Hansen follows bracelet win with Poker Million triumph - 11/12/2010
Exciting plans for tenth edition in 2011 after Great Dane pockets $1million
Gus Hansen ended 2010 $1million richer after winning the FullTiltPoker.com Poker Million IX title live on Sky Sports on Friday night.
The Dane saw off the strongest final table in the tournament’s history including fellow Scandinavian Patrik Antonius and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Howard Lederer before getting the better of Tony Bloom heads-up with the Brighton chairman falling short in his third Poker Million final appearance. Both Hansen and Bloom will be back in the hunt next year, with the tenth anniversary of the tournament ready to break new ground.
Gus Hansen is the FullTiltPoker.com Poker Million IX champion
Hansen claimed his first WSOP bracelet with victory in the No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up High Rollers title in London in September and returned to the capital to defeat Bloom in a rather shorter heads-up contest than the one he picked up his bracelet with – holding a slender chip advantage against Bloom and one he coveted into victory in the second hand, raising with A 8 and calling after Tony shoved with A 6 – Gus hit an eight on the flop to strengthen his grip on the million dollars and avoided any drama to finish the job.
“I do have a very aggressive image and I got reraised a couple of times when I shouldn’t have played so I slowed down a bit and got my reward with some luck,” said Hansen. “But I got put in some tough spots and I made the right decisions so I’m pleased with how I played.
“I would be lying if I said I knew exactly what he had at the end. It’s a big raise, it’s basically going to be the deciding hand and Tony had been very aggressive three-handed and I thought he would continue that aggressive play heads-up and I felt I had enough equity to make a stand.
“There are a lot of great players in this tournament and it’s always great to get your hands on a trophy. I had a little drought in tournaments but the last couple of months have been good and I’m feeling confident which you need to be when you sit down with tough players like Tony.”
Tournament organisers Matchroom Sport plan a string of exciting changes next year when Poker Million gets its tenth outing.
“Poker Million is one of the few remaining poker majors that has truly stood the test of time,” said managing director Eddie Hearn. “It has remained Europe's most prestigious title and 2011 will see the event reach its tenth year. We plan something very special for Poker Million X and want to give the poker playing public a real shot at the million.
Hearn added: “What a year it has been for Gus Hansen – he has re-ignited himself on the poker scene and produced a flawless display from start to finish. No one deserved it more than Gus and I'm delighted to have such a high profile winner to defend their title in next year’s anniversary event.”
Hansen’s victory left Bloom to reflect on a third missed opportunity at the big prize. “It was tough being short-stacked for the most part and I just got lucky with the Ace-three against Barny’s tens but I felt that I needed to get some chips, so I can’t have any complaints,” said Bloom. “At the end with Gus I didn’t feel that I had much choice with the Ace-six, I don’t want to make any raise other than all-in and that’s a pretty strong hand heads-up, he made a very good call though.”
Hansen’s Scandinavian compatriot Patrik Antonius was the first man to fall in the 37th hand of the night – the victim of a dream flop for James Bord. Bloom opened the action with a raise holding A 3, Patrik calling in the small blind with A 9 and Bord holding 10 8 in the big blind. Bord flopped the straight on the 9 7 6 board, Patrik led out with 52k, Bord raised to 122k and Bloom got out of the way. Patrik dwelt for a while before moving all-in and Bord snapped him off to eliminate one of the favourites for the trophy.
Bord held just under 900k in chips going into the 7/15k level but and had a shot at making it a Scandi double but his A J was dominated by Gus’ A Q and the Dane picked up a chunk of James’ chips. The pair clashed again when they both picked up A 10 and Gus moved all in on the A 9 J flop, but James ducked out of the way and Hansen began to look every bit the favourite for the title.
And it was a position he would strengthen just a few hands later as he eliminated Lederer in seventh place. Hansen raised to 57k blind-on-blind with A J offsuit, into Lederer’s big blind with The Professor moving all-in with A 8 of diamonds. The Dane tanked for a long time before making the call and ducking eights and diamonds to take the chip lead with 872k.
The blinds hit 10/20k and Hansen would claim another victim, and with the hand he would go on to claim the title with. He picked up A 8 on the button and raised, with Seth Webber in the small blind and he shoved with A 6 – Hansen made the call and the ace-eight held to fire Gus past the million mark and end the fantastic run of internet qualifier Webber.
Gary Peniket was the last man to make the final table through a freeroll at FullTiltPoker.com but he couldn’t lay his hands on the big prize, falling to Bord. James raised under the gun with K 10 of clubs and Gary shoved his stack in with K Q, only to be hit with a 5c 10s 9c flop. He had outs but the five of spades was not one of them on the turn and the four of clubs gave Bord the flush to see off Peniket.
The exit of a man making his TV debut was followed by that of Barny Boatman in the very next hand, making his second Poker Million final appearance. His stack was decimated when Bloom’s A 3 out flopped his pocket tens and with just 170k left, the end was nigh when Hansen raised with A K of spades and Barny put it all on the line with Q 10 of clubs. The flop fell Kd 5d Ad to hit Hansen hard and Barny’s outs never came down to send him out in fourth.
Bloom had fought hard to stay in the contest and his battling performance was rewarded when he eliminated Bord to go heads-up with Hansen. WSOPE main event winner Bord had look likely to face Hansen but Bloom put his foot down when he picked up chips and when Bord raised with 10 5 offsuit, Tony peeled off a flop with 9 8 off and the money was all going in on the 8 7 9 rainbow – Bord missed his up and down with an ace-four turn and river to send Bloom heads-up with 1,130,000 to Gus’ 1,270,000. Hansen picked up queens in the first hand and reraised Tony’s opening bet with K 6 and after Bloom folded there, it was over the very next hand.