John Smith Crashes Out as $10k Heads-Up Bracelet Down to Four

All eyes were on John Smith last night as he attempted another deep run in the 10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship, the runner-up in both 2016 and 2017 having disposed of two opponents to reach the final 16. It was not to be for the legendary Californian, however, as Smith crashed out – alongside Kristen Bicknell and Jake Schindler.

By: Andrew Burnett

The Heads-up Championship is one of the most coveted titles on offer in the summer WSOP extravaganza, but previous champions struggled from the outset - last year’s victor Justin Bonomo falling in the opening round of 64 to Scott Baumstein, while 2017 champ Adrian Mateos didn’t get past the play-in round.

Phil Hellmuth departed early, as did Doug Polk, Layne ‘back-to-back’ Flack, Erik Seidel and a host of other big names, but Smith was still in!

His hopes of finally lifting the title were dashed by Jimmy D’Ambrosio, however, after the latter sniffed out a big bluff and stacked the elder statesman of heads-up play, reaching the money in the process.

Kristen Bicknell made the cash too, defeating Brian Rast in a very politely-conducted game…

…but her run ended in the quarter finals after two brutal river cards in a row hit Ben Yu, a semi-final spot and $73,333 locked up for the 3-time bracelet winner.

Facing Yu in the final four tomorrow (Saturday) will be high-stakes cash game expert Keith Lehr while Cord Garcia takes on Sean Swingruber, the eventual tournament winner looking at $186,356 to go with the coveted WSOP jewellery.

Chip counts

1 Ben Yu 1,920,000
2 Sean Swingruber 1,920,000
3 Keith Lehr 1,920,000
4 Cord Garcia 1,920,000



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