Steve O’Dwyer Wins Heads Up Championship for $135,000!

By Frank Op de Woerd Non-other than Steve O’Dwyer triumphed in the $3,200 Heads Up Championship, beating a field of 166 of the best players in the world. Being on the right end of a massive cooler earned him a ticket to the final, but it wasn’t just set-ups that earned him the title. Read…

Joaquim Tirach
Sep 18, 2020

By Frank Op de Woerd

Non-other than Steve O’Dwyer triumphed in the $3,200 Heads Up Championship, beating a field of 166 of the best players in the world. Being on the right end of a massive cooler earned him a ticket to the final, but it wasn’t just set-ups that earned him the title. Read our recap of the event, as well as all the other action from September 17th.

Event #09 – Main: $3,200 Heads Up Championship ($500K GTD)

With just sixteen players remaining, all players returning for Day 2 had already locked up $7,500. But it was the $135,000 first-place prize they were all eyeing, and all it took was winning four more matches to be crowned champion.

Matthew Johnson matched up with Artem Akhmetvaleyev in the Round of Sixteen and would ultimately be the first to go out. Down on his luck and down in chips, he called an all-in shove with ace-queen. Akhmetvaleyev had a measly jack-eight but flopped trips to take the lead. Blanks on the turn and river and Akhmetvaleyev had secured himself of the quarter-finals.

Heads Up Matches

As Niko Koop busted Juuso Ritvanen, and Steve O’Dwyer took care of Jesse Liljegren, an exciting match took place between Frenchman Sylvain Loosli and Portugal’s Joao Vieira. Loosli took the lead early on hitting a backdoor flush to gain some chips, but he would ultimately fall and see Vieira go to the next round. At one point, Loosli had a king-high flush on a non-paired board only to fold to Vieira’s over shove on the river. Loosli never recovered from that second-nuts fold and busted not much later.

Meanwhile, Daniel Carter lost to Eugenio Peralta, Pauli Äyräs beat Allan Berger, Scott Pollington-Woods was beaten by Jorma Nuutinen, and Arnaud Enselme took care of Adria Diaz-Dalmau.

With eight players remaining, another four matches were played to determine who would go on to the semis.

HU Quarter Finals

The Round of Eight was the end of the road for Eugenio Peralta. In his final hand, he had kings against the queen-ten of Allan Berger. Peralta fired all thee streets, but by the time the turn was out, Berger was in the lead with top-two. Berger had an easy call on the river and busted Peralta, who was the first to grab $17,500 instead of the $7,500 they were already guaranteed for making Day 2.

Niko Koop received that same $17,500 when he busted next, going under against Steve O’Dwyer. The latter made two-pair with queen-four in the match’s final hand, with Koop unable to beat it.

A king-high flush against an ace-high flush proved to be the crucial hand of the match between Artem Akhmetvaleyev and Arnaud Enselme. A small river check-raise by Akhmetvaleyev gave Enselme too good a prize to get away from his hand, and the chip advantage went to the Russian. Not much later, it was all over as the two got it in with top pair (Akhmetvaleyev) against a flush draw (Enselme). The clubs stayed in the deck, and instead, Akhmetvaleyev made trips to end Enselme’s dreams of becoming the next WPT Online Championships champion.

Joao Vieira was the last player to go out in the Round of Eight, succumbing to Jorma Nuutinen. Vieira flopped top-pair with king-five, but by the time Nuutinen had emptied the clip, there were four cards to Broadway on the board. Vieira tank-called all in on the river only to be shown ace-jack for the street of all streets, $17,500, and no more for one of Portugal’s top players.

HU Semi Finals

A complete set-up saw a quick end to the match between Steve O’Dwyer and Allan Berger. Both players started with a pocket pair as it was three-bet before the flop. O’Dwyer, the one to three-bet before the flop with queens, checked the ace-high flop. Berger, with pocket eights, was just glad to see a free turn card. On the fourth community card, he hit an eight to make a set, and O’Dwyer checked again. Berger bet, and O’Dwyer called. The river was, you guessed it, a queen to shift the advantage back to O’Dwyer. The latter checked again and snap-called when Berger over pushed with his set of eights. Set over set in a three-bet pot in a heads up tournament; a monster cooler saw O’Dwyer go to the finals while Berger settled for $40,000.

An ill-timed bluff saw Jorma Nuutinen’s stack dwindle early on. He found a lucky double with ace-four against ace-king all-in pre-flop, but it wasn’t enough to make a full recovery. Nuutinen three-bet jammed with pocket treys, and Akhmetvaleyev called with ace-queen. A queen on the flop helped Akhmetvaleyev, and no three or runner-runner chop was in the cards for Nuutinen.

Steve O’Dwyer vs. Artem Akhmetvaleyev

Starting all over again with 100,000 in chips and a first level of 500/1,000, the final got underway. The players were guaranteed $75,000, but there was $60,000 more for first, and the honors of calling yourself a WPT Heads Up champion.

