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Reese Claims WSOP H.O.R.S.E. Title in Epic Battle with Bloch

15 July 2006

Chip Reese survived four all-in bets in heads up play vs. Andy Bloch, including one where he was dominated and two others where he was a virtual toss-up, to come from behind claim the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E.championship at the 2006 World Series of Poker on Saturday morning.

"He had me beat four or five times," Reese said after claiming his third WSOP bracelet. "I just kept coming back. I'm very happy to win, but I feel bad for (Bloch), because he played well enough to win today."

The heads-up match, which lasted just over seven hours, is the longest heads-up competition in WSOP history.

It's only appropriate that the match between Reese and Bloch continued as the sun rose outside the Rio. The final table wasn't determined until 9:15 a.m. the previous day, as it required a 19 hour session to determine the final nine. The early-morning finish pushed the start time of the final table back to just past 9 p.m. Friday night.

After arriving at the table with less than the price of a big blind, Patrick Antonius was the first to go. The Finn actually won the first hand, quadrupling up when he paired a four on the board, but lasted just two more hands when he was busted by T.J. Cloutier's pocket eights.

Just after midnight, Doyle Brunson became the second player to leave the table, falling too far behind when Jim Betchel caught top pair with his A-Q. Dewey Tomko got caught just 20 minutes later, running his pocket eights into Andy Bloch's pocket Queens.

Chip Reese found pocket Jacks when David Singer moved all in with A-10 suited to thin the field to five, and Bloch knocked out both Cloutier and Jim Bechtel holding pocket 10s vs. pocket sevens in a 15-minute span.

Bloch then dispatched Phil Ivey, calling Ivey's all-in bet with a straight draw and a flush draw, hitting the flush on the turn to get to heads up play just before 2 a.m.

Bloch started out with a slight chip lead against Reese in heads-up play, but build it to a substantial margin and looked like he might end the tournament when he flopped top pair and called Reese's all-in bet, only to see Reese hit an inside straight draw to prolong the match.

Despite the double-up by Reese, Bloch still held a $1.4 million chip lead, and he recovered quickly, building a 5-1 chip lead before Reese survived another all-in, catching a four-flush with A-10 vs. Bloch's K-J with a board of K-J-9-A-A.

Later on in the morning, Reese doubled up through Bloch's pocket nines with his pocket Kings to bring the two chip stacks to a virtual dead heat.

The two jousted back and forth for hours, with Reese finally moving all in with a flush draw. Bloch contemplated for several minutes, then called with top pair only to see Reese catch the flush on the turn, giving Reese more than a 10-1 chip lead.

Bloch was finally forced to call all in with 8-9 and failed to improve against Reese's A-Q, ending the match just before 9:30 a.m.

"This tournament was really important to me and all my friends," Reese said. "We all talked about what a great test of poker skill it would be, and it's an honor to come out on top."


AT OffSuite
In his previous life, Aaron Todd was a sports journalist by day and a poker player by night. He can now be found covering the poker beat for Casino City and making horrendously unsuccessful bluffs in his home game.
Write to Aaron at aarontodd@casinocity.com.
Reese Claims WSOP H.O.R.S.E. Title in Epic Battle with Bloch is republished from CasinoVendors.com.
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Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.