My Favorite Pro brought together four players who won their seat on Poker After Dark by various means, and two of their favorite professional players. Competing were Craig Ivey from Australia, Richard Ashby from Alabama, Steve Bartlett from Michigan, Phil Hellmuth, Jens Voertmann from Germany, and Chris Ferguson.
Late on Day 1 with the blinds at 200/400, Voertmann opened for a raise to 1100 holding pocket aces. Next to act, Ferguson found Ah Jd and raised to 3100, and action folded back around to Voertmann who called. The flop was 2d Jc 7h and after Voertmann checked Ferguson bet 4000 with top pair/top kicker. Voertmann check-raised all in and Ferguson called with only two outs. The turn and river blanked, and Ferguson was the surprising 6th place finisher.
On Day 2 with the blinds at 300/600, Ashby looked to be in good shape when he found pocket queens and open-raised to 1200, only to have a short-stacked Ivey move all in from the big blind with Ad Qs. But Ivey flopped Broadway after Ashby called, and Ashby was now on life support. He made his last stand by moving all in for 2225 with Ad 4d and Voertmann called from the big blind with Jh 7c. The board ran out 10h Kc Ks Jd 7d, and Voertmann’s two pair sent Ashby back to Alabama in 5th place.
Then on Day 3 with the blinds up to 400/800 Bartlett took over the chip lead from Voertmann with a great river bluff on Hellmuth who laid down the best hand. But his lead was short-lived as he tangled with Voertmann’s big stack by raising from the button to 2100 with pocket queens only to have Voertmann reraise to 6100 from the big blind with pocket eights. Bartlett then made it 20,000 to go and Voertmann moved all in. Bartlett called and was a 4:1 favorite. But Voertmann spiked a set of eights on the flop, and when Bartlett couldn’t improve he was left with less than eight big blinds.
With the blinds now at 600/1200 the two short-stacks collided as Ivey moved all in preflop holding Ah Qh and Bartlett called with Ad 8d. Unbelievably the flop came 8s As Qc, and both had made aces up. But the turn was the 8h, giving Bartlett the lead with a full house. But even more bizarre was that the river was the Ac, giving Ivey a higher full house and leaving a stunned Bartlett with only 50 chips, the least in PAD history. He would be eliminated soon after in 4th place.
On Day 4 with the blinds at 800/1600 Voertmann at one point had 100,000 of the 120,000 chips in play before Hellmuth was able to double through him to narrow the gap ever so slightly. But then he doubled through Voertmann again soon after when he flopped a flush and increased to chip stack to 34k.
On the last hand of Day 4 Ivey shipped in his remaining 11,400 from the button with pocket eights and Voertmann called from the big blind with pocket sixes. But Voertmann spiked a six on the flop and his set held up and sent Ivey back to Australia in 3rd place.
Heads-up play began with Voertmann holding an 85k to 45k chip lead over Hellmuth. But Hellmuth fought back, and with only $10k separating them found pocket queens and induced Voertmann to move all in with top pair holding Kd 8s after the flop of 3c 8h 7d. Hellmuth called, and suddenly the match had completely turned around as Voertmann was left with only 9000 when he didn’t improve on the turn or river.
Now it was Voertmann’s turn to fight back, and after a couple of double-ups he climbed back into contention, and the players then took turns holding the chip lead in this lengthy battle. With the blinds at 3000/6000 and Voertmann the chip leader, the final hand saw him raise preflop to 18,000 with Ah 8d and Hellmuth move all in with Ks 7h. Voertmann called, and the board ran out 5s Jh 4c 9s 3c, and Voertmann’s ace high was good enough to win his first Poker After Dark title.
Dennis Oehring serves as the Public Relations Coordinator for the firm POKER PROductions.