The first round of the first-ever PGT Heads-Up Showdown is complete, with 16 players advancing to the second round. Among the group to advance are Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Sean Winter, and Shannon Shorr.
The first-ever PGT Heads-Up Showdown featured 32 players competing for $25,000 apiece, creating a prize pool of $800,000. The top four places will make the money. First place is worth $400,000, second place is $200,000, and then third and fourth places will earn $100,000 each.
The opening day of action was broken down into two flights of 16 players. In the early flight, Negreanu defeated Jared Bleznick, and Seidel topped Jared Jaffee. Jaffee was a late addition to the field after Dylan Gang backed out.
The first elimination of the day came when Landon Tice five-bet shoved all in with ace-four of spades against Darren Elias’ ace-king. Tice flopped a flush draw but it didn’t come home and he was the first player to hit the rail.
Negreanu knocked out Bleznick on the main feature table. Negreanu had built his way into a sizable chip lead before finally sealing the deal with king-queen against Bleznick’s ace-seven. Although Bleznick flopped an ace, Negreanu completed an inside straight draw on the turn to win the hand.
Seidel took out Jaffee with a flopped set of tens against Jaffee’s top pair of queens. Seidel’s hand held up to bust Jaffee from the tournament.
Joining Elias, Negreanu, and Seidel in advancing from the first flight were Tamon Nakamura, Chino Rheem, Jeremy Ausmus, Jake Daniels, and Bill Klein. Nakamura beat Stanley Tang, Rheem defeated Nick Schulman, Ausmus topped Chris Brewer, Daniels got past Ali Imsirovic, and Klein advanced over Phil Galfond.
Rewatch the live stream of the opening flight with the archived stream on the PokerGO YouTube channel.
In the second flight, Winter scored the first knockout blow when he took out Sam Soverel to advance to the Round of 16. Winter had ace-ten and beat Soverel’s ten-eight.
Shorr took out Shaun Deeb later in the day to get his first-round victory.
The match of the day took place center stage at the feature table, with Phil Hellmuth and Eric Persson going blow for blow both with their poker play and verbally. Plenty of verbal jabs were hurled at one another, and Persson even flipped double middle fingers to Hellmuth. The two were both given a warning, and ultimately it was Persson coming out on top. Hellmuth fell short on chips and moved in with king-three. Persson had two aces, quickly called, and his aces held up.
In addition to Winter, Shorr, and Persson advancing from the later opening-round flight, Isaac Kempton beat Scott Seiver to move on, Dan Shak topped Nicholas Rigby, Justin Young beat Richie Sklar, Alex Foxen beat Simon Yu, and Scott Ball defeated Alex Livingston.
For those looking to relive the action from the second opening-round flight, you can rewatch the live stream on the PokerGO YouTube channel.
Day 2 will see two rounds play out inside the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. First will be the Round of 16 starting at 12 p.m. PT. The winners from that round will advance to the quarterfinals later in the day. A live stream of play will be available on PokerGO.com starting at 1 p.m. PT.