Poker Legend Phil Ivey takes down $25,000 WPT Heads-Up Championship

After a series of thrilling eliminations between the best of the bests, poker legend Phil Ivey emerged victorious in today’s final match against Finnish pro Patrik Antonius, bagging $400,000 in prize money for his impressive win. The $25,000 World Poker Tour Heads-Up Championship event presented by PokerKing was no doubt a smash hit, having caught everyone’s attention with its 32-player field featuring the industry’s top contenders as well as a few well-known characters.

Heading to the finals

The inaugural event ran its first round of matches last June 18th with both players having to survive four matchups prior to advancing to the final showdown. Poker Hall of Famer Ivey faced four outstanding pros – Manig Loeser, Anthony Zinno, Stephen Chidwick, and Christopher Kruk while former Full Tilt Poker pro Antonius bested Gakuto “GACKT” Oshiro, Doug Polk, Stefan ‘Stefan11222’ Burakov and lastly, Sam Greenwood to get to the finals. After four days of competition, a dream matchup between the two all-time greats was booked and fans could not be any less excited.

Despite not being hugely active in the tournament scene lately, the two legends were back in the spotlight just like how they did so frequently a decade ago. Ivey himself, stands to be a  10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner with over $31k in total live earnings under his name while Antonius has an equally decorated record of $12.2 million in cashes and was once one of Europe’s most feared players. 

The two have also similarly been regulars on televised high stakes poker shows with once again this time, sitting opposite each other in Mexico for a series of heads up matches and a WPT champion title on the line.

2021 WPT HU Championship Finals: Ivey vs. Antonius

Phil Ivey vs Antonius
Credit Photo – WPT.com

Running on a best-of-five format instead of the best-of-three in the previous matches, the final showdown lasted quicker than expected with Ivey crowned as the champion after a little over two hours. The brand ambassador himself, took down the top prize and left opponent Antonius with a runner-up finish for $200,000, a big jump from Ivey’s collected $400,000. 

Poker fans were glad to see the long-time pro once again dominating the field, having recorded a slam dunk 3-0 in today’s match. While Antonius is most definitely a tough opponent, a run-good Ivey is likely closer to being undefeatable in addition to his natural talent for the game. In the first round, Antonius scored the initial lead but eventually succumbed to Ivey’s pocket nines with Ad8h for the final hand.

Things were going pretty well for Ivey as he landed another big lead after his first win to start the second match. A failed attempt to run a multi-street bluff by Antonius eventually awarded Ivey with another victory, improving his overall score to 2-0. By the third game, chips rallied back and forth with a crucial hand ended up putting Antonius in a huge handicap when Ivey flopped the nut straight vs. the latter’s top two-pair. The final showdown went to a close after Antonius called off his last 13 big blinds with QsJs. With Ivey’s Ah10d and no help on the board for the Finnish pro, the legendary GOAT secured yet again another champion title.

Schermafbeelding 2021-06-22 om 23.50.42
Image courtesy of worldpokertour.com

2021 WPT HU Championship Payouts

Place Player Prize (USD)
Champion Phil Ivey $400,000
Finalist Patrik Antonius $200,000
Semi-finalist Sam Greenwood $100,000
Semi-finalist Chris Kruk $100,000
jeanette

Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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