Five of poker’s rising stars had the opportunity to play against the “Godfather of Poker” himself, Doyle Brunson, on Poker After Dark’s match entitled “Idol.” The buy-in for this match was increased to $50,000, with a winner-take-all $300,000 on the line. Those competing besides Brunson were Andrew Lichtenberger, Eric Baldwin, Melanie Weisner, Annette Obrestad, and Tom Dwan.
Unfortunate for Brunson’s fans, he was the first to be eliminated when on Day 2 Eric Baldwin, holding pocket eights, open-raised to 2000 only to have Brunson 3-bet to 7300 with Ad Qd. Baldwin then bet enough to put Brunson’s short stack all in, and he called, creating a pot worth 44,200. The flop was Qs Ac 8s, top two pair for Brunson but bottom set for Baldwin. The Ks on the turn and 7s on the river did not help Brunson, and he was sent home in 6th place.
On Day 3 with the blinds at 600/1200, Weisner found Kd Qd in the small blind and raised to 3600, but Obrestad found Ah Jh in the big blind and made it 8200 to go. Weisner had Obrestad covered, and moved all in and Obrestad made the call. A king on the flop, however, gave Weisner the lead, and Obrestad couldn’t catch up on the turn or river was sent packing in 5th place.
A pivotal hand occurred on Day 4 when Dwan and Lichtenberger got it all in after the turn with Dwan holding 8c 2c and Lichtenberger Ac 6c on a board of 4h 8c 4c 5d. Lichtenberger had 15 outs, but the 8h fell on the river to give Dwan a full house and vault him into 2nd in chips while leaving Lichtenberger on the short stack.
On the next hand, Dwan open-raised to 3800 with Qd 5d and Lichtenberger shoved his remaining 12,500 in the middle with Ks Js. Dwan made the call, and spiked a queen on the flop, which held up to narrow the gap in chips between him and chip leader Eric Baldwin while eliminating Lichtenberger in 4th place.
On Day 5 with the blinds at 1000/2000, Weisner, on the short stack, moved all in preflop for her remaining 25,500 in chips holding Ac Jd, only to have Dwan also move all in holding for 86,500 holding Kc 10h. Baldwin, holding Ah 8c, gave pause but got out of the way. Dwan took the lead when he paired his king on the flop, and Weisner bricked the turn and river and hit the rail in 3rd place.
Heads-up play between Baldwin and Dwan began with the blinds at 1500/3000 with Baldwin holding a 178k to 122k chip lead. Not much changed after several hands until Baldwin raised preflop to 7500 holding 9c 6d and Dwan called holding Ks 3s. The flop was 6c Kh 3c, middle pair for Baldwin but kings and threes for Dwan. Dwan bet 9500, Baldwin raised to 24,000, Dwan made it 45,500 to go, and Baldwin moved all in. Dwan made the easy call and took a commanding chip lead after he made a full house on the river, leaving Baldwin with just 44k in chips.
The final hand saw Dwan move all in with Kh 2h and Baldwin call with Ac 8s. Things were looking good for Baldwin’s ace high after the board had run out 9s 6c Qc 3s, but the Kc fell on the river to pair Dwan’s king and give him his first Poker After Dark title in three attempts while adding $300,000 to his coffers.
Dennis Oehring serves as the Public Relations Coordinator for the firm POKER PROductions.