World Cup of Poker VII: The heads-up round


9.20pm: That was Day 1 of the World Cup of Poker
The World Cup of Poker burst onto the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure today, a two day jamboree of poker combining a festive spirit, appropriate levels of national pride and utter confusion. It ended nine hours later after three rounds of great poker, played by Pros and amateurs alike, creating a Eurovision-style points scoreboard at the close.

First there was the nine-handed sit and gos, with Team France, led by Team PokerStars Pro Arnaud Mattern, romping home with 37 points, seven clear of the Philippines and Spain.

Then came the five-handed sit and gos, quick fire contests that again were topped by a surging French team that secured another 37 points, the overall lead and a much sought after "bye" to top of the final table tomorrow. More importantly they got to the PokerStars party, currently battling gale force winds, first.

Then came the heads-up matches, the highlight of the day, pitching teams into five rounds of heads-up competition, determined by earlier points totals. Today was all about points. I for one will be seeing them in my sleep tonight. Suffice to say this simple chart should sum up how many chips each team will start with tomorrow, divided by five. I know, I know. I'll explain later.

1st ~ 50,000 chips - France
2nd ~ 45,000 chips - Philippines
T3rd ~ 41,000 chips - Ukraine
T3rd ~ 37,000 chips - Argentina
5th ~ 34,000 chips - Spain
6th ~ 31,000 chips - Italy
7th ~ 29,000 chips - Slovakia
8th ~ 27,000 chips - United Kingdom
9th ~ 25,000 chips - United States

That's all for Day 1 of the World Cup of Poker. Scroll down to find all the details from the third round of heads-up matches. The nine-handed and five handed matches can be found at the links below.

The nine-handed level
The five-handed level

Thanks for following today's action and thanks also to Joe Giron for the photography. Still to come is one of the most chaotic and exhilarating final tables even seen on the international poker circuit, complete with substitutions, replacements, the lot. It's crazy and it's brilliant. Join us for the start at 1pm.

9pm: It's over, it's all over
Spain beat Italy in the last match of the day, Juan Manuel Pastor beating Luca Pagano and securing their team 86 points, leaving Italy with 72 points. - SB

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Team PokerStars Pro and Italy captain Luca Pagano before taking his seat in the last heads-up match

8.45pm: It's all over bar the shouting
Ukraine beat the United Kingdom when Audrey Danilyuk beat Gary Billington to seal the overall win. Just one match remains between Luca Pagano, captain of Italy, and Juan Manuel Pastor, captain of Spain. Here's how the standings look right now...

1st - Philippines - 95
T2nd - Ukraine - 89
T3rd - Argentina - 89
4th - Spain - 81 (86 if they win the last match)
5th - Italy - 72 (77 if they win their last match)
6th - Slovakia - 71
7th - United Kingdom - 70
8th - United States - 48

Those paying close attention up to now, and I'm not going to blame you for missing stuff, this final match will have no bearing whatsoever on the final standings, a point that has dawned on the Italians who are looking hungry. - SB

8.35pm: All square in the Ukraine game
A win for David Tierney over High Roller Leonid Bilokur levels the scores in the Ukraine vs. United Kingdom match. It's 2-2 now, with one game, between Gary Billington of the UK and Audrey Danilyuk of Ukraine, left to play. Meanwhile there remain two games to complete in the Italy vs. Spain game. -- SB

8.30pm: What they're playing for
I'd hoped not to have to deal with the thorny issue of how the final table works, at least not until morning, but here's how the starting stacks will be tomorrow, determined by how many points each team earns.

1st ~ $50,000 - France
2nd ~$45,000
3rd ~ $41,000
4th ~ $37,000
5th ~ $34,000
6th ~ $31,000
7th ~ $29,000
8th ~ $27,000
9th ~ $25,000

8.20pm: They were only playing leapfrog
Already we can start to see the likely outcome of Day 1 of the World Cup of Poker. The Philippines have finished on 95 points which right now looks unbeatable. They'll finish in what is officially second place in these early stages, making their starting stack in tomorrow's final second only to that of France. Slovakia will finish on 66 points while Argentina will leapfrog them with 89 points which, depending on how Italy fare in their last two games, could be good for third place. -- SB

8.15pm: Can you hear us in Bratislava?
Great news for all of those Slovakia fans huddled around laptops in bars, front rooms and wherever at 2.15am. Tomas Elexhauser has saved Slovakia from overwhelming defeat against Argentina, beating Daniel Chaulet to finish the game with the score 1-4. -- SB

8pm: Philippines pull off comeback win
The Philippines have pulled off an astonishing comeback. Having dropped to 2-0 down against the Americans they levelled the scores and just now Edward Garcia secured the 3-2 victory against Jeff King.

Elsewhere Team Argentina have gone 4-0 up against Slovakia, Edgardo Ariel Mazzaroli winning the latest match against Ladislav Vakoly, while Spain have moved 2-1 ahead of Italy after Joan Carcela beat Marco Mancini. Ukraine have also seized the lead against the United Kingdom after Martin Syme lost to Yurii Korsunskii.

