Gus Hansen has been one of the most recognizable players in the game since the birth of the World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel. Hansen's face became synonymous with poker champion as by 2004 he was in the winner's circle on one of the most popular tours in the world three times. Hansen's success continued internationally with victories here and there, but a World Series of Poker bracelet simply evaded him. After missing most of the 2010 WSOP and not even playing in the main event, Hansen, 36, took his chances in the £10,000 heads-up event at WSOP Europe. After going through an incredibly tough path including Phil Ivey, Neil Channing and Andrew Feldman, Hansen hoisted the bracelet for the very first time.
The field of 103 played heads-up matches in a single-elimination bracelet until the finals. Hansen defeated Jim Collopy in the best-of-three series, but it wasn't like any of the other previous matches. They battled to a 1-1 tie in two lengthy matches that ran late into the night, and the tournament staff and players agreed that the finals would be better off if the match was temporarily suspended and resumed when both players were eliminated from the WSOP Europe main event. Both players fell short of the money in the main event, so on Sunday night, the final match was played with Hansen ousting Collopy to win the £288,409 first prize.
"Every poker tournament that I enter, I try to play at my highest level," said Hansen. "I always try to win. At the World Series of Poker, there is so much tradition. It's been going on since Doyle Brunson was just a little kid. I was around for some of it and have been a part of that group. So, to finally come here and win this gold bracelet feels very special."
Collopy, 21, plays as "Mr_BigQueso" and has had notable success online for being so young. The Washington, D.C., native is currently studying economics at New York University and earned £178,211 for his second-place finish. Collopy's journey to the finals included matches against John Racener, Scott Fischman, Martin Kabrhel, Huck Seed and Ram Vaswani.
"I was very impressed with his play," Hansen said of Collopy. "Right from the go he adjusted after the first two matches. I give all the credit to him for adjusting after those matches."
This was the first heads-up event ever at the WSOP Europe and the 888th bracelet awarded in WSOP history.
Other notable finishers included Daniel Negreanu and Huck Seed (quarterfinalists) and Howard Lederer and Phil Ivey (Round of 16).
Below are the complete results of WSOPE Event 4:
Event 4: Heads-up no-limit hold 'em
Prize pool: £1,030,000
Players in the money: 16
1. Gus Hansen (£288,409)
2. Jim Collopy (£178,211)
3. Ram Vaswani (£96,212)
4. Andrew Feldman (£96,212)
5. Daniel Negreanu (£47,045)
6. Kevin Eyster (£47,045)
7. Huck Seed (£47,045)
8. Neil Channing (£47,045)
9. Howard Lederer (£22,847)
10. Martin Kabrhel (£22,847)
11. McLean Karr (£22,847)
12. Saar Wilf (£22,847)
13. Andrew Robl (£22,847)
14. Phil Ivey (£22,847)
15. Marius Torbergsen (£22,847)
16. Sondre Svanevik (£22,847)