The action at Caesars Palace is well underway as the first half of the Round One matches of the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship are over and done with in time to spare. The Diamond bracket flew by and was dominated by players who are best known for their WSOP Main Event runs like Jerry Yang, Darvin Moon and Paul Wasicka.
Here’s the breakdown of how the Diamond matches went down and the pairings you’ll see tomorrow in Round Two:
Barry Greenstein def. Vanessa Rousso
We overheard Rousso tell her friends and family on the rail that she was quite card dead during her match with Greenstein. The only time she picked up an ace, Greenstein showed up with a bigger one. The match came down to a hand in which Greenstein put a short-stacked Rousso all-in holding [Jd8d] to Rousso’s K6. The board favored Greenstein as it ran out J74T7 and he busted last year’s runner-up finisher.
Sam Farha def. Antonion Esfandiari
So far it seems the players at the feature table seem to be the ones wrapping up their matches the fastest. The audience was treated to just a few minutes of table talk before Farha got it all-in holding A-10 to Esfandiari’s A-5. The board had chop potential, as the flop and turn fell A969, but the 7 on the river sent Esfandiari to the rail as the first elimination of the bracket.
Jennifer Harman def. Jennifer Tilly
Battle Jennifer was the only female vs. female match of the tournament and it was the blonde who prevailed over the brunette. On the final hand of play, the ladies got it all-in on a 5-4-4 board with Harman holding both the chip lead and Q-5 for top pair. Tilly had straight possibilities with her 2-3, but the turn and river came 8 then 3 to send Tilly to the rail.
Jerry Yang def Mike Matusow
Somehow Mike Matusow managed to refrain from any comments or blow-ups following his elimination in his match against Jerry Yang. Matusow slowplayed his pocket kings against Yang and both players checked an 8-6-2 flop. The money went in after the turn brought a 4, making Yang two pair and leaving Matusow drawing slim. The river seven was no help for The Mouth and he lingered quietly for a minute or two before exiting the tournament area.
Darvin Moon def. Bill Huntress
It was a hard fought battle in this match as the Caesars online qualifier took on this year’s WSOP Main Event runner-up. Moon would not settle for second this time around though. He got the best of Huntress when the duo got it all-in on an AQ4 flop each holding a club draw. Moon had the best hand with the worst draw as he held KT, while Huntress had the opposite with his J8. The turn and river came 9 then 7 and Moon wins with the king high to advance to Round 2.
Annie Duke def. Andy Bloch
The award for the most dramatic bustout hand has to go to this match. Even though the two got it all-in in a coin flip situation with KQ for Bloch and TT for Duke, the order of the cards kept it interesting. The flop fell K33 to pair Bloch’s king and the 4 on the turn changed nothing. The river brought the T to give Duke her set and send her into the next round though, ending the bout in dramatic fashion. After the match, Duke stuck around to catch the tail end of Moon vs. Huntress to do some recon work on her Round 2 opponent.
Paul Wasicka def. Andrew Wilson
Paul Wasicka’s chances at repeating his Heads-Up success of the past are still alive after defeating online qualifier Andrew Wilson. Their match ended in a 60/40 situation in which Wasicka’s A3 prevailed over Wilson’s K-J to send him into a Round Two match against Hansen.
Gus Hansen def. Greg Raymer
The Great Dane got the best of Fossilman early on in the session when he got it all-in holding bottom pair against Raymer’s open-ended straight draw on a KQ6. Raymer held JT while Hansen held 3-6. Hansen improved to two pair with the 3. The river 7 sent the pot to Hansen and eliminated Raymer. Hansen collected his souvenir fossil from Raymer and headed out to prepare for his second round match with Paul Wasicka tomorrow.
Round Two Pairings:
Barry Greenstein vs. Sammy Farha
Jennifer Harman vs. Jerry Yang
Darvin Moon vs. Annie Duke
Paul Wasicka vs. Gus Hansen