Scroll down for all the latest scores. -- SB

7.55pm: Today's Advil moment
If a team wins their match they earn ten points for the win. If they win in a sweep, as only Argentina can now do, they earn an additional 15 bonus points. -- SB

7.45pm: The Standings
A reminder of the standings after the sit and goes. An individual heads-up win is worth 5 points, winning the best of five match is worth 10 points while sweeping a 5-0 victory is worth 15 points.

(France given a 'bye' for topping the standings)

Philippines - 70
Italy - 67
Slovakia - 66
Ukraine - 64
United Kingdom - 60
Argentina - 59
Spain - 56
United States - 38

7.35pm: Check that
Oh my. Suddenly it's going to the wire in the Philippines vs. United States contest after the next two matches were taken by the Philippines. First team captain Vanessa Selbst lost her game to Geoffrey Pamatian then Mark Larsen lost his game to Michael Victor Jose. They're now on the final rubber of that leg, between Edward Garcia of the Philippines and Jeff King of the USA.

7.15pm: United States fighting back
After their first match was won by Patrick Carron, Team USA has kept up the pressure on the Philippines, the score now 2-0 after Alex Fitzgerald defeated Yves Sy. Now it's the captains turn with Vanessa Selbst currently playing Geoffrey Pamatian.

Ukraine have also squared their match with the United Kingdom; Renat Byeglov beating Priyan de Mel. -- SB

6.55pm: Argentina on for the sweep
More results coming in from the tournament floor and it's good news for Argentina who have taken a 3-0 lead over Slovakia who are now in danger of the sweep. Remember, there are 15 points for a 5-0 win and they're already guaranteed ten for winning their match.

Elsewhere the United States scored its first win when Patrick Carron beat Douglas Summers to go one-nil up while Italy and Spain are now one-apiece. Davide Scafati won the first match for Italy against Rafael Vasquez. Then Adolfo Bouzas levelled the scores, beating Litterio Pirrotta. -- SB

6.10pm: From the wires
First results are coming in from the heads-up matches. Liv Boeree of the UK beat the Ukrainian captain Alexander Dovzhenko in the first match between the UK and Ukraine, while Jose Barbero defeated Dag Palovic in the battle of the captains between Argentina and Slovakia. Not long after Argentina made it 2-0 when Pablo Zarnicki got the better of Miroslav Kohout. -- SB

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Jose Barbero (left) and Dag Palovic in action

5.30pm: Heads up play begins
The teams have conferred, the captains have met to discuss the order of play and the heads-up line-ups are now known. Let's take a look...

Philippines vs. United States 3-2
Douglas Summer vs. Patrick Carron (United States win)
Yves Sy vs. Alex Fitzgerald (United States win)
Geoffrey Pamatian (capt.) vs. Vanessa Selbst (capt.) (Philippines win)
Michael Victor Jose vs. Mark Larsen (Philippines win)
Edward Garcia vs. Jeff King (Philippines win)

Italy vs. Spain 1-4
Davide Scafati vs. Rafael Vasquez (Italy win)
Litterio Piratto vs. Adolfo Bouzas (Spain win)
Marco Mancini vs. Joan Carcela (Spain win)
Ravel Furfaro vs. Daniel Alamo (Spain win)
Luca Pagano (capt.) vs. Juan Manuel Pastor (capt.) (Spain win)

Slovakia vs. Argentina 1-4
Dag Palovic (capt.) vs. Jose Barbero (capt.) (Argentina win)
Miroslac Kohout vs. Pablo Zarnicki (Argentina win)
Peter Koplinger vs. Marzullo Matias (Argentina win)
Ladislav Varkoly vs. Edgardo Mazzaroli (Argentina win)
Tomas Elexhauser vs. Daniel Chaulet (Slovakia win)

Ukraine vs. United Kingdom 3-2
Alexander Dovzhenko (capt.) vs. Liv Boeree (capt.) (United Kingdom win)
Renat Byeglov vs. Priyan de Mel (Ukraine win)
Yurii Korsunskii vs. Martin Syme (Ukraine win)
Leonid Bilokur vs. David Tierney (United Kingdom win)
Audrey Danilyuk vs. Gary Billington (Ukraine win)

This section of the blog post will be updated as results come in.

5.10pm: The Heads-Up round
On to the heads-up round where, with the exception of the French, who secured a night off thanks to topping the points table after the sit and goes, the other teams will play each other according to where they finished in points.

Philippines (2nd) vs United States (9th)
Italy (3rd) vs Spain (8th)
Slovakia (4th) vs Argentina (7th)
Ukraine (5th) vs (6th)

The rules as straightforward as other rounds so here's a recap. Still, I couldn't help mentioning to one player how they might want to call a lawyer before reading the rule book, forgetting that she was a Yale Graduate, currently studying at Yale Law School and about to graduate from that most prestigious of institutions. Not to mention the more than $3 million she's won in tournaments around the world. In hindsight I think she can handle it, but thanks Vanessa, for smiling graciously and nodding at the idiot next to you.

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The heads-up round about to begin

My humiliation secure let's press on. Each "match" will be worth points, as will the individual leg, with five points for an individual win, 10 points for a team victory and 15 points for a 5-0 sweep. Captains will play each other and as always, the points awarded will be totalled at the end and will determine the starting stack each team receives at tomorrow's final table. -- SB

PokerStars Blog reporting team in the Bahamas (in order of idiot): Stephen Bartley - see 5.10pm.)

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in World Cup of Poker