O’Dwyer, the well-known American-Irish high roller living in Amsterdam, was off to a great start as he three-barrel bluffed with ace-nine. Akhmetvaleyev called the flop and turn with his ace-jack, having hit a jack. Against O’Dwyer’s third barrel, a shove on a board that now also included a queen and king, Akhmetvaleyev folded.

In the final hand of the event, O’Dwyer opened ace-king, and Akhmetvaleyev called with eight-seven. The player from Russia took the lead on the ten-eight-five rainbow board and check-called a bet. As the king on the turn shifted the lead back to O’Dwyer, Akhmetvaleyev check-called another bet. On the four-river, Akhmetvaleyev checked for the final time. O’Dwyer shoved all-in for what was effectively 50,000 into a 44,000 pot. Akhmetvaleyev called with third pair only to lose to O’Dwyer’s top pair.

HU Winner Steve O'dwyer

O’Dwyer, with over 30 million in live cashes and a long history of big online wins as well, earned $135,000 for his feat, and another title on his mantle. He may call himself the WPT Online Championships Heads Up champion from here on out, beating the field of 166!

Event #09 – Mini: $320 Heads Up Championship ($100K GTD)

In the Mini edition of the Heads Up Championship, all remaining sixteen players had $1,200 locked up when play got underway.

There was no more than that in the cards for Stephen Wallace, Ryan O’ donnel, Tomas Fara, Jernej Nemanič, Philip Bräutigam, Armin Rezaei, Kseniia Polezhaeva, and Evgeny Evdokimov.

In the next round, the play was for a spot in the semis. Adrian Lund, Ivaylo Koev, Matthieu Rodriguez, and Vytis Papeckys all received $3,200 for their elimination in the Round of 8.

In the semi-finals, partypoker sponsored-player Renato Nomura was the first to fall. The Brazilian received $7,000 for his fourth-place finish. Peter Chien received the same for his third-place finish not much later.

In the final, Stefan Dimitrov from the United Kingdom battled Yordan Ivanov playing from Hungary. The two likely had enough of it after a long grind and chopped up the prize pool. Dimitrov ultimately snatched first-place getting $19,558 while Ivanov settled for $18,442.

Event #09 – Micro: $33 Heads Up Championship ($20K GTD)

The remaining sixteen players had already guaranteed themselves of ten times the buy-in when they survived Day 1. The Round of Sixteen meant the end of the road for half of the field. The surviving eight were now guaranteed $916.

Tomás Gomes De Mello, Brian Williams, David Alonso Sampayo, and Michael Kane saw that amount wired to their partypoker account when they fell. Tuomo Niskanen and Karel Kratochvíl both received $1,773 when they lost their match in the semi-final.

Zhanar Shayakova from Kazakhstan and Malte Keßler from Germany squared off against one another in the final. While there was a significant amount still to be played for and their mini-event counterparts had opted for a deal, no agreement was made. Instead, they played it out, and Keßler ultimately won. The German poker player received $5,910 for his first-place prize, while Shayakova settled for $2,955.

Main: $1,050 WPT 7-Max ($100K GTD)

With a guarantee of $100,000 and a buy-in of $1,000 plus $50, the WPT 7-Max needed a hundred players to meet its guarantee. Well, exactly a hundred entries were collected into the event, so there was no overlay.

Ema Zajmovic, who won the WPT Playground back in 2017 and was close to becoming a two-time champion twice in her poker career, was the last player to go out with nothing to show for. She bubbled in fifteenth place, guaranteeing the remaining fourteen players a cash of $2,400.

partypoker’s Josip Simonic made a deep run but missed out on the final table, busting in ninth for $3,500. Thomas Muehloecker (5th, $6,250) and Lars Kamphues (4th, $8,800) did make it to the final table but bowed out before the five-figure prizes were getting handed out.

Artur Martirosian got bronze for $12,450 when he busted in third, setting up the heads-up match between Sergei Denisov and Istvan Habencius. The latter triumphed, taking down the tournament for $25,325. Denisov finished runner-up for $17,975.

Main: $215 WPT 7-Max ($50K GTD)

Goran Mandic, Croatia’s number one live and top online player, bubbled the $215 edition of the 7-Max. With his bust out in thirty-second place, he paved the way for the remaining thirty-one to make a run for the top prize.
The top nine would get a four-figure number in their accounts, with only the winner getting five figures. Luiz Antonio Silva Constantino De Melo, from – you guessed it – Brazil walked away as the winner earning himself $10,658. He beat Matthew Eardley heads-u, the Brit made $7,597 for his second-place finish. Andrei Chernokoz from Russia took third for $5,353.

Mini: $22 WPT 7-Max ($25K GTD)

A little over 1,300 entries were collected in the $22 Mini WPT 7-Max, more than enough to cover the $25,000 guarantee.

