Meet the Final Four in the 2023 WSOP $25,000 Heads-Up Championship

Three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Doug Polk, WPT Champions Club member Chanracy Khun and High Roller crushers Sean Winter and Chris Brewer are all in contention to win the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship on Sunday.

Tim Fiorvanti
Jun 4, 2023
Sean Winter has accumulated over $27 million in career live tournament earnings, and looks to add a WSOP bracelet to his long list of career accomplishments on Sunday.

The World Series of Poker offers players a chance to compete in a dizzying variety of games and formats over the course of 95 events this summer. A handful of tournaments stand out even among that variety, and the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship certainly qualifies among that highest echelon as players square off one-on-one, round by round.

Sixty-four players signed up for poker’s version of March Madness, and over the last two days that field of 64 was whittled down to just four players. One of them will walk away on Sunday evening with $507,020 and the gold WSOP bracelet, and each of the four remaining players has their own case to be made for why they could walk away with the title.

In terms of previous WSOP accomplishments, three-time bracelet winner Doug Polk stands out among the crowd. He’ll face Chris Brewer, who has almost $10 million in live tournament earnings and will crack that number with a finish of second or better in this tournament. Polk would break the same mark with a win on Sunday.

On the other side of the bracket, WPT Champions Club member Chanracy Khun takes on High Roller specialist Sean Winter.

The semifinals will begin at 4 p.m. at Horseshoe Las Vegas, with the action streaming on PokerGO, and the finals will follow thereafter.

Ahead of Sunday’s action, let’s get to know a little bit more about the final four players vying for this WSOP bracelet.

Seminfinal No. 1: Doug Polk vs. Chris Brewer

Doug Polk

Age: 34
Hometown: Pasadena, California
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $9,730,589
Total WSOP bracelets: 3
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2017 $111,1111 High Roller for One Drop for $3,686,865
Other Prominent Scores: 1st, 2014 Bellagio $100,000 Super High Roller for $1,648,350; 1st, 2014 WSOP $1,000 Turbo No Limit Hold’em for $251,969; 1st (with Ryan Fee), 2016 $1,000 No Limit Hold’em Tag Team Event for $76,679

Path to the Final Four:
Round of 64: Defeated Shunta Someya
Round of 32: Defeated Thomas Eychenne
Round of 16: Defeated Reiji Kono
Round of 8: Defeated Roberto Perez

Doug Polk has been in the spotlight over the last week for his involvement in the $1 million buy-in cash game on Hustler Casino Live. And although he walked out of California with a seven-figure loss to his credit, he did not fail to bring the entertainment and action, as he promised. Less than a week later, he stands on the precipice of a fourth career WSOP bracelet. While Polk only has 12 career WSOP cashes, he’s made the most of a lot of his deep runs, with the three wins and a second-place finish to his credit.

After winning his first three matches to make it into the money, Polk squared off against Spain’s Roberto Perez in the quarterfinals. While largely unknown to much of the live poker community, Perez, known best online as ‘DavyJones922,’ is a high stakes heads-up cash game crusher who made a strong first impression in his first live WSOP cash.

“It was an interesting one, because I really feel like both of us were really card dead for the whole thing,” Polk said of the match. “So we played very few big pots. It was a lot of just kind of jabs here and there. I think, for both of us, the big pots we had we both kind of ran some bluffs and they got through or they didn’t. It was just one of those real tough battles where no one really had much. Ultimately, I managed to win a couple hands down the stretch, and I got a couple of important bluffs through.”

On the final hand of their match, a short-stacked Perez got all in with Club 7 Club 5 against Polk’s Heart A Diamond Q. The flop was Club 8 Heart 4 Heart 2, and Perez smashed the Diamond 5 turn. The Club 3 river gave Polk a wheel, and he celebrated by running down the rail and slapping some high fives with the folks in attendance.

In the semifinals, he’ll take on Chris Brewer, with whom he has some familiarity.

“I played Chris a decent amout online, and it always went really well for me,” said Polk. “I think I ran really hot against him. I actually think he was one of the best players I played while I was prepping for my heads-up match with Daniel [Negreanu]. I know he’s a good player, but I’m prepared to play my game and I still feel like I’m gonna be doing fine in that matchup. It should be a competitive match, and I’m sure it’ll be fun with the stream tomorrow.”

Chris Brewer

Age: 30
Hometown: Eugene, Oregon
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $9,785,302
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2023 EPT Paris €50,000 Super High Roller for $1,026,159
Other Prominent Scores: 4th, 2022 WSOP $25,000 8-Handed High Roller for $442,213; 5th, 2021 WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $211,235

Path to the Final Four:
Round of 64: Defeated William Stanford
Round of 32: Defeated John Smith
Round of 16: Defeated Tyler Gaston
Round of 8: Defeated Anthony Zinno

Chris Brewer has been a consistent presence on the high roller scene over the last three years, with multiple wins in Triton Poker Series events and a variety of tournaments at the PokerGO Studios. All told, since December 2020, Brewer has 12 tournament wins, all in events with buy-ins of $10,000 or higher.

