with 80,000 in chips, and both matches had significant chip leaders within the first thirty minutes – Singer and Patel.

Bloch was getting crushed. Patel slowly built his chip lead and crept past 100,000 in chips, finally surpassing the 125,000 mark by the time of the first break an hour into the match. From what could be seen in face-up cards, Patel was getting cards when he needed them. Down to the wire, Bloch sustained at just under 15,000 for several hands, even doubling up a few times to build momentum. In the end, however, it was Bloch’s A-10 that came up against Patel’s pocket 7’s and lost. Bloch was awarded $168,000 for his deep run.

Singer was slow and calculating in his play but dominated his opponent. He broke the 100,000 chip mark within the first 45 minutes and applied a great deal of pressure to the young Hastings. Though Hastings continued to fight back and give Singer a run for his money, Singer finally won the match, leaving Hastings with a $168,000 elimination.

After a short break, the final match-up began with David Singer and Emil Patel each with 160,000 in chips. The ante was 75 and blinds were 300-600 for the 12-minute levels. A virtual audience was in place on the screen to watch the virtual final table, and play began.

Singer jumped out to an early lead through some aggressive play. His solid stack never allowed Patel to gain any significant ground, much less any advantage. By the time Singer hit the 200,000 mark in chips, it was downhill for his opponent.

The last hand evidenced the desperation of Patel. All in with 10-3 offsuit, he ran into Singer’s pocket 8’s. A pair of 9’s was the only thing of significance on the board, which gave Singer the winning hand with two pair.

Emil Patel was forced to settle for a second place finish and $320,000. David Singer was able to play an amazing heads-up tournament and secure a victory for $560,000 in first prize money. The Full Tilt pro played strong and took the much-deserved title in the first ever Full Tilt Poker $25K Heads-Up World Championship.

Congratulations, David!

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