After nine hours of play, just to Brits were left standing. The two did not talk shop and just played it out, with Charles Kolade Akadiri ultimately finishing in second place for $2,966. The top prize of $4,333 went to his countrymate Christopher Johnson who can now call himself a WPT Online Championships winner.

Main: $530 Mix-Max Knockout ($100K GTD)

The Mix-Max Knockout saw a field of 196 entries gather to play for the $100,000 prize pool. Daniel Smiljkovic bubbled in twenty-eight place, setting up the rest with a minimum of $565 plus their bounties.

Adriano Luzzi, the first to bust in the money, collected no bounties throughout his run and got just the $565 for his twenty-seventh place. Others, like Dannys Ramos, who busted in twenty-first for $591 plus $1,312. Earned considerably more by knocking out players.

High stakes regular Thomas Boivin finished his tournament run in fourth place for $5,808 ($4,527 + $1,281). Dmitrii Shutenko took third for $9,549 ($6,186 + $3,363) and Stewart Kirby from Scotland took second for $12,325. The top prize went to Anton Bergström, who earned $11,625 in bounties on top of his $8,997 first-place prize to walk away with $20,622.

Mini: $109 Mix-Max Knockout ($75K GTD)

Like it’s bigger brother the $530 Main, the $109 Mini started as an 8-max but transitioned to a 6-max from level 17. Not only did the format change mix things up, the fact there were bounties on people’s heads made for some extra excitement. Long gone are the days where every other tournament was a freeze-out, the PKO has taken its place, and it’s here to stay.

A field of 701 gathered for the $109 buy-in event, with ninety-six getting paid. Béla Tóth bubbled, setting up the remaining ninety-five with a guaranteed cash of $117. WPT PRAGUE winner Marcin Wydrowski laddered up a level and received $120 for his eighty-seventh place, plus $125 in bounties.

partypoker’s Richard Dubini made it to 138th place without knocking anyone out, so he had to settle for just the $163 from the regular prize pool. His teammate Josip Simunic did a bit better, getting $511 plus $1,061 in bounties for his tenth place.

Dutchman Jim Ensink did best, taking home $5,396 plus $5,871 for a combined score of $11,267. Danton Gomes from Brazil finished runner-up for $7,120 ($5,387 + $1,733).

Main: $215 6-Max Turbo ($50K GTD)

Six-max, turbo, and PKO. We mean, what’s not to like? Starting a little later than the others, this was a great event for those stuck to try and make some back for the day. The tournament attracted two hundred and forty-six entries, just shy of the 250 needed to make the guarantee.

Rui Bouquet bubbled in thirty-first place, only getting $50 in bounties for a small loss. The first tier of bust-outs collected $235, with German high roller Dominik Nitsche being one of the early players to departure.

The top prize of $4,438 went to Pablo Lopez Soriano, who earned $6,618 in bounties for a combined reward of $11,056. Runner-up Christos Argyriadis received a comparable $4,432 for second but padded that with “just” $981 in bounties for a total prize of $5,413.

Mini: $22 6-Max Turbo ($20K GTD)

In the $22 edition of the 6-Max Turbo PKO, 988 entries signed up. Five hours and forty-four minutes later, there was just one man left standing. Gediminas Cizauskas from the great nation of Lithuania beat all the competition, earning himself $1,342 plus $1,086 in the process. His score of $2,428 topped the $1,909 ($1,339 + $570) Rodrigo Ruas made for his second place.

WPT World Online Championships Player of the Championship Leaderboard

Last time we checked in with the leaderboard, Scott Margereson led before Kristen Bicknell. Margereson still leads, but Bicknell has dropped to position four on the leaderboard. Phillip Mighall, winner of the WPT Main Event for well over $1.5 million, now sits in second place with 307 points. Margereson has a lead of twenty points heading into the final stage of the WPT World Online Championship. Roberto Romanello earned some points but still sits in third place.

Teun Mulder, runner-up in the event Mighall won, jumped into the seventh position with 229 points. Thomas Boivin, who sat in fourth in our last update, now takes position number 8.

PotC 17-09

He or she who finished in first place on the leaderboard adds $50,000 to their bankroll. For the second-place finisher, $10,000 awaits while third takes home $5,000. Fourth earns an extra $3,000 while fifth takes $2,000. For positions six through ten, $1,000 will be wired to their account.

WPT World Online Championships Rising Star Leaderboard

There have been no significant changes in the Rising Star leaderboard. Luiz de Melo still leads with 258 points; he gathered no points in the last couple of days. Patrick Leonard added a single point and still takes second place, Andres Ojeda remains in third.

Boris Angelov, who led the Rising Star leaderboard early on and sat in fourth place the last time we checked in, dropped to sixth place as Gabriel Merenda (3rd) and Vyacheslav Nikulin (4th) frog jumped him with big scores and significant point gains.

RS 17-09