Brewer has made two serious runs at a WSOP bracelet as well, with final table appearances in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship in 2021 and then the $25,000 8-Handed event in 2022, finishing 5th and 4th, respectively.

After fighting his way to the quarterfinals on a path that included a win over two-time WSOP Heads-Up champion John Smith, Brewer took on three-time WPT Champions Club member and four-time WSOP bracelet-winner Anthony Zinno. After falling behind early, Brewer fired four times with Spade 4 Club 3 and connected with a wheel on the river to take the lead. When Zinno shoved the last of his chips in with Spade A Heart 5, Brewer called with Club Q Club 10 and spiked a Diamond Q on the turn to secure the win.

“I mean, he’s a legend of the game, right?” Brewer said of Zinno. “He’s been around winning so many WPT titles and [WSOP bracelets]. It wasn’t an easy match – I ran pretty good, hit a gutshot in a big spot and heads up is just so much variance that I’m just fortunate to have gotten to win.”

Brewer’s now two matches away from winning a WSOP bracelet for the first time, and despite the price point and quality of opponents, identified it as the right kind of target for him – even if he considered both of his potential opponents at the time a favorite entering the match.

“It’s just the best chance that a bracelet, and it’s a fun format,” said Brewer. It’s not like we all play heads up a lot. I think I’m a winning player overall in this field, but amongst the top heads up Guys, I’m definitely a dog. Between [Roberto] and Doug, I’m definitely a dog.”


Seminfinal: Chanracy Khun vs. Sean Winter

Chanracy Khun

Age: 32
Hometown: Laval, Quebec, Canada
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $1,317,814
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 1st, 2013 WPT Barcelona Main Event for $232,487
Other Prominent Scores: 3rd, 2020 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open for $230,086; 49th, 2018 WSOP Main Event for $156,265; 69th, 2014 WSOP Main Event for $103,025

Path to the Final Four:
Round of 64: Defeated Marko Grujic
Round of 32: Defeated Alexandre Vuilleumier
Round of 16: Defeated Gabor Szabo
Round of 8: Defeated Landon Tice

Chanracy Khun has already locked up one of his top-five all-time cashes, as he looks to join a select group of players who have won both a WPT title and a WSOP bracelet. Khun’s two biggest tournament results to date came on the World Poker Tour – his win in Barcelona in 2013, followed just behind by his third place finish at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open in January 2020.

On his way to the semifinals, Khun defeated three different European players including Aleandre Vuilleumier, who was fresh off of winning the $25,000 6-Handed event to open the 2023 WSOP. In the quarterfinals, Khun was lined up against rising star Landon Tice. While Tice opened up a small lead early, making trips in two key pots helped Khun as he managed to whittle Tice’s stack down.

In the final hand of their match, Khun flopped two pair with Diamond 6 Diamond 5 on a Heart K Club 6 Club 5 board. Tice picked up an open-ended straight draw with Diamond A Diamond 3 on the Heart 4 turn, but the Spade A river would be his undoing. Khun shoved all in on the river, Tice called off the last of his chips, and that was it.

Sean Winter

Age: 32
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $27,122,500
Biggest Lifetime Cash: 2nd, 2018 partypoker Carribbean Poker Party $250,000 Super High Roller for $2,430,000
Other Prominent Scores: 4th, 2023 Triton Super High Roller Series Cyprus $210,000 Luxon Invitational for $1,640,000; 2nd, 2018 WSOP $50,000 High Roller for $1,020,253

Path to the Final Four:
Round of 64: Defeated Espen Jorstad
Round of 32: Defeated Aleksejs Ponakovs
Round of 16: Defeated Kevin Rabichow
Round of 8: Defeated Eric Wasserson

Khun’s opponent in the semifinals is Sean Winter, who stands to crack the top 25 on the all-time tournament earnings list if he wins this event with over $27 million in results to date heading into Sunday’s action. Winter is another face that consistently pops up on high roller final table streams all over the world, and one of the few places he hasn’t broken through yet is at the WSOP.

That’s not for a lack of opportunity. He’s made five WSOP final tables, including a third place finish in the $25,000 6-Handed event earlier this week. Winter finished second to Ben Yu in the 2018 $50,000 High Roller at the WSOP, and Winter also has a pair of quarterfinal exits to his name in this WSOP Heads-Up event.

After kicking off this year’s tournament by knocking out defending WSOP Main Event champion Espen Jorstad, Winter won his way back to familiar territory with his third career quarterfinals berth. Standing in the way of a breakthrough was Eric Wasserson. In what turned out to be a major turning point in their match, Winter called with Heart A Heart J for ace-high on a Club 10 Diamond 10 Heart 7 Heart Q Spade 6 board and caught Wasserson’s bluff with Club J Club 9.

Winter got his semifinal breakthrough and secured the first spot in the final four when his Diamond A Heart 5 held off Wasserson’s Heart Q Diamond 9 as neither player hit the board.