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Moneymaker, Chan Win WSOP Rematches
Johnny Chan and Chris Moneymaker prevailed over Phil Hellmuth and Sammy Farha in the WSOP Grudge matches yesterday.
The special event took place all day at the Amazon Room’s new TV final table with ESPN crews on hand for filming.
Chan first took on Hellmuth in a rematch of their 1989 WSOP Main Event heads-up match, where Chan was denied his third consecutive Main Event title.
The Orient Express showed no signs of age as he battered Hellmuth early and never really let up.
At one point Hellmuth managed to battle his way back to even but then Chan hit a seven-outer to cripple Hellmuth.
In the end Chan would not be denied his revenge and got it all-in with pocket eights against Hellmuth’s K-T. The board ran out bricks and gave Chan the game-deciding checkmark.
If only Chan had won that match 22 years ago, he would be the one with 11 bracelets and Hellmuth would be chasing with 10. Alas, Chan had to settle for a moral victory and the applause of the gathered crowd.
The next match of the day saw Chris Moneymaker take on Sammy Farha in a rematch of the 2003 WSOP Main Event classic heads-up dual that many credit with starting the online poker boom of the mid 2000s.
When the two players faced off in 2003, Moneymaker was the amateur and Farha the experienced pro. Farha finally had the chance to prove that Moneymaker’s victory was merely a fluke.
Unlike the Hellmuth/Chan match, Moneymaker and Farha decided to play a best of three series that saw them take the exact same chip counts they had heads-up in 2003 and then reverse it for the second match. If a third match was necessary, they would start dead even in chips.
The match would go the distance as Moneymaker easily took the first game while Farha fought back and took the second game.
Moneymaker and Farha went into the third game with ultimate bragging rights on the line and they both played well.
Eventually Moneymaker and Farha would get it all-in on the most pivotal hand of the match with Moneymaker holding a weaker two-pair than Farha. The match seemed destined to go to Farha but the poker gods had other ideas. Moneymaker rivered a full house and took a commanding lead in the match.
Several hands later Moneymaker would send Farha packing with K-J versus K-T. Farha will have to wait another day for his revenge on the former accountant.
There was a third grudge match scheduled to take place between Erik Seidel and Johnny Chan but it was postponed because Seidel was deep in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo tournament.
Organizers have tentatively cancelled the event due to the busy TV final table schedule but PL.com will have coverage if it does happen.