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World Heads-Up Poker Championship 2001
Vienna, Austria 2nd-5th June 2001
Seventy-five people from around the world, northern Europe to Australia, assembled in the Concord Card Casino in Vienna for the newest try in the world of poker. Buy-in 2500 Euros (£1525 or $2135)

The last 32 players and their matches
1. Ted Forrest (USA) David Mosley (UK)
2 Amarillo Slim (USA) Ron Rose (USA)
3 Alex Kravchenko (Rus) Maurieio Biasni (?)
4 Christoph Haller (Ger) Li Lin Shan (China)
5 Bill Argyros (Aus) Erich Collmann
6 Martin Aigner Nick Teti
7 Daniel Negreanu (USA) Vincent Oliver (USA)
8 Simon Trumper (Eng) Steve Wise (Aus)
9 Chris Bigler (Swi) Mike Rocco (USA)
10 Andreas Krause (Ger) Asher Derei (Isr)
11 Marcus Golser Juergen Schieber (Ger)
12 Casey Kastle (USA) Bruce Atkin (Eng)
13 Bernd Rygol (Ger) Michael Keiner (Ger)
14 Hans Pfister (Swz) Nathan Wade (USA)
15 Bruno Fitoussi (Fra) Mario Fahimirad
16 Alex Dietrich (Ger) Layne Flack (USA)
Austria unless stated - Victors in bold
Heads-up challenges are not new to poker, infact the World Series got started because of the Johnny Moss - Nick "the Greek" Dandelos duel in the Horseshoe Club more than 50 years ago.

This tournament format was new however, with players competing one-on-one in matches arranged in a knock-out format, like Wimbledon. With 75 being an odd number a random draw produced 22 unlucky players who had to play the first round of 11 matches, eliminating 11 people, and getting the field down to 64 and 32 2nd round ties.

The second round completed on the first day and there were notable fallers including Phil Hellmuth, David Ulliot and Ram Vaswani. The remaining 32 (right) got to the second day.

Tournament Director Mr. Jack McClelland was brought from across the pond for this event and was no doubt hoping for a bigger field but nevertheless saw play through very smoothly.
The last 16 players and their matches
1 Amarillo Slim (USA) David Mosley (UK)
2 Bill Argyros (Aus) Nick Teti
3 Simon Trumper (Eng) Vincent Oliver (USA)
4 Marcus Golser Casey Kastle (USA)
5 Bruno Fitoussi (Fra) Layne Flack (USA)
6 Nathan Wade (USA) Michael Keiner (Ger)
7 Christoph Haller (Ger) Maurieio Biasni (?)
8 Asher Derei (Isr) Mike Rocco (USA)
Austria unless stated - Victors in bold

The third day saw the last 16 players play down to four. It took some time with matches ranging from under one hour to nearly seven.

Several players turned up for their matches late, probably not knowing that they would be anteed away every hand. This cost Fitoussi and Trumper 15% of their chips.

Veteran wizard of words Amarillo Slim spent a long time in trouble against journeyman Mosley, at on e time reaching as low as 6% of the total chips in his match but David couldn't put him away and the rest is history.

The ¼-final matches
1 Amarillo Slim (USA) Christoph Haller (Ger)
2 Nick Teti Vincent Oliver (USA)
3 Asher Derei (Isr) Casey Kastle (USA)
4 Bruno Fitoussi (Fra) Michael Keiner (Ger)
Austria unless stated - Victors in bold
The end of the 3rd day saw the quaters complete, knocking out the last remaining "home" player from Austria and leaving only one European. No Brits made the last 8 but the all American semi ensured some international spice in the final. Bruno triumphed over Derei and Slim beat Oliver.

The Final
1 Amarillo Slim (USA) Bruno Fitoussi (Fra)
The final was a classic showdown, the ultimate clash of cultures. You don't get much more European than Bruno Fitoussi, now manager of the Paris Card Room (Aviation Club) and once journeyman poker player and gambler. You don't get much more anything than Amarillo "Slim" Preston, the world's number one ambassador of poker and tall story telling. They booth eat a lot of red meat, sometimes its cooked.

The final started at 19:22 Vienna time. A 200 seater stand was built outside for a crowd to watch big screens. Inside, cameras showed hole-cards, flops and players faces. Eight minutes after the start, Slim holding Qh 8h saw his chance when the cards flopped 10h 2c 5h to semi-bluff check raise all-in. Bruno had bet with Kh Kd in his hand and quickly called the bet without much choice. The turn card was a 9c, giving Slim and extra Jack out on the river, but Qc came and it was all over.