Moneymaker and Chan win WSOP Grudge Matches

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 03, 2011 Posted in WSOP News | No Comments »

Two of the three scheduled WSOP Grudge Matches took place yesterday with one player proving his win wasn’t a fluke, while another poker great got some redemption over 20 years later.

The first match of the day was a rematch of the 1989 World Series of Poker Main Event, pitting the two-time defending champion Johnny Chan against a baby-faced kid named Phil Hellmuth. In 1989 it was Hellmuth who would stop Chan’s run, preventing the Orient Express from 3-peating, not to mention unleashing the Poker Brat on the poker world.

The two Grudge Match competitors decided to play a single match with equal chips –instead of the best of three format originally planned—and it was Chan who dominated the action, with Hellmuth taking the chip-lead for only a brief period of time.

In the second Grudge Match it was Chris Moneymaker vs. Sammy Farha in a rematch of the 2003 WSOP Main Event. This time around the two decided to utilize the best-of-three format: Match 1 is played just as the 2003 heads-up battle began: Match 2 sees the two players reverse chip-stacks: and Match 3 (if necessary) starts each player on equal footing.

Both players would win the match where they had the chip advantage, bringing about a winner take all rubber-match. It looked as if Farha would follow Chan’s lead and exact revenge for his WSOP defeat when the two players found themselves all-in on a J-T-2 board; Moneymaker with J-2 and Farha with the dominant J-T. But Moneymaker saved a little bit of that magic from the 2003 WSOP and spiked a Deuce on the river to take a commanding lead, and finished off Farha a few hands later.

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