2019 World Series of Poker

Event #15: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship
Tage: 2

The Semifinals Are Set in Event #15: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship

Level 59 : 30,000-60,000, 0 ante
Keith Lehr won this event in 2017
Keith Lehr won this event in 2017

Day 2 of Event #15: $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship has drawn to a close after two more rounds were completed. The Round of 16 was brought down to the Round of 4 with two semifinal matches lined up for Saturday, June 8 which means they will take a full day off tomorrow.

The semifinal matchups will consist of Ben Yu vs Keith Lehr and Cord Garcia vs Sean Swingruber. It will just be a best-of-one match with the two winners squaring off in the final later that day where the winner will walk away with a World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

Lehr, Yu, and Garcia already have at least one bracelet apiece while Swingruber will be searching for his first. One thing for certain is that each player is guaranteed at least $73,333 for reaching the semifinal. The runner-up will earn $115,174 while the winner will pocket $186,356.

Only 16 players made it through the opening day which set up eight compelling matches in the Round of 16 on the money bubble. The winners would lock up a min-cash of $31,151 while the losers would walk away with nothing. One of the marquee battles involved Kristen Bicknell and Brian Rast who each have multiple WSOP bracelets to their name. It didn't take long for Bicknell to advance as she steam-rolled Rast in nearly every hand they played to advance to the next round.

Jake Schindler was also set up with a tough task as he drew Ole Schemion in Day 2's opening round. Schindler fell down to under 100,000 from a 480,000 starting stack but came all the way back with pot after pot to claim the victory. Many viewers had their eyes on John Smith who made back-to-back deep runs in 2016 and 2017. Unfortunately for Smith, he ran a bluff with ace-king and Jimmy D'Ambrosio picked him off with top pair.

Other players moving on to the Round of 8 included Matthias Eibinger, Lehr, Garcia, Yu, and Swingruber. Those matches got started around the 3 p.m. mark and it was Garcia who made quick work of his German opponent Eibinger. Garcia took control with a huge double up in the early going and Eibinger's run came to an end when he held pocket sixes against Garcia's pocket sevens.

Bicknell took on Yu in another quarterfinal match and the two players dealt blow after blow in a heavyweight tilt. Yu started off with the chip lead but it only took Bicknell a couple of pots to take a two-to-one advantage. Bicknell had Yu on the ropes when she held pocket kings against Yu's flopped flush draw. However, Yu spiked his flush on the river which turned the tide for good. Moments later, Bicknell got her last chips in the middle with king-jack against Yu's king-queen. Despite flopping a jack, Bicknell stared down a queen on the river as the two players shook hands.

Kristen Bicknell
Kristen Bicknell

The next quarterfinal to wrap up was a matchup of two American friends, Lehr and Schindler. Both players are regulars on the high roller scene and shots were consistently fired across the table all in good fun. Lehr took an early chip lead in that battle as well, one that he would never relinquish. He continued to chip away at Schindler's stack until he nearly had a four-to-one lead. Eventually, Schindler stuck in the last of his chips with king-queen but ran into the ace-king of Lehr who turned a flush to eliminate Schindler.

The last match to finish on Day 2 was the battle between D'Ambrosio and Swingruber. It was a back and forth battle that saw each player hold the chip lead at certain times in the match. Down to his last 330,000, D'Ambrosio woke up with aces and found a key double-up against the king-queen of Swingruber. It was the most emotion we saw out of any player in the tournament thus far. However, after a couple more twists and turns in the last level, it was Swingruber who came out on top in the four-hour battle.

When the players return on Saturday for their semifinal matchups, they will each begin with 1,920,000 chips and the blinds starting at 6,000/12,000. The levels will continue to be 20 minutes in length until a winner is crowned. The action will take place on the Feature Table in the Amazon Room starting at 12 p.m. with each match being live-streamed on PokerGO. The PokerNews live reporting team will also be on hand to bring you all of the detailed updates as the action unfolds.

Tags: Ben YuBrian RastCord GarciaJake SchindlerJimmy D'AmbrosioJohn SmithKeith LehrKristen BicknellMatthias EibingerOle SchemionSean Swingruber